Some Objectives for a Conference Leader.


1 Organisations often arrange a conference/meeting to achieve specific objectives. Sometimes they arrange for an “outside” person to conduct/lead (facilitate) the conference.

2 This person may come from inside or outside the Organisation. The term “outside” means that the person does not rate as a Member of any of the Sections who attend the meeting. Thus this person will not have a stake or interest in the results of the conference.

3 Such a Leader can have the following main objectives –

     (a)   (Help) Plan procedures which will help Conference Members reach the conference objectives,

     (b)  Check that Conference Members accept some or all of the suggested procedures or decide to use other procedures, and

     (c)   Help the Group use the procedures and achieve its objectives.

Specific Objectives a Conference Leader may decide to use

4 A Conference Leader could decide to use one or more of the following objectives.

5 A wise Leader will seek agreement from the Conference Members that they approve of the specific objectives the Leader aims to achieve i.e. the techniques the Leader aims to use in leading the Conference.

6 Allow only one person to speak at a time.

7 Keep group on the official (sub) topic until they agree that they will move to different topic.

8 Encourage Members to speak up if dissatisfied with the procedure – or anything else.

9 Encourage the whole group to make decisions – unless the Group’s Manager wants to decide otherwise.

10 Seek to obtain unanimous decisions.

11 Take straw votes[1] to identify the minority.

12 Encourage the minority to put their viewpoint before the majority.

13 Remind Members that a straw vote does not equal a final vote.

14 Overall help the Group make Decisions – unfortunately, not necessarily wise Decisions.


[1] A Straw Vote aims to show – quickly – all Members each Member’s current view on a topic/issue so that the Group can decide how to conduct the discussion on the topic/issue efficiently in the next minutes.

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