Online meetings may not be as efficient as meetings held in person, but they can provide more flexibility to participants and make it easier to supervise. They also require a higher level of board etiquette and present their own problems. Here are some best practices to adhere to:
If possible, begin the meeting with a short video of everyone present in order to establish a connection in person with distant participants from the very beginning. This also helps avoid confusion when discussing any concerns or questions. It’s also a good idea to announce the agenda at the beginning of meetings and encourage attendees to ask questions or comments throughout the discussion.
Test all cameras before the meeting to ensure they’re working as intended. Directors should dress professionally and be camera-ready by closing any tabs that might be distracting, and avoiding the glare of windows or other distractions. It’s also an excellent idea for directors to turn off their microphones when they’re not speaking and to use the chat feature on the meeting to notify the moderator whenever they need to leave of the video.
If the board has a secure software for managing its board with voting and polling capabilities, it’s easy to include the opinions of each member into the decisions and make everyone feel that their voice is valued. It’s recommended that the chair or other officers make sure to remind everyone of any necessary post-meeting follow-ups, like completing a board survey or collecting electronic signatures.