Effective Committee Meeting - President Helpers Guide


January 9, 2017 -

Before Group arrives:

Set up Room

  • Chairs and/or tables
    • Set in a style where all the members are at the table and can see each other.  Such as board room style, u-shape or a square. Classroom style is not recommended for committee meetings.
  • Post Parking Lot
    • To keep the committee on schedule post a parking lot to capture ideas that are off topic but important for another time.
  • Strategically Place Newsprint/ Markers
    • Have Newsprint and markers available in case they are needed to clarify an idea or to brainstorm.

During the Meeting:

Icebreaker, Team Building Exercise or Educational Presentation

  • Think of timing and space before you choose one.
  • Start each meeting with teambuilding, icebreakers or an educational exercise. This will assist in keeping the focus of the group to the tasks at hand.  It will also help them to participate fully and work with each other in an effective manner. 

Start with the pledges

  • Always start with the pledges to help remind the group of what each member is pledging as they move forward with the meeting

Assign a Timekeeper if issues have a lot of discussion

  • Don’t be afraid to assign a time such as:  
    • Every person recognized by the President will get 1 minute to speak with a 10 minute discussion period for the topic

The time keeper will notify each speaker when their time is up and the President when the overall time is up. This is important when the group is dealing with a topic that is contentious.

Determine if a facilitation tool is appropriate and use as needed

  • Sticky Wall
  • Sticky Dot voting
  • T-chart
  • Vote with your Feet or show of hands
  • Gradients of Agreement
  • Rotating Flip Charts

Do energizers as needed to regain focus allow for a brain break or to break up tough conversations

  • Take a poll to find out how members are feeling
    • Take a timed break or have snacks
    • Do an icebreaker
    • Take time to stand up and stretch
    • Do neck rolls

Keep Order

  • Make sure participants are waiting to be recognized before speaking
  • Make sure to not voice your opinion but instead help all of the viewpoints to be represented
  • Do not allow for personal attacks or poor behavior
  • Use your gavel when necessary to keep order

Don’t forget the Parking Lot

If time permits items from the Parking Lot can be added into new business.  If time doesn’t permit be sure to add them into the next month’s agenda under new business.


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