Board meetings are essential to make strategic decisions as well as to set the company’s policies, and much more. They can be boring and full of routine tasks. They also take considerable time to plan. While it may appear that getting ready for a meeting of the board is just another burden board members who are prepared can make a lasting impression upon their fellow board members.

Create a draft agenda for board meetings that includes the time allotted to each item. It is a good idea to draft the agenda with a predetermined time frame so that you have enough time to fully discuss each topic, and also allow for questions.

When the agenda is completed, send it out to board members so that they can begin preparing. This should happen at minimum one or two days prior to the meeting. Boards that use a portal can collect and distribute all the documents required for a meeting just clicking the button.

It is important to establish how formal or informal your board wants its meeting to be, because it will have an influence on the way you conduct your meetings and how you address other board members. For instance some boards adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order, which is formal and involves calling other board members by their titles, and calling them “Mr.” or “Madam”. Whatever method you decide to use it is helpful to be familiar with the rules so that you don’t get caught off guard at the first meeting.