How to Plan and Run a Meeting

Before the meeting:

  1. Prepare an agenda and send it, well in advance, to the committee members. Note next to each item whether it is for information, for discussion, or for decision. If appropriate, note the names of the people responsible for reporting on each agenda item.
  2. Inform committee members of dates, times and locations of meetings. Request that members who cannot attend a meeting inform you in advance and provide you with information about the status of the tasks that have been assigned. This will enable you to report to the committee on the absent member's accomplishments.
  3. Come early, and if necessary, set up the meeting room, arrange handout materials, etc. Have extra copies of the agenda available for committee members and observers.

At the beginning of the meeting:

  1. Start on time.
  2. Have members and observers introduce themselves.
  3. Circulate an attendance sheet.
  4. Make sure to have visitors complete and return the observer form.
  5. Review, revise and order the agenda, as needed.
  6. Set clear time limits, if necessary.

During the meeting:

  1. Take minutes (or assign a member to do this).
  2. When assigning tasks, make sure specific dates are set for their completion and each member knows what his/her specific task is.
  3. Close the meeting crisply and positively.

After the meeting:

  1. Prepare the report.
  2. Follow-up on action items and begin to plan the next meeting.