This page is going to cover how to run good meetings (for free software activist groups, non-profit boards and other people who want to get things done) but not how you decide to have meetings, how you you get people to your meeting, leadership development or any of that. Those topics could all fill (at least!) their own five minutes.
- Be clear about when and where you want to hold your meeting, and then stick to your guns! Choose spaces that won't be noisy or subject to constant interruptions. A regular place and time makes it easy for people to remember. (Every Wednesday at 6pm sharp!)
- Send around an agenda, ask for additions. Leave a little space at the end for announcements.
- Meetings work best if there is a clear sense of what will be covered.
- Set time limits for each topic.
- Appoint a moderator and a time keeper or both if your meeting is large enough.
- When you get to the parts where people offer to take on tasks and responsibilities, make sure those offers are accepted. ie: Great, so Sonia will be calling the library to ask about meeting space for next time."
- Record who has taken on what in your minutes -- you are taking minutes right? Appoint a minute taker at the beginning of the meeting.
- What goes into the minutes? Decisions that are made, tasks that are allotted and things for the next meeting's agenda, you may also want to record people's objections or reservations to the group's consensus.
- Just to reiterate, record who's taken on what tasks. I like to go so far as to list "Action items" at the end of the minutes where I recap all tasks that have been taken on. ie: Matt - bring power strips to the next meeting, Mary - invite our local Perl Mongers group, Everyone - keep your eyes peeled for a new location that isn't as noisy as this one.
- Send those minutes out within 48 hours if you aren't recording them on a computer during the meeting.