Effective meetings skills for VCSE board members

A two-hour ‘masterclass’

Meetings are a traditional and essential component of VCSE governance. For both trustees/directors and senior staff, meetings serve as a forum for discussion and agreement, planning and monitoring, communication and leadership, and decision-making. Used appropriately, meetings can challenge, inspire, illuminate and inform. They are an essential part of the trustee/director role, a mainstay of the VCSE management process and central to quality governance.

Holding effective meetings is important because they provide clear leadership and direction, ensure that debates are focused and balanced, enable decisions to be reached and ensure that resources are used to best effect.

This two-hour ‘masterclass’-style workshop helps trustees and board directors to understand their role, offers some approaches and ideas that help to tackle typical challenges, and helps to generally improve their compliance as well as their effectiveness.

Learning objectives

  • To understand the skills and qualities of a good chair
  • To learn ideas and approaches for chairing a successful meeting that is on time and achieves its outcomes
  • To understand the protocols and boundaries for appropriate meeting etiquette and the chair’s role in managing this effectively
  • To appreciate how to manage yourself and others appropriately
  • To take away personal actions to apply to your role

Who should attend?

Trustees and board directors. The session works best when the entire board can attend.


This is very much a facilitated session, so a successful outcome requires the active participation of all those involved.

Special features

This workshop can be tailored to meet your specific requirements. You can choose to follow the agenda set out below or you can talk it through with the trainer and set a new one. The choice is yours.

Meet the trainer

Amanda is a consultant, coach and facilitator specialising in working with VCSE organisations. She has personal experience of being a trustee and board member, and of chairing public and community association meetings as well as committee work. She weaves some of the ‘highlights’ and lessons learned from her own chairing into the session as well as encouraging those present to build on their own practice. Amanda also provides one-to-one coaching for CEOs and senior VCSE managers and regularly facilitates board away-days and masterclasses, alongside providing specialist organisation development advice and support.


This is an indicative agenda – a starting point for a conversation with you. We would be happy to tailor it to your precise requirements.

1 Welcome and introductions

  • Objectives
  • Good meeting, bad meeting – what’s your experience?

2 We can’t go on meeting like this

  • Common meeting challenges and why they succeed or fail
  • Consequences and impact for the organisation
  • What’s the context?

3 Roles and responsibilities of an effective VCSE chair

  • Activities and input that explore the role, skills and qualities needed
  • Role of the chair: what it is and how to do it well

4 Meeting for success – ideas and approaches to meet governance challenges

  • Managing time and boundaries
  • Preparation and planning
  • Creating the right environment
  • Self-management
  • Challenging personalities and good meeting behaviour

5 Final plenary session

  • What’s your plan? Take-away actions

For a no-obligation discussion about running this programme for your organisation on an in-house basis, just give us a call on 01582 463465.