Preparing for a board meeting

My biggest tip for a successful board meeting is preparation. I usually start the process for a board meeting 1 week in advance and write down the one or two questions that if we do nothing else that I want input on from my board members. Board meetings are for investors -- but in an early stage company they're more a way for management to attempt to step out of the day to day details and see the forest for the trees. I usually put the questions I want input on down on the first slide and then build my presentation around those questions. I like to include financial information, a quick cash flow break even (or out of cash forecast) analysis, and a list of items from the last board meeting. Moreover, I always try and sometimes succeed in getting the presentation out to board members two days in advance of the meeting. Try it -- it works for me.