How to Address a Board of Directors

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Addressing a board of directors requires proper and formal wording.
Addressing a board of directors requires proper and formal wording. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

A board of directors (BOD) is a group of people that run a corporation or other form of organization. When addressing a BOD in person or through a letter, formal wording should be used. Addressing a BOD is often a scary experience for some people. A board of directors is addressed for asking questions or offering statements or opinions.

Address the board of directors in person. If you are attending a meeting and must address the board with a question or statement, the words spoken should be addressed to one individual person. If addressing the entire board, the Purdue University Online Writing Lab recommends you say “Ladies and Gentleman of the Board.”

Call the member by his title and name. To address a board member in person, state the person’s title first such as “Mr.” “Mrs.” or “Dr.” and then state the person’s name and position on the board. An example is “Mr. Smith, Chairman of the Board.” After the person or group acknowledges you, you are free to continue speaking.

Write a letter. Many times, a board of directors is addressed through a letter. When writing a letter to a BOD, follow standard business basics for letter writing.

Insert your own address at the top of the letter. The sender should include his own address and the letter should be dated. You do not need to include your name at the top of the letter. If using letterhead, this step may already be done.

Begin the letter with a salutation. The letter should state “Dear Mr. Smith.” Use the appropriate title for the person and the person’s surname only.

Write the body of the letter. When writing the actual letter, include only factual information that is clear and easy to understand. Close the letter with “Thank you” and sign and print your full name.

Address the envelope. The envelope should be addressed again by using the person’s title. After the title, include the person’s full name such as “Mr. James Smith.” Under the recipient’s name, write “Chairman of the Board.” Below that should be the organization’s name and address.

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