Simplified rules of Order
Preparing for a Meeting
Although a chairperson will use the various rules of order in conducting a meeting, there are things the chair can do prior to the meeting to help ensure that things will go smoothly.
One of the most fundamental ways to ensure a successful meeting is often overlooked because it is so obvious--ensuring that the room selected for the meeting is suitable and comfortable. The room should permit a seating arrangement in which no one's view is blocked. Moreover, careful attention should be paid to such matters as lighting, acoustics and ventilation, for such factors can play major roles in the success or failure of a meeting.
By far the most important thing a chairperson can do to ensure a successful meeting is to do his/her homework. The chair should become thoroughly familiar with all the business to be dealt with at the meeting, including any reports to be made by committees or task forces, any motions already submitted by members or groups of members, and insofar as is possible, any "new" business likely to be introduced. Such preparation will enable the person to "stay on top of things" while chairing the meeting, and to anticipate most of the questions likely to be asked, information needed, etc.
The chair should also ensure that key people needed by the meeting (for example, the treasurer, committee chairs) will attend the meeting.