Board meetings, whether they are held in person or via videoconference, should be focused on setting up action items and making decisions. This can be accomplished by following a few basic guidelines for board meetings.

It is essential to ensure that there is a sufficient amount of people in attendance prior to any official business being able to be discussed. This is typically stipulated in an entity’s bylaws, and includes a call to verify that there is enough people in attendance to vote.

The chair should inquire if any of the members have any corrections or additions to minutes of the previous meeting. If there aren’t any corrections or additions, the minutes can be ratified.

After the old business has been settled, you can start your new venture. The board should go through the agenda item-by-item making time for discussion and voting. Ideally, matters for decision should be scheduled prior to the beginning of the meeting. This is due to the fact that these topics are likely to have been discussed and analyzed in previous board meetings or even in one-on-one meetings with directors.

It’s important that you set clear guidelines for speaking time in order to keep the meeting moving. Directors, for example should not speak until the speaker in front of them has finished speaking. Nobody should interrupt anyone else, regardless of what their purpose is. If a topic is taking the entire time, you might want to consider postponing it to the next meeting or organizing an interim call so you can finish it in a shorter amount of time.