How to Open a Board Meeting

There may be laws that require an open meeting in the case of a board comprised of elected members or if you are a non-profit corporation or another public entity. These laws are often called Sunshine Laws or Open Meetings Acts and they require that the business of the board be conducted in a public setting. Non-members are also allowed to attend and in some cases participate in the discussion.

The member who presided over the last meeting will “call the meeting to order” when the board is in order. This is typically done by saying “I call this meeting into order” or something similar in a a strong voice. In most cases, this is followed by two taps on the givel to signal that the meeting has officially begun.

Be sure to have a solid agenda in place before the board meeting starts. The agenda should be concise and clearly state the most important issues that the board has to discuss, and the choices they have to make. Do not put too many topics on the agenda or using an agenda from a prior meeting.

Sidetracking your board with new topics of discussion can take up valuable time and distract your attendees from the tasks on your agenda. Think about adding a parking spot at the end of your agenda so that you can discuss topics that aren’t high on your list and then promise to revisit them later or include them in the next meeting.

Request feedback from your board on how the meetings have been going and what you can improve them. This will ensure that your board members are more engaged in the outcome and engaged.

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