Wednesday 16 October 2019

Chairing and effective meetings

EMC working in partnership with Newark and Sherwood District Council to offer 2 Chairing skills workshops on 18 June 2019.

The workshop is suitable for new and continuing chairs and is interactive, drawing on people’s experience and insights from the tutor to lead into group work. It covers formal roles such as chairing full council or a planning committee, as well as less formal approaches to chairing for scrutiny activity.

Briefing slides are used to introduce discussion and activities and the tutor suggests useful phrases for chairs. Checklists and action plans for chairs are produced in group work, drawing on reflections on experience and tips from the facilitator. Briefing and activity cover preparation for meetings, management of a meeting and follow up for effective outcomes, as well as problem solving around challenges chairs might face. The focus is guided by participants.

The tutor, Ann Reeder, is an experienced local government and public sector trainer, who has worked in the sector in various roles for nearly thirty years. She was an elected member of a London Borough and in its leadership and is now a parish councillor in Somerset. She has experience in all types of council and political control. Her sessions have positive evaluation and repeat commissions. She involves learners throughout the workshop and is outcome focused.

The programme will include the following activities with approximate timings; there is flexibility.

Introductions and outline of the workshop

Reflections on your experience – group work 

Share your experience and tips as chairs or as participants in meetings.

  • Activity: List the strengths and weaknesses you have observed; this will help to shape the focus of the workshop.

Effective meetings - Facilitator’s reflections on governance, debate, different types of meeting and chairing styles.

Introduction to useful phrases for chairs with discussion of when they might be useful.

  • Activity: Draft a checklist of skills and tasks for effective chairing of outcome focused meetings, including a flow chart to help a chair manage a debate. 

Preparation – group work

Activity: Compare how you prepare for meetings and develop a list of essential tasks together.

Meeting management – group work

  • Activity: Discuss the role of the chair, especially possible challenges to address, then prepare Top Tips for chairs to improve the management of meetings and to help them to succeed.

Follow up to meetings – group work

  • Activity: Compile a list of tasks and who should take responsibility for actions – the chair, officers, others?

Challenges you might face – group work

  • Activity: Look at the handouts and select examples that have not yet been covered, which appear difficult for chairs. Suggest ways to tackle those challenges in your council.

Key learning points and follow up actions


We are offering two sessions on 18 June, these are;

Afternoon session - 2 pm to 5 pm

Evening session - 6 pm to 9 pm


Local Authority Members £95
Associate Members - £115
Non-members £150

(all prices subject to VAT)


To book a place, please complete the on-line booking form.  Any bookings cancelled after the closing date will be charged at the full rate.  Closing date for bookings is 26 January 2020.  Please see Terms and Conditions.


EMC are working in partnership with Newark adn Sherwood District Council to provide this session, with the venue in Newark. 

Newark and Sherwood District Council, Castle House, Great North Road, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 1BY

Handy link to information on car parking in Newark for delegates on 18 June

Upcoming Dates for this event