Many companies have embraced online board meetings, and with good reason. They are time-saving and cost-effective and allow for a greater variety of perspectives on decisions. However, there are certain issues with virtual meetings conduct that can impede the pace of discussions and reduce productivity.

Engaging remote participants is the key to a successful meeting. Utilize video to introduce participants from remote locations and encourage them whenever possible to make eye-contact via their webcams. Encourage participation by asking the participants to raise their hands whenever they are asked questions or to make comments. Encourage them to mute themselves when they aren’t speaking to cut down on background noises, like pets and children. Set a maximum speaking time to avoid one person dominating the conversation and to avoid boredom. This can be done by listing the timeframes on your agenda or by appointing a ibabs board process team member to serve as timekeeper.

Make sure that your board members are prepared for the meeting prior to the time by distributing a copy of the agenda and a list of things they’ll need to address during the call. This will ensure that they show up to the meeting in good shape and in a position to make the right decisions. Board members should be urged to focus the discussion and stay clear of tangential discussions that may not advance agenda. It’s recommended that the minutes to be recorded to preserve the discussion and give you a tool to review the meeting later. Additionally, organizing and sending follow-up tasks to participants after the meeting can help ensure that all issues are dealt with in a timely manner and that deadlines aren’t missed.

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