How to Chair a Meeting Effectively

How to chair a meeting is a skill that is hard to master but is definitely possible and worthwhile.  It is key for startup CEOs.

Meeting preparation

The chair of an upcoming meeting needs to think through How to chair it; do we really need to hold a meeting, what will we accomplish, will there be a positive return on the time invested, who needs to prepare what in advance, who needs to attend, why will they agree to attend, who needs to speak, what is the desired outcome, can we achieve all that in 60 minutes, how can I foster that outcome, where should I reserve a meeting space, distribute an agenda with time allocated for each topic.

How to chair a meeting

Chairing the meeting includes; introductions, starting promptly, being impartial, be humorous, understand Robert’s Rules of Order, stating the goal, summary of relevant prior history, addressing unfinished business or old business from prior meetings, allowing senior execs to include important information, providing leadership for the meeting, allowing all present to share their ideas, managing difficult discussion topics, not allowing a single person’s attitude or ego to affect the overall outcome of the meeting, managing the scope of the discussion, introducing any new business, summarizing the key points of the meeting

Post meeting activities

After the meeting the chair needs to ensure that minutes are distributed by the assigned secretary. These minutes need to include publication of decisions, who is responsible to do what.  After that the Chair needs to follow-up on assigned tasks, arrange another meeting if required, or preferably achieve closure without an additional meeting.


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One Response to How to Chair a Meeting Effectively

  1. These are great insights, obviously coming from years of experience. My own best tip to anyone starting out as a business leader when you’re chairing a meeting is to LISTEN. Tempting as it might be to think everybody is there to hear you give up the conch and let others talk. Echo back what they’re saying so they know they’ve been heard. They’ll think of you as a better boss and more receptive, for sure.

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