How to Run an Effective Meeting

The following practices may help chairs run the meetings effectively

     • Be prepared by discussing with staff in advance what needs to be accomplished at the meeting.
     • Always use an agenda that assigns topics to specific people and uses time limits.
               a. Use the agenda to keep the members on time and on subject.
               b. Ask for additional items at the beginning of the meeting and include them as time and importance allow.
               c. Limit meetings to two hours.
     • Always start the meeting on time
     • Be a good host by making sure everyone is introduced.
     • Review the facts before getting to specific suggestions on each agenda item.
     • Encourage participation by inviting people to participate in the discussions.
     • Summarize major points during the course of the meeting to facilitate orderly discussions.
     • Pay attention to factors which may be affecting relations between members.
     • Solicit opinions and experiences, especially when disagreements occur.
               a. Talk to the group, not individuals.
               b. Side conversations disrupt so ask members to stay focused.
               c. Take a break if tensions increase.
     • Try to draw out silent members by asking an easy question or for an opinion.
     • Check at the end of the meeting to see if members feel that subjects have been properly covered.
     • Don't argue with the individual who has the floor.
     • Ask questions if you disagree, but remember as the presiding officer you are to be neutral.
     • Adjourn on time.