How To Run An Online Board Meeting

Successfully running an online board meeting involves clear communication, proper planning and agenda setting, use of reliable technology, adherence to the meeting schedule, active moderation, and ensuring everyone’s participation.

An online board meeting is a virtual gathering of a company’s board of directors conducted over the internet using digital platforms and tools. This type of meeting allows members in various locations to connect remotely, facilitating the discussion of operational strategies, decision making processes, governance issues, and company performance. Virtual board meetings, just like their physical counterparts, often involve presentations, voting on business matters, debating issues, and reaching decisions. Due to their online nature, these meetings require a stable internet connection, suitable devices for participating members, a secure and user-friendly meeting platform ensuring confidentiality and privacy, and sometimes, digital tools to facilitate voting and note-taking.

What is the purpose of a Online Board Meeting?

The purpose of running an online board meeting as a leader is to effectively communicate and collaborate with board members, regardless of geographical locations. It enables the exchange of ideas, decision-making, and the alignment of objectives. Online meetings ensure efficient use of time and resources, fostering transparency and inclusivity among board members.

How To Run An Online Board Meeting: Step-By-Step


Step 1: Preparation

In this stage, creation of a distinct, well-structured agenda is paramount, outlining crucial discussion elements and assigning appropriate time slots for each. Further, it entails choosing the most viable video conferencing platform for executing the online board meeting, be it Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or any other suitable alternative. This thorough planning helps drive a well-organized and focused meeting.

Our application, ZipDo, transforms your calendar by importing meetings into a collaborative environment designed for team interaction. Here, a collective meeting agenda is developed, encouraging input from all team members. This approach fosters better-prepared meetings, enhancing efficiency and easing the burden of meeting preparation and follow-up.

ZipDo, our tool, offers a solution for the seamless preparation of team meetings. It centralizes past session information, including agendas and meeting notes, making it accessible for meeting leads. This organization aids in efficient preparation and ensures that nothing important is overlooked.

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Step 2: Scheduling

To organize a meeting, evaluate and establish a time that suits all board members. Utilize a scheduling tool that compensates for various time zones, particularly for disseminated members across different geographical regions. Make sure to send out meeting invites comprehensively, incorporating necessary details like the online meeting link and password for accessibility and security.

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Step 3: Document Sharing

Prior to the meeting, ensure all attendees have access to any relevant documents and pre-read materials. This is efficiently achieved by sharing these resources via email or a cloud-based storage system, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Proper document distribution allows the participants to adequately prepare, contributing to a smoother, more productive meeting.


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Step 4: Technology Check

Before the meeting commences, it’s crucial for all participants, not just you, to guarantee their internet connectivity, audio, and video systems are functioning optimally. This proactive measure will help avoid unnecessary technical interruptions during the meeting. We highly recommend everyone allocate time before the meeting to test their equipment, ensuring a seamless, productive discussion.

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Step 5: Meeting Protocol

Initiating a meeting punctually is key for respecting participants’ time. It’s also beneficial to provide a reminder about the agreed meeting protocols at the start, such as muting microphones when not contributing and using certain signals to request speaking turns. Upholding these procedures contributes to an organized, orderly meeting environment and minimizes distractions, ensuring that all members can effectively engage, communicate and contribute to the meeting’s goals.

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Step 6: Facilitation

The meeting host plays a pivotal role in guiding discussions according to the set agenda, thereby ensuring the efficient flow of ideas. Utilizing online tools can aid in facilitating collaborative activities, yielding creative outcomes. Also, it’s critical for the host to create an inclusive environment where all participants have the opportunity to voice their thoughts, resulting in a balanced and productive dialogue.

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Step 7: Recap And Actions

Upon meeting conclusion, encapsulate primary discussion points and delineate an action strategy. Equitably delegate duties corresponding to each action step, ensuring team members clearly understand their responsibilities. Establish realistic and manageable deadlines for these tasks to facilitate operational efficiency and maximize productivity.

Questions to ask as the leader of the meeting

1. What progress has been made since our last meeting? – This question helps the leader gauge the overall progress of the team and identify any potential bottlenecks or issues that need to be addressed.

2. Are there any challenges or obstacles that team members are facing? – By asking this question, the leader can uncover any barriers team members might be experiencing, allowing them to provide support or solutions to overcome these challenges.

