How to Open a Board Meeting

There are laws that require an open meeting when your board is comprised of elected members or if you are a non-profit corporation or another public entity. These laws are commonly called Sunshine Laws or Open Meetings Acts and they require that the board’s business be conducted in public. Non-members are also permitted to attend and, in certain instances, comment.

The member who presided over the last meeting will “call the meeting into order” when the board is prepared. This usually involves stating”I call this meeting to order’ or similar in an authoritative voice. Most of the time, this is followed by two taps on the givel to signal that the meeting has officially begun.

Before the meeting starts ensure that you have a a clear agenda. The agenda should be focused and clearly outline the main topics that the board will need to discuss, and the decisions they will need to take. Beware of putting too many things on the agenda or reusing an agenda from the previous meeting.

The constant stream of new topics of discussion could consume your time and distract your attendees from the issues on your agenda. Consider putting a parking area at the end of your agenda. This is where you can add issues that aren’t top of the line. You can also promise to revisit these topics in the future or add them to the following meeting.

Ask your board members for feedback on how the meetings went, and what you could do to improve the quality of your meetings. This will make your board members more involved in the process and more engaged.