We’ve all been there at least once — in a meeting that goes off the rails, filled with off-topic conversations, running way longer than it’s supposed to.
All the major decisions of an organization are made in board meetings, so it is vital to organize them to be as efficient and productive as possible.
Successful meetings start with a well-planned agenda, and making it is a very responsible task. However, it doesn’t need to be a stressful and challenging process. With a good board meeting agenda template, you can quickly structure, organize, and schedule the next meeting of the board of directors and keep the company on the right track.
Read on for our guide to making a professional meeting agenda, and scroll for our free board meeting agenda template we use here at Plai.
Board meeting agenda templates may vary depending on the purpose of the meeting (annual meeting, emergency meeting, discussing new project…). Regardless, they all have the same structure that should be followed.
Board meetings have very clear objectives and goals. Thus, the format of the meeting should also be simple and answer the following questions:
Use bullet points to lay out the agenda items, and if more clarification is needed for each topic, include links and attachments of key documents relevant to the matter.
When writing a board meeting agenda, prioritize the topics the same way you would in a team meeting agenda - burning issues first.
Make sure that the crucial organizational topics are at the very top of the agenda while all board members are fully focused and energized. For example, pressing issues such as approving financial reports and key decisions regarding the budget need to be discussed at the beginning of the meeting.
Once you wrap up legal, financial, and other essential matters, you can save time for new ideas to take place in the meeting and open the floor for creative solutions.
If all board members join the meeting prepared, there is no need to stretch the time for protocol agenda items. Check the previous meeting's minutes to estimate how much time it really takes to vote on a decision and base the board agenda schedule on that experience.
This rule applies to creating an annual board meeting agenda, but it shouldn’t be overlooked for an emergency board meeting either. Even though emergency meetings are scheduled within a tight time frame, set a time limit to when the topic needs to be concluded.
A ticking clock helps the members achieve effective meetings, especially when the topic requires an urgent solution and you must keep it practical. You can even set the speaker's time limit to ensure all voices are being heard before final voting.
Briefing all meeting participants prior to the discussion is one of the main roles of a board meeting agenda. Attach PDFs and links to the additional materials they need in order to fill them in with all novelties within the company.
Include documents such as financial reports, committee reports, and an executive director report - everything that might concern a board of directors. Besides making sure that every board member is up to date, sharing important information in advance can also help any new board member get acquainted with their task.
Sharing the agenda ahead of the meeting enables the board members to set expectations before making an appearance. It also allows them to prepare for the meeting, read all relevant documents you’ve prepared, and form an opinion before the discussions and the voting.
Moreover, if there are any questions for the board chair prior to the meeting, they can schedule a remote one-on-one meeting to make an informative decision. This will save time from questions and detours during the meeting itself, and help you stick to the meeting agenda.
With the right board meeting agenda template, you can easily create and distribute an agenda for any upcoming meeting. The following template can be used for both a nonprofit organization and high-level stakeholders within a company.
Company name: Super Software LLC
Date and time: 31.8.2023. At 11:00
Location: Lower Main Street, Rush, Dublin
Board chair: Frederick Shawn
Board members: Zoe Borough, Sam Michael, Boris Novakov
Call to order
Approval of the Agenda
Approval of the Minutes
You can use our board meeting agenda templates to prepare for the first board meeting and make sure it runs smoothly. For every next meeting you schedule, however, you will be able to adjust it according to your own business needs.
Board meeting agendas that get the job done and continue to run successful meetings all have these key elements in common:
It is a good practice to set a date for the next board meeting within the adjournment. The follow-up tasks created during this meeting can help you establish the next meeting's agenda and give everyone a deadline for their upcoming activities.
A solid board meeting agenda template can help you structure an efficient meeting flow. However, there are some additional efforts you can make to ensure you get the most out of the board agenda.
With a team management tool such as Plai, you easily assign tasks to your staff upon the board meeting and keep everyone in the loop of what is happening with the company.
We hope you found our board meeting agenda template useful for creating the next meeting agenda that keeps your business running forward.
If you are interested in becoming a more productive team leader and efficient meeting host, schedule a Plai demo and discover all the possibilities a single tool can offer to bring your management potential to the next level.
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