Operating effectively as a president officer is a matter of practice and experience, but the following suggestions may materially aid you in establishing some useful patters while conducting meetings.
AGENDAS: 1. The president should endure that an agenda is prepared before each meeting which advice from the executive committee and the advisor and, in most instances, should include the following components: a. Call the meeting to order b. Roll call/ Introduce the guests c. Read the minutes d. Read any correspondence e. Treasurer's report f. Committee reports - standing and special committee g. Unfinished business (old business) h. New business i. Program j. Adjournment 2. Make agendas for every meeting 3. Agendas should be as specific as possible and should be delivered to members in advance of the meeting. Documentation for the agenda is also provided in advance. 4. Members who will be giving reports/presentations at the meeting should be notified at least 24 hours in advance so that appropriate materials can be prepared. 5. The president officer for the meeting should specify general time allotments for each agenda item in advance so she/he can keep the meeting moving on schedule.
MEETING SET-UP/ARRANGEMENTS Meetings are affected significantly by the settings in which they are held. Basic examples are good lighting and comfortable seating, both of which have a substantial impact on participants' physical comfort and concentration. But beyond the obvious it is important to match the setting and arrangements with the purpose, outcomes, and approaches for a given meeting. 1. Have a regular time and place for meeting each week, a convenient and unhurried time. Your meetings can be scheduled for the entire semester. Remember - the room set-up can help insure a productive meeting. 2. Paper, pencils, glasses and water pitchers, etc. provided if necessary. 3. People somewhat unfriendly to each other should not be seated opposite each other. Members who are very friendly to each other should not be seated side by side. 4. Avoid unnecessary interruptions. In most cases, phone calls, messages, etc. can wait until the meeting is over. 5. Training and education meetings are enhanced by movable seating and small tables or desk chairs. This permits rearrangement of the meeting space for small group discussions, which encourage interaction among participants rather than the leader only. 6. Theatre style seating is an information giving meeting in which the focus is on interaction between leader in group members. 7. In an information seeking meeting, the most appropriate arrangement would be one which allows for direct interaction between leader (s) and participants, such as a semi-circle or u-shaped table arrangement. 8. A problem solving or decision making meeting generally will call for seating around a small table, to underscore that this is a working session and to provide an adequate surface for materials and writing. 9. If the meeting is to focus on team development, it usually is most effective to select a comfortable room away from the regular work site. The seating arrangement could be chairs in a circle, although a table may be desirable for use in structured activities if they are planned.
KEY POINTS IN SUCCESSFUL MEETING MANAGEMENT 1. Start your meetings on time and finish on time. 2. Recognize new members and guests and make them feel welcome. When they arrive, introduce them and help them find a place to sit. 3. If your program includes speakers or guests, be sure an officer meets them and acts as host. Know how to pronounce their names, write down their topics, and find out a few facts about their backgrounds to use in your introduction. Be sure they are introduced to individual members and that they are thanked for coming. Have your secretary follow up with a thank you note. 4. Conduct the meeting in a businesslike manner. This does not mean you have to be humorless. 5. Do not cut off debate, but do all that you can to expedite the flow of business. 6. Speak clearly so that you may be heard by everyone. If you sound interested, it will improve the interest of the group. See that only one person speaks at a time. 7. Keep your focus on the entire group. If you carry on a prolonged conversation with one member, the group will soon lose the thread of the thinking. 8. Keep speakers talking clearly and audibly. Once you have recognized them, you should help them make the most of their opportunity to speak. 9. Maintain control of the meeting at all times without suppressing a free exchange of ideas. Ask for discussion and invite agreement of disagreement. 10. When a topic is new or strange to a majority of those present, there is a general confusion, doubt, and emotion; it is probably best to suggest that a committee be appointed to study the matter, ascertain the facts, and make a report or recommendation at a later meeting. 11. Check before the meeting (day before) to make certain that people will have committee reports ready. 12. you may want to follow parliamentary procedure, but handle business informally when it seems appropriate. 13. If the president of chairperson wishes to participate in debate, they should call someone else to the chair, usually the vice president. 14. Be alert to members and their reactions. Don't argue with the speaker. Ask questions of you disagree. As a leader, you are supposed to remain neutral, to ascertain the will of the majority, not to impose your own will upon anyone. Be appreciative and look interested when listening to members of the group. 15. Don't lay down the law to a member with strong or unpopular convictions. Remain impartial and allow the group to pass judgment upon the conduct of the individual members. This of course, does not imply that a leader shall allow any member to speak out of turn, or to break the rules of parliamentary procedure or common courtesy. 16. Do not hold a meeting if there is nothing to discuss. If the chairperson realizes there is no need for a meeting one week, the members should be promptly notified. 17. Delegate responsibility; give specific duties to each person, not just busy work, and have them feel that even the smallest job is important. Have them report their progress at meetings. 18. You must be interested and enthusiastic and convey that feeling to your group. Don't lecture; get them excited; be a good role model! When questions are asked, turn them back to the group. 19. Give them something to think about between meetings. 20. Always have organized but flexible meetings and be relaxed. Don't lecture or dictate! 21. Set deadlines - pressure helps get things accomplished. 22. If certain members do not participate, ask them direct questions. 23. Be tactful about needed reprimanding. 24. A busy group is a happy one. Keep your members active. 25. Have confidence in your members, respect their opinions, trust their judgment, aid them when they falter and compliment them when they succeed. 26. If your group is not functioning well, check yourself first to see if your methods can be improved. 27.
Remember: DO UNTO OTHERS...Lead the group as you would want someone to lead you!
Below is an example of how your minutes may look:
I. Call To Order: The meeting was called to order at 5:30 pm by President Jennifer Thompson.
II. Roll Call: There were 10 members present. Absent were Tom Simmons and Julie Olson.
III. Approval of Minutes: Minutes were distributed prior to the meeting and were approved as read.
IV. Officers' Reports
A. Treasurer's Report: Membership dues were deposited into the account, bringing the total account balance to $556. There were no expenses.
B. Secretary: No report.
C. Vice President: No report.
D. President: No report.
V. Committee Reports
A. Budget Committee: No report.
B. Special Events Committee: No report.
C. Constitution Ad-Hoc Committee: No report.
VI. Special Orders
A. Fall Student Leadership Retreat: The members unanimously voted to pay for the registration fees to send the four officers to the retreat. The fee totals $280.
VII. Old Business
A. Membership Drive 1. The brainstorm list created at a previous meeting was reviewed. 2. It was decided to set up a table outside the Union for November 2-6 and run ads in the Traveler for membership. 3. Susan Barnett volunteered to be in charge of the drive.
VIII. New Business
A. University Diversity Day: The members unanimously voted to participate in University Diversity Day on November 20. The registration fee is $15. Bill Jones will sign up for a table in the Campus Activities Center and report next week.
IX. Announcements A. The next meeting will be on Nov 3 at 5:30pm in the Arkansas Union Room 516.
X. Adjournment A. Sarah Childers moved to adjourn. Mary Smith seconded. The vote was unanimous. The meeting adjourned at 6:35pm
Respectfully Submitted by: Secretary's signature goes here
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