How to run a Board (or other) meeting via Zoom

Zoom meeting image

In the current COVID-19 crisis, many of our members and other charities need to run important meetings using Zoom or similar technology. Here’s our advice on how to make it as optimal an experience for everyone as possible. 

  1. As per usual, send all Board papers in advance. As attendees might not have access to a printer, it might help to combine as many of the papers into one document as possible, as per their order on the agenda.
  2. In advance of the meeting, send the Zoom weblink, meeting ID (either can be used to enter the meeting) and phone numbers (these are all provided when you set the meeting up in the Zoom app). As of April 5th passwords are now mandatory for Zoom meetings, when using the meeting ID to enter. Also send a note to participants saying:
  • If possible, please join by computer and have your video on – it helps if we can see each other.
  • Please mute yourself when not talking, to minimise background noise.
  • Have the meeting documents open to refer to, if necessary.
  • Have the ‘chat’ window open, to use for brief comments/questions.
  • The ‘gallery view’ function (top right-hand corner of the screen) is the best option for seeing everyone on the call (unless the numbers get very big in which case ‘speaker view’ is best).
  1. To facilitate the Chair, CEO and any other major contributors to the meeting, put together a meeting guide in order to help avoid the challenges of many different documents open on your screen at once and to ensure that you are all of the same understanding in relation to the meeting steps. This guide should include:
  • all papers in the one document (if possible), as per their order on the agenda
  • notes on anything you wish to update on/raise
  • An indication of the points at which proposers/seconders or decisions are required.
  1. Allow an extra few minutes after the start time for people to get logged in, adjust their audio etc.
  2. Note down a list of participants as people arrive at the start of the meeting. If there are points in the meeting where everyone will be invited to speak, use your list to call on them by name, to avoid them speaking over each other.
  3. If you will be recording the meeting, inform all participants in advance.
  4. As per usual, the rules of good governance apply. Take minutes, recording any decisions, noting the names of Directors and others present and stating that the meeting was held virtually.


See here for some broader guidance from the Charities Regulator, for charities during this crisis: