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Board Meeting

Make your board meetings short, focused, and effective with Redpoint Venture's approach
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Preparation

The most important aspect of this meeting is the meeting memo. This way you don't spend half the meeting briefing one another. Here is what you need to include in every board memo: 

  • Each team leader writes their own section, no more than 1-2 pages summarizing the state of the business. Introduction, things going well, challenges, plans for the future, update on items from last time. These sections can contain graphs and charts
  • The CEO summarizes and provides a narrative at the beginning of the document
  • The VP Finance attaches the financial statements and key reports
  • The team circulates the narrative with the board ahead of time. Board members comment and ask questions as they read. The team clarifies points and provides analysis where necessary

Meeting Minutes

Call to Order

  • A [meeting type] meeting of [organization name] was held on [date] at [location]. It began at [time] and was presided over by [chairperson’s name], with [secretary’s name] as secretary

Attendance

Voting members


Guests


Members not in attendance

Approval of minutes

A motion to approve the minutes of the previous [date] meeting was made by [name] and seconded by [name].

Matters up for decision:

  • Major strategic decisions
  • Routine decisions

Matters up for discussion: 


CEO report: 

  • Current pressing issues
  • Matters for approval
  • Update on strategic plan implementation/rollout 
  • Critical Key Performance Indicators 
  • Risk and compliance update
  • Discussion around financial statements and key reports  

Committee minutes 

  • Audit and risk committee
  • Governance committee 

Other matters for discussion

Meeting finalization 

  • Actions to be taken
  • Items for public disclosure
  • Next meeting
  • Meeting close

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How to use this template for your next

Board Meeting

As a board member, you have two main jobs: to help the company think strategically about the future, and to help the CEO think strategically about how he or she will execute against that future.

According to Tomasz Tunguz, board meetings with written materials are better. They are shorter, more focused, more effective.

For this board meeting agenda template, there is no briefing section. No one reads slides aloud. There is no guessing what’s interesting to talk about because most of these meetings start with questions. If you have read the materials, you know what is important. So the conversation naturally focuses on the 2-3 most salient topics facing the company.

Great executives and founders use board meetings to help them, and this template from Redpoint Ventures is the ideal framework for more efficient and outcomes-oriented board meetings.

Learn more information about Tomasz's board meeting style here.

What happens in a board meeting?

Common Questions About This Board Meeting Agenda Template

How do you write an agenda for a board meeting?

Download or copy the template on this board to use this board meeting structure:

  • Create the board meeting memo and send it out prior to the meeting
  • Attach the board meeting memo to the agenda
  • Add the Call to Order, Attendance, and Approval of Minutes to your agenda
  • Include Matters for Decision and Matters for Discussion
  • Have the CEO give their report
  • Include any committee minutes or other matters for discussion
  • Finalize the meeting with action to be taken

How do you prepare for your first board meeting?

When you're sitting at the board meeting, it's not uncommon to feel anxious about what might come out of your mouth or what reaction you'll get from decision makers. But before you even get to the meeting, you can make sure that you're ready for any outcome.

  1. Keep your cool.
  2. Don't be afraid to speak up
  3. Consider the context of the meeting
  4. Get yourself ready for anything that might happen
  5. Make sure you look and feel your best
  6. Do some research on the company
  7. Familiarize yourself with the agenda
  8. Practice your pitch
  9. Write out your plan
  10. Make sure you have some research to support your points

How do you impress at a board meeting?

  1. Prepare ahead of time
  2. Ask questions
  3. Be concise and direct
  4. Dress the part
  5. Speak clearly and confidently
  6. Practice your public speaking beforehand – practice makes perfect!
  7. Know the company – their values, culture, and philanthropy; you should be able to cite accomplishments or successes by the company and also be able to answer any potential questions about their business model (ie: how do they make money?)
  8. Show your enthusiasm and excitement with a smile. If you're not excited, don't fake it!
  9. Stay until the end – even if it's coffee time!
  10. Be yourself – you can't fake enthusiasm or passion for a company that you don't actually care about.

How long should a board meeting last?

The average board meeting time should be 2-4 hours. However, a board meeting can continue if necessary, to achieve a consensus through discussion and debate. Board meetings do not usually last an entire day except in rare cases, like a merger or acquisition is being considered.

Board Meeting

About the author

Tomasz Tunguz

Tomasz Tunguz

Tomasz is a managing director at Redpoint. He is an active blogger at tomtunguz.com and is co-author of Winning with Data, which explores the cultural changes that big data brings to business and shows you how to adapt your organization to leverage data to maximum effect. Before joining Redpoint, Tomasz was the product manager for Google’s AdSense social-media products and AdSense internationalization.

Tomasz attended Dartmouth College, where he rowed on the crew team and graduated as a George Revitz Fellow with a BA in mechanical engineering, a BE in machine learning, and a master’s degree in engineering management.

Managing Director at Redpoint Ventures
Co-author of Winning with Data
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