I hope this will help
you in some way as you seek to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ. This is merely a condensing from Robert's Rules inwhich I hope will help you as it has me.
Introduction to Robert's
Rules of Order
- What Is Parliamentary
- It is a set of rules for conduct at meetings, that allows
everyone to be heard and to make decisions without
- Why is Parliamentary
- Because it's a time tested method of conducting business
at meetings and public gatherings. It can be adapted to
fit the needs of any organization. Today, Robert's Rules
of Order newly revised is the basic handbook of operation
for most clubs, organizations and other groups. So it's
important that everyone know these basic rules!
- Organizations using
parliamentary procedure usually follow a fixed order of
business. Below is a typical example:
- Call to order.
- Roll call of members present.
- Reading of minutes of last meeting.
- Officers reports.
- Committee reports.
- Special orders --- Important business previously
designated for consideration at this meeting.
- Unfinished business.
- New business.
- The method used by members
to express themselves is in the form of moving motions. A
motion is a proposal that the entire membership take
action or a stand on an issue. Individual members can:
- Call to order.
- Second motions.
- Debate motions.
- Vote on motions.
- There are four Basic Types
- Main Motions: The purpose of a main motion is to
introduce items to the membership for their
consideration. They cannot be made when any other
motion is on the floor, and yield to privileged,
subsidiary, and incidental motions.
- Subsidiary Motions: Their purpose is to change or
affect how a main motion is handled, and is voted
on before a main motion.
- Privileged Motions: Their purpose is to bring up
items that are urgent about special or important
matters unrelated to pending business.
- Incidental Motions: Their purpose is to provide a
means of questioning procedure concerning other
motions and must be considered before the other
- How are Motions Presented?
- Obtaining the floor
- Wait until the last speaker has finished.
- Rise and address the Chairman by saying,
"Mr. Chairman, or Mr. President."
- Wait until the Chairman recognizes you.
- Make Your Motion
- Speak in a clear and concise manner.
- Always state a motion affirmatively. Say,
"I move that we ..." rather
than, "I move that we do not
- Avoid personalities and stay on your
- Wait for Someone to
Second Your Motion
- Another member will
second your motion or the Chairman will call for
- If there is no
second to your motion it is lost.
- The Chairman States
- The Chairman will say, "it has been
moved and seconded that we ..." Thus
placing your motion before the membership
for consideration and action.
- The membership then either debates your
motion, or may move directly to a vote.
- Once your motion is presented to the
membership by the chairman it becomes
"assembly property", and cannot
be changed by you without the consent of
- Expanding on Your
- The time for you to speak in favor of
your motion is at this point in time,
rather than at the time you present it.
- The mover is always allowed to speak
- All comments and debate must be directed
to the chairman.
- Keep to the time limit for speaking that
has been established.
- The mover may speak again only after
other speakers are finished, unless
called upon by the Chairman.
- Putting the
Question to the Membership
- The Chairman asks, "Are you ready to
vote on the question?"
- If there is no more discussion, a vote is
- On a motion to move the previous question
may be adapted.
- Voting on a Motion:
- The method of vote on any motion depends on the situation
and the by-laws of policy of your organization. There are
five methods used to vote by most organizations, they are:
- By Voice -- The Chairman asks
those in favor to say, "aye", those
opposed to say "no". Any member may
move for a exact count.
- By Roll Call -- Each member
answers "yes" or "no" as his
name is called. This method is used when a record
of each person's vote is required.
- By General Consent -- When a
motion is not likely to be opposed, the Chairman
says, "if there is no objection ..."
The membership shows agreement by their silence,
however if one member says, "I object,"
the item must be put to a vote.
- By Division -- This is a slight
verification of a voice vote. It does not require
a count unless the chairman so desires. Members
raise their hands or stand.
- By Ballot -- Members write their
vote on a slip of paper, this method is used when
secrecy is desired.
- There are two other motions
that are commonly used that relate to voting.
- Motion to Table -- This
motion is often used in the attempt to "kill"
a motion. The option is always present, however,
to "take from the table", for
reconsideration by the membership.
- Motion to Postpone Indefinitely
-- This is often used as a means of parliamentary
strategy and allows opponents of motion to test
their strength without an actual vote being taken.
Also, debate is once again open on the main
- Parliamentary Procedure is
the best way to get things done at your meetings. But, it
will only work if you use it properly.
- Allow motions that are in order.
- Have members obtain the floor properly.
- Speak clearly and concisely.
- Obey the rules of debate.
- Most importantly, BE COURTEOUS.
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2002 Bob Wood
and Bob Wood