3. Are there any new updates or changes in the external environment that might impact our goals? – This question ensures that the leader is aware of any external factors that may affect the team’s objectives, enabling them to adapt or realign their strategies if necessary.

4. Do we have the necessary resources and support to achieve our goals? – By asking this question, the leader can assess if the team has all the required tools, resources, and support needed to accomplish their objectives efficiently.

5. Are there any suggestions or ideas for improvement from team members? – This inquiry encourages team members to contribute their thoughts and ideas, fostering a collaborative and innovative environment.

6. How can we enhance communication and collaboration within the team? – This question encourages the team to reflect on their communication dynamics and identify areas of improvement to ensure smooth coordination and effective collaboration.

7. What are our key priorities moving forward? – By posing this question, the leader helps clarify and align the team’s focus on the most important tasks or projects, ensuring everyone is working towards the same objectives.

8. Are there any lessons learned or best practices from recent projects that can be shared? – This question allows team members to share their insights and experiences, promoting continuous learning and improvement within the team.

9. What actions or decisions need to be made to move forward? – By asking this question, the leader prompts the team to identify concrete actions or decisions required to progress towards their goals, ensuring clarity and accountability.

10. How can we ensure the team’s wellbeing and maintain motivation during these challenging times? – This question addresses the team’s mental and emotional well-being, highlighting the leader’s concern for their welfare and creating an environment that supports motivation and resilience.

As a leader preparing for an online board meeting, it is crucial to create an effective agenda. Start by identifying the key objectives and topics to be discussed. Prioritize the most important items and allocate appropriate time slots. Include any necessary background information or reading materials. Share the agenda in advance and encourage input from board members.

How To Prepare For A Online Board Meeting
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The topics that should be discussed during an online board meeting include key updates on company performance, strategic initiatives, financial reports, market trends, upcoming projects, and decision-making. It is important to review and discuss these topics to ensure effective communication, alignment, and collaboration within the board and drive the company towards its objectives.

See Our Online Board Meeting Template
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Software tools to facilitate a Online Board Meeting

Software offers a plethora of benefits for leaders running online board meetings. It enables seamless communication and collaboration among participants, providing tools for sharing documents, presentations, and real-time feedback. Leaders can easily manage attendees, track progress, and ensure efficient decision-making. With intuitive interfaces and advanced features, software empowers leaders to streamline their board meetings and make the most of their time and resources.

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Mastering the art of running an online board meeting is crucial in our technologically advanced business world. It enhances efficiency, reduces costs, and ensures decision-making processes don’t miss a beat, regardless of any physical, geographical, or logistical constraints. Remember, preparing meticulously, setting clear guidelines and expectations, making use of top technological tools, promoting robust and fair discussions, preserving etiquette and fostering an inclusive environment are key to successfully conducting an online board meeting. At the end of the day, we’re all learning and adapting in this era of digital transformation. It’s about making the most of technology to foster collaboration and decisive action. Don’t be afraid to experiment and learn as we navigate this new dimension of corporate governance.

Popular Questions

What is an online board meeting?

An online board meeting is a digital gathering of a Board of Directors. It is facilitated through video conferencing tools or online platforms which allow multiple participants to connect, discuss, and make decisions about the organization they represent, all from different locations.

What equipment is needed for an online board meeting?

Typically, all participants would require a device with an internet connection such as a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. They will also require a webcam if video is involved, a microphone for clear audio, and reliable software or app for the video conference, like Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.

How can the confidentiality of an online board meeting be ensured?

The confidentiality of an online board meeting can be maintained through various measures. Password-protecting the meeting, using secure and encrypted online platforms, allowing only authenticated users to join, not recording the meeting unless necessary, and ensuring all participants are aware of confidentiality rules can help maintain the privacy of the meeting.

What should be done if technical glitches occur during an online board meeting?

If any technical issues occur, it’s advisable to have an IT support team or person on standby who can assist. Also having a backup plan, such as a backup device to switch to, or a secondary meeting platform to use if the primary one fails, is wise. Encourage participants to test their tech before the meeting to minimize problems.

How can participants effectively contribute in an online board meeting?

To contribute effectively, participants should familiarize themselves with the technology used, mute when not speaking to prevent background noise, maintain eye contact by looking into the camera, participate actively by asking questions or sharing their views via chat or when called upon, and follow the meeting’s agenda closely.