Prior to you making an opening statement or introduction, you should make a few checks to ensure the
meeting can commence and it will not be interrupted to sort any issues. You should make sure that
everyone who is expected to be present at the meeting has shown up. This could involve viewing a
singing sheet and comparing the names with the list of expected participants. You might also decide to
speak with a receptionist or person responsible for administration just prior to the meeting to establish
whether anyone has had to make a late cancellation. When meetings occur regularly and involve the
same employees, it should be more straightforward to recognise when someone is absent, and you may
be able to contact them to see if they are on their way.
The leader or facilitator may then remind the participants of
the objectives of the meeting and what should be achieved by
its conclusion. It is also important for people to be aware of
how the meeting will take place. Will there be a presentation
followed by a group discussion? Will each participant be given
a particular period of time to share their thoughts? Will a
brainstorming session take place where anybody can
contribute their opinions at any time? Regardless of the
meeting, as a chairperson for a meeting, you should remind
everybody of the ground rules.
Meeting rules could be stated in organisational procedures, and may include:
➢ Listen to others while they are speaking
➢ Avoid interrupting others
➢ Do not insult the opinions of fellow attendees
➢ Avoid dominating the proceedings
➢ Procedures for voting on decisions.