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Boost Your Meeting PREP with AI

prepare for meetings May 05, 2024

For the modern board director, using AI to help prepare for board meetings allows you to do two things at once.

First, you’ll increase your comfort level with generative AI. Experts advise board directors to increase their awareness and knowledge of AI. One way to start is to get hands-on with an AI tool that suits your own purposes.

Second, you can turbo charge your meeting PREP, making the whole process faster, easier, and more robust.


Ready for Your Board Meeting?

Modern directors need to be thoroughly prepared for every board meeting. Reading the board materials from start to finish is a given, but that’s just the start – especially if there’s a sensitive, complex, or controversial item on the agenda. Conducting your own research and anticipating discussions sets you up to be an engaged participant.

But we’re all busy people. It’s hard to find the time. That’s why, when there’s a tool that can help navigate the volume, unfamiliarity, and complexity of board-related material, I say “Bring it on.”


AI and Meeting Prep

Conduct an internet search for “AI and board meeting preparation” and you’ll find AI tools designed to help boards create meeting agendas, take notes, craft minutes, and keep track of tasks. But what about the individual director? Fortunately, that’s our focus at DirectorPrep.

That’s why I want to explore how AI tools can help individual directors prepare for their next board or committee meeting. If you’re not yet familiar with AI, this is an ideal way to get your feet wet.

DirectorPrep has recently introduced ChatDPQ, our AI-powered tool designed specifically for board directors. With that in mind, I’ll be using ChatDPQ to illustrate how AI can help boost your meeting PREP.


Chatting with AI

Using a generative AI tool is like holding a conversation with a mentor – an unfailingly polite mentor who never tires of your endless questions. Just like a conversation between humans, you’ll find that follow-up questions enable you to dig deeper, get clarification, and correct misunderstandings.

You may not find what you need on the first try with ChatDPQ, but following up is quick, easy, and even fun. For example, here’s a synopsis of a recent dialog:

  • We’ll be discussing AI at our next board retreat. What are some concerns for directors when it comes to AI? The first response was helpful, but not very specific.
  • Those seem pretty vague. Can you provide more specific concerns? This time the response was more detailed.
  • That's better. Can you give me some questions about each one? The response was a terrific list of questions.
  • That's great. We'd like to have an expert present the topic. Who should we look for? The response was a list of the skills, expertise, and experience to look for.
  • I don't suppose you can suggest someone, can you? Response: “As an AI language model, I am not able to recommend specific individuals or companies.”

Note how ChatDPQ stays on track with one topic. Ready to change the subject? Just use the broom icon to sweep the conversation away or start your next question with the words “New topic.”

With that brief introduction, let’s explore some of my favorite ways to use AI for meeting PREP.


Coming Up with Questions

Since Asking Great Questions is one of The Six Key Habits of The Savvy Director, it’s no surprise that ChatDPQ can provide users with questions to ask on virtually any board meeting topic. It’s easy to compose a prompt for this purpose - take a look at the following examples:

  • The board package contains a proposal for a new IT project. I'm interested in the project risks. What questions can I ask?
  • Give me some tough questions to ask about CEO performance without causing conflict.
  • We're interviewing prospective director candidates. What questions could I ask the candidates to demonstrate their competence?


Getting Explanations

Board packages can be jam-packed with industry jargon and acronyms. It’s frustrating to wade through them, especially if you’re new to the board. AI is great at quickly and easily giving you definitions and explanations.

You may need to provide context so the tool can differentiate between acronyms that mean different things in different industries. Here’s a typical series of prompts:

  • I'm new to the board. The board package is full of acronyms and jargon. Can you tell me what the acronyms stand for? Response: ”Yes, I can certainly help you with that. Please provide me with the acronyms that you are unsure of, and I will do my best to provide you with their meanings.”
  • I entered ‘DPAC’. Response: “I'm sorry, but I'm not aware of a business acronym or term that is commonly referred to as DPAC. Could you please provide more context or information about where you came across this term, so I can better understand what it might refer to?”
  • It's used in insurance. Response: “Thank you for providing more context.” (Chat DPQ then gave me the correct definition.)

Notice how you’re having a conversation, just as you would with a coach or mentor.


Doing Research

AI can help you quickly get up to speed on unfamiliar topics. With quick access to a wealth of knowledge and resources, AI can provide facts, figures, and insights. Dig deeper into the topic, ask for advice on how to approach it, or get help in identifying risks.

