Chairperson of a meeting

The position of Chairperson a meeting is is the single most important role in your association. It is obvious that the chairperson is in the prime position of being able to affect the direction of any meeting.

Your Chairperson essentially has 4 major roles to play at any meeting:

  1. The Chairperson must be fully informed on each item and thus be able to determine
    what the objective is. In order for the chairperson to be effective he/she:
  • Should set aside the time to review each agenda item with the person
    responsible for bringing it forward
  • Must know why the board is dealing with an item and what action is required
  • Must be generally aware of all the alternatives
  • Must be able to guide his fellow members towards their objective
  • The Chairperson must be able to encourage the involvement of each board member in discussions to ensure that all relevant points are heard.
    • The Chairperson should not be the main spokesperson on the agenda items. His/her role should be to elicit comments from colleagues and if possible arrive on a generally agreed upon course of action.
    • Encouraging discussion also entails a fairly high degree of management by the chairperson. Individuals should not be allowed to dominate the discussion. The Chairperson should not allow the discussion to drift.
  • The Chairperson must be able to determine various alternatives.
    • The chairperson must be able to take a wider view of problems and to point out the various options available to the association.
  • The Chairperson must be capable of summarizing the main points and bringing the item to a decision.
    • The chairperson should be serving in a directing capacity – to draw out the main points, summarize then and have a motion made on the item.