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The Meeting Chairperson

Completion requirements

The chairperson plays a key role in a meeting and the success of any meeting depends on the way it is chaired.  The chairperson needs certain qualities to fulfil this key role and chair the meeting effectively.

Qualities of a Good Chairperson

The person elected or nominated to this important office must:

  • Have strong leadership qualities
  • Be courteous and friendly, with a pleasant personality
  • Be tactful and able to use discretion
  • Be a leader to keep control of the meeting
  • Be patient
  • Be a good speaker and communicate well
  • Be unbiased and fair in his/her conduct towards members and in decision making

Position Of The Chairperson

The chairperson of a meeting should always remember that his/her chairmanship of the meeting is dependent upon the willingness of the meeting to accept him/her as their chairperson. Hence, the authority of the chairman is derived from the meeting, it is, that there is a tacit undertaking by all those present at the meeting to accept his/her rulings on all points of procedure.

Functions Of The Chairperson At The Commencement Of A Meeting

The chairperson is the most important person at the meeting and much depends upon the manner in which he/she conducts the meeting and on how he/she conducts himself.

The chairperson needs to attend to the following matters:

  • Ensure that the notice of the meeting is properly constituted.
  • Ensure that the notice has been duly issued by the proper authority and that a quorum of members is present. The meeting may be constituted by the chairman making an announcement to this effect and the meeting may proceed to business.
  • Lead and facilitate the meeting based on the agenda and according to principles of fairness and company policy.

From what has been said above, it will be evident that the position of the chairperson is one of crucial importance. To enable him/her to discharge his/her functions and duties satisfactorily it is essential that he/she have an intimate knowledge of all the activities of the organisation, as well as an understanding of the duties of the chairperson of a meeting. Only with such knowledge will he/she be able to perform his duties competently and efficiently.