At one point or another, you’ve probably heard some version of this saying: A team can only be as strong as its weakest player.
Each individual member must be expected to thoroughly prepare for a board meeting or else the strength of the boardroom will suffer.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for a board meeting:
Review bylaws and meeting protocol
If you’re still new to board membership, it doesn’t hurt to review your board’s bylaws and typical meeting procedures. Make sure that you understand when you’ll have opportunities to bring topics up and when you’ll be expected to cast votes.
Some boards rely on an extremely intricate system while others operate more loosely. If you don’t understand the system, how will you be able to adequately prepare for a board meeting?
Study the agenda and meeting materials
Don’t wait until the last minute to look over reports or the upcoming meeting’s agenda. You may have important questions that need to be addressed prior to the gathering. By addressing those topics outside of the meeting, you’re saving the whole board valuable time during those precious few meeting hours.
This allows the group to focus on discussion and strategic planning rather than basic reporting reviews.
Take attentive notes
This may seem obvious, but many board members have to review hundreds of pages of documents for any given meeting. Without good note-taking skills, the member will struggle to remember all of their questions and talking points.
If you’re a Directorpoint client, you’ll be able to take those annotations inside the software directly on the documents—perfect for easy recall.
Complete any assigned tasks in a timely manner
If you’ve been asked to connect with someone outside of the board or to investigate a particular path forward for the company you serve, make sure that you meet those deadlines. Although some of these tasks may seem less than critical, your fellow board members may feel otherwise.
Stick to time expectations and err to the side of being overly diligent in sharing your findings.
Be well rested before the meeting
That’s right! If you’re extremely tired, it’s going to be very difficult to participate in the meeting to your best ability. Make sure that your schedule will allow for adequate resting time the night before. Additionally, do your best to disconnect from other outside responsibilities, so that you can be completely present and focused during meeting time.
We know that board members are often juggling several large commitments, but if you can’t concentrate in a meeting, your impact will be muted at best.