Chairing a Meeting
Chairing a meeting is an important skill for any professional. With the ability to effectively chair a meeting you can quickly work through any meeting in a logical progression to accomplish all the meetings goals. Here are some simple to help you prepare for chairing a meeting.
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Plan the Agenda
- Develop a written agenda that includes all items you want to cover. Encourage committee members to submit, in advance, items they want to discuss.
- Limit agenda items so you can adjourn within two hours, sooner when possible. Assign specific times to each item to help the group stay on task.
- If possible, distribute the agenda at least two days in advance of the meeting so people come to the table knowing what to expect. If that is not possible, hand the agenda out as people arrive.
Start on Time
If you become a person who has a reputation of starting meetings 15 minutes late, people will arrive 15 minutes late. So, start on time! If group members learn that you are serious about starting on time, they'll be more prompt.
Work Through the Agenda
- Announce the item.
- Ask for, or give, a report on the item or distribute needed materials. If you have allocated a specific amount of time for the item, say so when you introduce the item.
- Allow discussion. If a vote is needed, begin to move towards one after a reasonable amount of discussion time.
- Ask for a motion and a second.
- Ask, "Any further discussion?"
- Repeat the motion.
- Call for a vote.
- Announce the result.
- Move to the next item
Involve Everyone in the Group
- Any group meeting will have people who readily voice their opinions, and other who are reluctant to speak up. As chairperson, you are responsible for drawing out comments. Turn to people who havent offered an opinion and ask them for one.
- Deal with people who monopolize the discussion. You may need to simple interrupt someone who becomes long-winded, and ask for a comment from someone else.
- A problem may arise that takes alot of discussion time. If a solution is not agreed up right away you should finish the rest of the agenda and come back to the controverisal topic. Or you can assign a team to work on the issue and report back at the next meeting.
Make Future Plans
Set the date, time, and place of the next meeting. Thank everyone for attending, with special attention to those who made reports or other extra effort.