5 Effective Tips on How to Chair an Online AGM

January 27, 2023

how to chair

With more and more of us turning to virtual interactions these days, it’s important to know how to properly engage with others online. This is especially true when it comes to video conferencing software, which are being used mostly for online learning, company events, and annual general meetings.

It can be tempting to just use the same techniques we use in person, but that doesn’t always work in the virtual space. So, here are tips for the chair on how to project warmth and build genuine connections with attendees during meetings, specially for AGMs.

  1. Understanding the role
    A good chairperson is essential to the smooth and efficient running of a meeting. The chair, also known as the moderator, is responsible for ensuring that all matters are discussed, all opinions are heard, clear decisions are made, and the meeting begins and ends on time.

    What is the role of the chair in a meeting?

    In addition, a good chairperson should always think of the meeting as a whole and strike a balance between hearing all participants and getting the agenda done, without using his or her position to advance his or her own views to the exclusion of others or to dominate the meeting. It is important to note that good meeting leadership requires everyone’s cooperation and agreement, and that anyone can learn to lead well with some practice and observation of other meeting leaders.

  2. Getting through the business

    To ensure a successful meeting, it is important to have a clear agenda with a rough timeline. Take time to briefly introduce each agenda item, explain the issues and why they are being discussed, keep track of time and reschedule items as needed, and stick to the agenda.

    Start the meeting by letting them know what decisions are being made and why, and use your position as chair not to impose your views but to facilitate the meeting.

    It is also important to stay on top of things, listen to others, and make sure all points of view are heard. Even giving attention to those with which you disagree, it is better to be not too unassertive, because you have been given a role and participants expect you to lead the meeting.

  3. Involving everyone
  4. Ideally, you want an atmosphere where there can be genuine engagement and discussion. People should be able to disagree with each other and listen to different opinions in a way that is constructive and moves everyone on. Be sincere in your desire to help them achieve their goals.

    This takes time to develop, and requires the involvement of the board, but there are things the chair can do to help:

    • Stop people from talking for too long. Be firm and consistent but not aggressive. If someone is talking for a long time, interrupt them and say something like “thank you for your contribution, you’ve raised some interesting points. I’m going to stop you there for the moment so other people can comment on this issue.”
    • Give opportunities to everyone to put forward their point of view. Ask questions to draw people out, for instance “Does anyone else have any thoughts on this issue?” or “Is there anyone who hasn’t spoken yet who would like to say something?”
    • Stop people from interrupting. Step in immediately with, “Hold on, let x finish what they have to say”. Make sure you don’t forget to come back to the person who interrupted when it’s their turn.
    • Listen carefully to what people are saying, and make sure their suggestions are considered by the meeting.
    • Make sure people expressing unpopular or minority views get heard properly and aren’t intimidated out of saying what they think.
  5. Actively listen and remove distractions

    Once the meeting has started, be attentive by trying to look at the screen where you have the camera to show that you are listening and nodding your head if you agree. Once the meeting is done, remember to thank everyone before leaving.

  6. Managing your virtual presenceLearn how to effectively present yourself on video during virtual meetings. This includes making eye contact with your audience by looking directly at the camera, positioning the camera at eye level, and being mindful of your body language and surroundings. Remember to present yourself professionally and confidently to make a positive impression.

    It is also important to consider the potential additional steps and considerations for an online meeting, such as technical difficulties, Internet connectivity, accessibility to all participants, and security, as well as ensuring that the session is conducted in a manner that is transparent and verifiable to maintain the integrity of the proceedings.

    How to Conduct AGM Voting Online

In conclusion, conducting an online AGM can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and tools, it can be a smooth and successful experience for all members. From setting clear agendas and guidelines to using virtual meeting software and encouraging active participation, these tips will help you run a productive and engaging AGM.

Also, keep time zone differences in mind when meeting with attendees from different parts of the country, and make sure you have a contingency plan in case of technical issues. If you take these tips to heart, you’ll be well on your way to leading a successful online AGM.

To learn more about efficient virtual and hybrid meeting services, contact us or send your queries to info@verovoting.com.au.

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