How to Conduct an Online Board Meeting

Virtual board meetings are now a regular element of many companies’ board member and director engagement. While remote work used to be seen as an interim measure to help organizations deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, it is now a feature incorporated into their director and board member engagement. However, just like any other new idea, it will require some time for boards to feel comfortable and productive in a virtual setting.

The most obvious challenge is that it can be difficult to create the same sense of camaraderie and interaction in a virtual gathering like a face-to-face meeting. A quick poll, quiz, or even breakout sessions could help break long presentations. Another difficulty is that using online communication can be intimidating for those not accustomed to communicating through videoconferencing or teleconferencing platforms, leading to less engagement than is typical.

It’s crucial to make sure that the technology platform selected for online board meetings is user-friendly and easy for everyone to use. Before the meeting, it might also be beneficial to conduct a tech run-through to make sure that all participants have the proper equipment and can participate without issue. It is also beneficial to limit the length of online meetings in order to prevent the possibility of fatigue from screens as people get uncomfortable after staring at the screen of a computer for long. Including a short agenda with estimated time limits for each item could aid in the pace of the meeting and help the chair in directing the meeting.

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