To make meetings user friendly the Chair and other committee members can:
- Make eye contact with the representatives.
- Ask one question at a time.
- Use straightforward language, words that everyone understands, and minimise the use of jargon and acronyms.
- When it is necessary to use jargon, provide definitions, or use a glossary or ‘word bank’ on the whiteboard.
- Encourage everyone to speak up and ask for an explanation if they don’t understand.
- Take short, frequent breaks throughout the meeting.
- Make sure the agenda is in Easy English and is clear, concise and easy to follow.
- At the start of each new agenda item, the chair should explain the topic to be discussed.
- Once an agenda item discussion is completed summarise the discussion and any decisions made.
- Ask each committee member personally if they have anything more they would like to say about each item. This enables people who may not have the confidence to speak up in the general discussion and have their say on each topic.
- If there is going to be a vote make sure everyone understands what the vote is about.
- Read out aloud any written material presented in the meeting that was not sent out beforehand.
- Avoid jumping from item to item or drifting off the topic as this can be confusing for everyone.
- Slow down, make sure the meeting is not going too fast.
- Ensure only one person speaks at a time and people do not talk over each other.
Meeting Tips from consumer advocates:
Chapter 5. Inclusive Meetings
Menu: Consumer Participation Kit