Online board meetings have become the norm for many organizations, and with good reason. They save time and money, while also providing a wider range of opinions on decisions. Virtual meetings can be difficult to conduct. They can derail discussions and hinder productivity.

Engaging remote participants is key to a productive meeting. Use video to introduce distant participants and encourage them to engage with their webcams. Encourage participation by asking participants to raise their hands whenever they are asked for feedback or questions. Encourage them to mute themselves when they aren’t talking to cut down on background noises, like children and pets. Set agreed-upon maximum speaking times to prevent one person dominating the discussion and discourage boredom. This can be done by listing the timeframes in your agenda or appointing someone to be the timekeeper.

The board members should be given the agenda and a list of the action items that they are expected to address during the meeting. This will ensure that your board members arrive well-prepared and ready to make good decisions. Board members should be elevating data security best practices instructed to keep the discussion focused and avoid any tangential discussions that could hinder the agenda of the meeting. In addition, it’s an excellent idea to keep minutes of the meeting in order to preserve the dialogue and provide an invaluable reference for looking back on the meeting later. Additionally, organizing and distributing follow-up tasks for participants after the meeting could aid in ensuring that all issues are addressed promptly and that deadlines are not missed.