A wake up call for meeting organizers


There are many times I have heard volunteers say after a meeting, “What a waste of time – we should have been finished an hour ago.” That should be a wake up call to all of us who organize meetings. Even comedian Milton Berle knew how painful meetings could be when he said,“A committee or board is a group of people who take minutes and waste hours.”

I’ve discovered three golden rules for volunteers:

1. give them work

2. never waste their time

3. recognize them.

For EOs and Chairpersons, we need to step up our game and respect our volunteers’ time. I could write a small book on how to improve meetings but here are some tips;

– Never call a meeting for the sake of calling a meeting

– Have a short and concise agenda and stick to it

– Don’t let one or two people dominate the discussion

– Get everyone’s opinion but reduce repetition

– Set a time for the length of the meeting and don’t go over

– If there are only a few items to discuss, try a conference call

Let’s make the volunteer experience productive and satisfying. Now is the time.


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