Essential Board Meeting Terminology

board meeting terminology

For a board member, understanding the meaning of all terms and processes is a mandatory requirement and an indicator of being well-informed. In this article, we will look at the board meeting terminology and the most common questions about the board of directors.

Main board meeting terminology

Below we have described the terms mandatory to learn and their meaning:

  • An agenda is a document that makes the meeting participants aware of the time and place of the meeting and also contains a list of issues that will be discussed at the upcoming meeting, giving the participants time to prepare
  • Amendment – An amendment is put forward to change a proposal, which does not go beyond the general thrust of the proposal. If the amendment is approved, it becomes a new part of the proposal, which in modern terminology is called a “substantive proposal.”
  • Apology -a notice of an official nature that a participant writes if he or she is unable to attend the meeting
  • Brainstorming – refers to the process of gathering ideas from participants that arise in a short time
  • Business emergence – every issue that lends itself to the discussion is recorded in the previous minutes of the meeting
  • Chairman of the board – the person who is responsible for the process of the meeting, controlling the actions of the participants, making sure that everything happens according to the bylaws
  • Consensus: a unanimous group decision that does not involve voting
  • Constitution -the document that contains the main rules for the meeting, it includes the rights and requirements for participants, meeting goals and times, bylaws, etc.
  • General Business – that part of the meeting where the current issues of that meeting are discussed
  • Minutes -the official legal document that carries the main outcomes of the meeting
  • Proposal – a formal request for an action that is discussed at the meeting and decided by vote
  • Mover – the participant who made the motion
  • Other business – the opportunity for participants, to propose their additional issues for discussion
  • Order clause -a formal complaint intended for the chairman against another participant in the meeting
  • Quorum – the set minimum number of participants to attend a meeting to make it possible
  • Rules -regulates how the meeting is to be conducted

Board meeting FAQ

Below we have provided the top 3 frequently asked questions of board members:

  • What happens at the organization’s first board meeting?

The first meeting marks the beginning of the board’s official activities as a legal entity. All further actions must be recorded in the minutes. During the first meeting, issues such as the legal address of the company, authorizing board members to make business decisions, setting up a set of bylaws, assigning responsibilities, and creating instructions should be determined.

  • How long should board meetings last?

If your meeting has a good enough agenda, it can help you manage and make the most of your meeting time. It’s important to find a middle ground so that meetings aren’t too long, but you also have time for face-to-face communication. To determine the best time frame for your meeting, answer these questions: The current frequency of your meetings, is everyone comfortable with that outcome? Your goals for the meeting, are you satisfied with the structure of your agenda? How well prepared are your board members?

  • Do the staff need to attend board meetings?

 Although the board of directors is only for board members, it is not uncommon to see other staff present at a meeting as well. They present reports and answer questions from board members because they have the inside scoop.