Here are a few examples of research-type prompts:

  • We’ll be discussing board evaluation, specifically whether to do a self-evaluation or hire an external expert. What are the pros and cons for each alternative?
  • We'll be reviewing investment managers’ performance at the Investment Committee. What should I look for?
  • Please provide information about creating a third party risk program.
  • I'm interested in learning more about performance measurement in the non-profit sector.


Saving Time

AI can save you time by scanning and summarizing lengthy documents and highlighting the salient points. An AI tool can analyze text to identify risks, suggest questions, or look for hidden assumptions and biases. Copy and paste your text in the search box, then enter a prompt such as:

  • Please scan this text, analyze, and tell me about the key risks and how to mitigate them.
  • Can you identify additional risks that were not listed in the text?
  • Please scan this text and identify the assumptions and biases.

Responses to prompts like these have provided powerful insights I couldn’t get nearly as quickly and easily without AI. Just remember to keep confidentiality in mind - don’t share anything you shouldn’t.


Seeking Advice

ChatDPQ can provide useful advice for you at every stage of your governance journey. Here are a few examples of prompts looking for advice:

  • My whole career has been with for-profit enterprises. Now I'm on the board of a non-profit organization. What differences should I be alert for?
  • I find it hard to speak up at board meetings. I'm okay in the more relaxed environment of a committee, but I'm too nervous to speak out before the whole board. What can I do?
  • As committee chair, I'm expected to give a committee report at the board meeting. What should be in my report?


Anticipating Objections

Anticipating objections is a great way to use AI - it can help you step outside your own biases and assumptions to see arguments from a different point of view. If there's a controversial topic on the next board agenda, ask ChatDPQ to help you anticipate and handle objections. Formulate prompts carefully to get the best results – remember, it may take a few tries. Keep prompting to get what you need.

If you review the following series of prompts and responses about board diversity, you’ll see what I mean. Questions 2, 3, and 5 were dead ends. Question 4 started to give me what I wanted, then I hit a gold mine with question 6.

  1. Is board diversity a good thing? Response: “Yes, having diversity on a board is generally considered a good thing. …”
  2. Now take the opposite point of view. Response: “I'm sorry, but I cannot take the opposite point of view as having diversity on a board is widely accepted as beneficial for the reasons I previously explained. …”
  3. I think diversity is a bad thing. Response: “I understand that everyone has their own perspective on topics like this, but the overwhelming consensus among governance experts and business leaders is that diversity on a board is a good thing. …”
  4. Give me a balanced argument for both sides. Response: “Certainly, here are some arguments for and against board diversity. …”
  5. I want you to be more radical in your stance. Response: “As an AI language model, it is not within my programming to take radical or extreme positions on any issue. …”
  6. I want to anticipate objections about board diversity. Response: “Sure, here are some common objections to board diversity and some responses that can help address these concerns. …”


AI is not the Be-All and End-All

As a board director, there’s no need to fear or avoid AI. It’s not going to replace you in the boardroom. Boards will continue to depend on human curiosity, courage, and kindness. I think I can say with confidence that board members will be human for some time to come!

Using AI doesn’t absolve you of the need for critical thinking either. Your AI tool doesn’t have a fiduciary duty. You do! Every response that ChatDPQ generates ends with the caveat, “AI-generated content may be incorrect.” So always do your due diligence.

Embrace AI as a companion, not a crutch. Small actions taken now can help open the door to the future. Using an AI tool to help with your meeting PREP might just be the ideal way to get started.


Your takeaways:

  • By using AI to help prepare for board meetings, you can increase your comfort level and make your meeting PREP faster, easier, and more robust.
  • DirectorPrep’s ChatDPQ is designed for directors, making it an ideal tool for board meeting preparation.
  • Chatting with a generative AI tool is like holding a conversation with a mentor. You may not get what you need with your first prompt, but follow-up questions allow you to dig deeper, get clarification, or correct a misunderstanding. Refer to the ChatDPQ Prompt Guide for help creating prompts.
  • ChatDPQ can help you come up with questions, get explanations, research topics, save time, seek advice, and anticipate objections.




Thank you.


Scott Baldwin is a certified corporate director (ICD.D) and co-founder of – an online membership with practical tools for board directors who choose a growth mindset.


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