How to Chair a Meeting

1. Giving the floor (allowing a member to speak)

  1. Be impartial
  2. First come, first served
  3. If numerous, recognize first, jot down names of others in order seen
  4. Don't allow same speaker twice if others haven't been heard
  5. If opposing views obvious try to alternate speakers

2. If debate prolonged:

  1. Set time limit
  2. Limit speaking time per member

3. Keep to the subject:

  1. Help to phrase motion, if necessary
  2. Repeat motion
  3. Prevent cross talk ‑ address chair only

4. Observing Routine

  1. Prepare agenda before hand
  2. Follow agenda
  3. Keep things moving
  4. Announce agenda items as they come up. 

5. Guest Speakers

  1. Obtain a brief curriculum vitae about the speaker
  2. Learn subject to be dealt with
  3. Short snappy introduction
  4. Thanks afterwards

6. Short Cuts

  1. Prepare and distribute agenda well in advance. You will be amazed how readily even intricate problems can be resolved if members have had time to study and discuss them prior to a meeting
  2. Prepare resumé of lengthy correspondence
  3. Study committee reports as a whole, where possible rather than item by item.

7. General

  1. Be sure to have a quorum (The number of members whose presence is required before a meeting can legally take action).
  2. Try to start on time and have a time limit.
  3. Chairperson should only vacate the Chair and "take the floor" under exceptional circumstances.