Michael Tait discusses the role of the chairman in opening board meetings

The opening of a board meeting is crucial to setting the tone for the rest of the meeting and ensuring that the agenda is followed effectively. As a chairman, you play a key role in opening the board meeting and setting the tone for productive and efficient discussions. Here are some tips on how a chairman should open a board meeting:

1. Welcome attendees: The first step in opening a board meeting is to welcome all attendees, including board members, senior management, and any other stakeholders who may be present. This helps to establish a friendly and inclusive atmosphere and to make attendees feel valued.

2. Review the agenda: Once the attendees have been welcomed, the chairman should review the agenda for the meeting. This includes confirming the order of the items on the agenda, the time allocated for each item, and any other important details that may be relevant.

3. Set the tone: The tone of the meeting should be set by the chairman in the opening. This can be done by outlining the purpose of the meeting, emphasising the importance of the discussions, and establishing clear expectations for the behaviour of attendees.

4. Encourage participation: The chairman should encourage participation from all attendees, regardless of their level or role within the company. This helps to ensure that all voices are heard and that the discussions are inclusive and productive.

5. Review previous minutes: The chairman should review the minutes from the previous board meeting, confirming any actions that have been taken and highlighting any outstanding issues that need to be addressed.

6. Remind attendees of the rules: It is important for the chairman to remind attendees of any rules or guidelines that are in place for the board meeting, such as confidentiality requirements, time limits for discussion, and any other relevant rules.

In conclusion, the opening of a board meeting is a crucial part of the meeting and sets the tone for the rest of the discussions. As a chairman, it is important to welcome attendees, review the agenda, set the tone, encourage participation, review previous minutes, and remind attendees of the rules. By following these steps, you can help to ensure that the board meeting is productive, efficient, and focused on achieving its objectives.

Essential guide to successful board meetings