When you run a club meeting, you communicate with all club members at once, plan future club activities and make important decisions. To run the meeting effectively, you must be organized and have a plan. The meeting facilitator maintains order throughout the meeting while tackling all topics on the meeting's agenda.
Prepare in advance. Decide what your goals are for the meeting and form a specific plan of action to meet those goals. Make a list of the topics that you will address and make copies of this list for distribution to club members.
Create an inviting atmosphere. Serve refreshments before the meeting and have soft music playing as club members enter the meeting area. This will create an atmosphere that encourages members to relax and socialize before the meeting begins.
Start on time. Make an announcement five minutes before you plan to start. As club members find seating, hand out copies of the meeting agenda. This allows club members to review the agenda as you prepare to begin.
Introduce new club members. Icebreaker sessions are the best way to introduce new members. Have them state where they grew up, where they went to school and why they decided to join your club.
Review minutes from the previous meeting. This reminds club members of actions that were taken during the last meeting and gives new members a better understanding of current meeting topics.
Stay on task. Always follow the meeting agenda. If someone wants to discuss a topic that is not on your agenda, write the subject down on a separate sheet of paper and tackle it during the next meeting.
Allow time for questions and answers. Club members will likely have questions, so be prepared to answer them. Ask those with questions to raise their hand and call on each member individually. This is also a good time to encourage club members to make suggestions for future meetings.
End on time. Having a specific end time helps to keep the facilitator on track. If club members have additional questions or concerns, invite them to speak with you after the meeting adjourns.
It is important to have a designated facilitator and someone to keep meeting minutes. Also, have a volunteer deliver handouts to members.
If you have a presentation, make sure that all computer and electrical equipment is working properly prior to the meeting time.
Before starting her writing career, Tanya Brown worked as an eighth-grade language arts teacher. She also has a background in nursing, with extensive experience in urology, neurology and neurosurgery clinics. Brown holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and is pursuing her master’s degree in educational psychology.