A decent Chair isn't just for sitting on!!

From time to time I have been known to shout at the television.  More commonly when sport is involved but occasionally whilst watching Question Time on the BBC.

Fear not!  It is not for political reasons.

Now I like David Dimbleby as a presenter – he can ramble on and fill air time with the best of them.  What he doesn’t seem to be able to do, consistently, is successfully Chair a debate.

Chairing any type of meeting is a skill and, in order to make it look easy, requires a generous helping of preparation.  If it was simply just a case of turning up, pointing to the questioner and then going home anybody could it, but it’s not.

Meetings, any type of meetings, need structure, order and a competent leader.  Otherwise, as with #BBCQT they can – at times – descend into chaos where people just end shouting over each other.

Pointless and irritating!

Craig and I attended a meeting recently where the Chair had kindly stood in at the last minute. Although that was in itself a very admirable gesture, when she started to speak people at the back of the room asked her to stand up & speak up because they couldn’t hear her.  She said “yes, good idea” and then proceeded to do neither – conducting the rest of the meeting speaking into her notes whilst remaining seated.  She neglected to outline any sort of format for the meeting and so interruptions from the floor were frequent, uninvited and extremely vocal.
Chairing a meeting is not easy BUT if you are going to take on the role then you owe it to yourself and the rest of the room to do it well.
Our ‘Totem 7 Tips Series’ gives some great advice on ‘Effective Meetings’, to ensure your meetings are always well run.