7 Tips for Being an Effective Chair

Only a handful of people out there truly enjoy chairing a meeting! “While he always kept abreast of the activities of the church, Campbell Morgan detested committee work. He told a friend, ‘I would prefer to preach three sermons a day rather than spend a half hour at a deacon’s meeting discussing who ought to keep the keys to the door’ ” (W. Wiersbe, The Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers, p. 209).

Here are seven effective tips:

  1. Ensure that all present have an opportunity to participate. When necessary, prompt participation by asking for opinions.
  2. Do your homework. Make sure you have all supporting documentation.
  3. Select the most optimal location. The right atmosphere helps the participants be relaxed and more open in expressing themselves. Light snacks can sometimes ease the tension related to serious agenda items.
  4. Communicate clearly. Set the table with information that is simple and easy to understand. Remember that high-tech, fancy presentations can sometimes intimidate participants, keeping them from expressing themselves.
  5. Prepare an agenda. Delegate individuals to be responsible for unresolved issues and those that need following up. Use the agenda as a motivational tool to keep the meeting moving toward the goal. Summarize results of previous meetings before beginning.
  6. While the meeting is in progress, record actions that need to be taken and who is responsible for them. Distribute the list at the conclusion of the meeting.
  7. Limit participants to those needed for the discussion.

Fylvia Kline
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists