When you are asked to attend a meeting, do you feel excitement or dread? How often do you attend meetings with a lot of talk but no decisions or actions? One of your jobs as a PTA President is organizing PTA meetings. Here are some tips for how to run an effective meeting that people will want to attend.
1. Roberts Rules of Order. A review of the rules for conducting a meeting will help you move through your agenda, stay on track, deal with difficult people and issues, etc. Relying on Roberts Rules takes personal issues out of the meeting and puts the focus on the procedural elements.
2. Set the dates. Create a calendar of your meeting dates and times. Be sure to secure the venues in advance. Communicate your schedule early in the school year with reminders sent at least a week in advance. SimplyCircle is a great tool for scheduling PTA meetings, and it has automatic reminders built right in.
3. Create a meeting agenda. Begin working on your agenda well in advance of your meeting. Typically you will want reports from the Treasurer, review and approval of the minutes from the last meeting, reports from other officers, reports from committee chairs, report from school principal, plus your report. A great reference for a sample agenda can be found on the National PTA website.
4. Alert meeting participants of their role. Let everyone involved know that you expect them to give a report at the meeting. Be precise when communicating the content of their report as well as set a time limit for their presentation.
5. Prepare! The President is the leader of the meeting and your preparation is key in assuring a successful meeting. Prepare your report, know what other reports will consist of, know when a vote is needed and how to conduct a vote, etc. (Roberts Rules will be very helpful for learning about conducting a vote).
6. Start and end your meeting on time. Always start on time even if people are still arriving. Keeping a to a time schedule shows that you are prepared and in charge. It also sets the tone that everyone’s time is valued and you intend to respect that.
We hope you find these tips helpful!