In today’s digital era, virtual meetings have become the norm for a lot of condo communities, even beyond the pandemic. If you’re new to the virtual meeting scene, don’t worry! With some effective strategies and preparation, you can confidently take on the role of a chairperson in virtual homeowner meetings.
Let’s explore some practical tips to ensure a seamless experience in leading virtual meetings in condominiums, HOAs or Stratas.
Set the Stage with a Clear Notice Package:
A well-structured notice package is the foundation for a successful virtual meeting. Make sure it provides clear instructions on how to vote and attend the meeting. This is a crucial first step to prepare everyone for the virtual gathering.
If you’re planning to engage a service provider to organize your virtual meeting, they will most likely have guides in place on how to register and attend the virtual meeting.
Ensure that you mention your provider’s name in the notice, so owners know what to expect and can follow the instructions provided.
For example, your notice of meeting package may include something like: “The meeting will take place virtually (through Service Provider). Please check your emails for your invitation and link to join the meeting.”
When you hold a virtual meeting with CondoVoter, our team reviews your notice of the meeting package, saving you time and hassle.
Plan a Practice Session:
If you’re working with a service provider, schedule a practice session before the meeting.
Use this time to familiarize yourself with the meeting procedures and determine how owners can participate.
To maintain a smooth flow, consider using the “raise hand” function for owners to indicate their desire to speak, ensuring the minute-taker accurately records the proceedings.
For example, CondoVoter provides a moderator for every virtual meeting. Your Mod will run a practice session before the meeting and assist the chairperson by providing instructions to the owners at the beginning of the meeting as to how to participate in the meeting.
Leverage Virtual Tools:
Call on participants by name or use the virtual platform’s hand-raising feature to manage the flow of conversation.
Use screen-sharing capabilities to present relevant documents, reports, or visuals to enhance participants’ understanding of the topics under discussion.
It is recommended to keep participant microphones muted when they are not speaking. When participants raise their hand, it indicates their desire to contribute, and you can unmute them accordingly.
However, if any participants display aggression or disruptive behaviour, leverage the mute feature to maintain a respectful and focused meeting environment.
Establish and Follow Procedures:
When participants raise their hand to speak, give them an opportunity to state their name and unit number before making their motion or comment.
The moderator will keep an eye on the order of hands raised and unmute participants as directed.
Decide how quorum will be determined. Advanced voting, proxies, virtual attendance or a combination all may count toward quorum. Discuss this with your service provider during the practice session.
When you use electronic voting, depending on your by-law and territory, you can launch your online vote in advance. Advance voting counts for quorum so this way you can get quorum even before the meeting time.
For example, CondoVoter’s electronic voting platform support proxy, advance and real-time voting. Our team provides accurate vote tallies for a chairperson.
Navigate Nominations and Voting:
If there are nominations from the virtual floor, remember to ask candidates the necessary disclosure questions. Unmute candidates to allow them to respond. Set time limits for candidate speeches, if applicable, to ensure everyone stays within the allocated time.
If you have an owner-occupant election and a general election, it is important to know how online voting will work.
Depending on the provider you chose, the voting process may slightly differ. So make sure you’re on board with the process and ready to explain it to owners during the voting period.
Refine Your Script:
Prepare a script to guide the virtual meeting proceedings. Customize it based on the insights gained during the practice session. Some service providers may offer chairperson’s guides and scripts, so be sure to inquire about them well in advance.
What if you need help chairing your first virtual meeting?
As a chairperson in virtual condo meetings, you can excel by following these practical tips.
Virtual meetings hold great opportunities for community engagement but may present their unique challenges. If you need help with chairing your next meeting, CondoVoter provides chairing services specifically for virtual meetings. Our chairing team are great virtual facilitators with experience running thousands of meetings.
With our virtual chair, you’ll ensure a smooth and successful virtual meeting experience for all participants.