1. Use Parliamentary Procedure. There are many different choices, but I recommend Roberts Rules of Order. Another helpful book is A Dummy’s Guide to Robert’s Rules, which makes Robert’s Rules more digestible.
2. Have the Chair Run the Meeting. The chair doesn’t necessarily have to be the President of the Association, but someone appointed chair for the meeting. This person is the official chair presiding over the meeting.
3. Require the Chair to Recognize Someone Before He/She Can Speak. This can be tough to follow, but with this tool the Chair can keep the meeting on track and to the topic.
4. Make an Agenda Beforehand and Stick to It During the Meeting. During meetings people tend to go off on tangents. The chair should steer the meeting back to the agenda and get the meeting back on track! That doesn’t mean you can’t entertain new business during the meeting, just make sure it’s in the right place.
5. Know Your Governing Documents. This will help you be an effective leader. If you are unsure on a certain item, have a copy of the documents in front of you so you can refer to them.
6. Know Your Quorum Requirement. Make sure you have a quorum for any meeting; otherwise, you don’t have a meeting.
7. Know Who the Deliberative Body Is. A Board meeting means only the Board is the deliberative body. However, that doesn’t mean that anyone should be disrespectful to owners who attend board meetings.
8. Discuss Items only if there is a Motion and a Second. Otherwise there is not enough interest to warrant a discussion.
9. Keep All Discussion about the Open Motion. Keep the meetings moving forward by keeping on topic.
10. Respect those who have the floor. If need be, the chair can set out reasonable time frames for arguments and deliberation on a certain motion.