Seeing as we deleted the “Overview” slide, let’s state briefly here what we are going to be talking about.
I added “break a tie – in most cases” at the bottom of this slide. Does this make sense? I know that most bylaws state that the chair can break a tie, but I have seen occasions where the bylaws do not allow it.
I added “Know your bylaws!” at the bottom of this slide. I think it is very important. Do you think this is a good place to touch on this?
I will talk briefly about my experience here as the Chair of the Northeast and ICC student senate.
1. Running an Effective
By Jason Fossum
2. Basic principles to remember
Robert’s Rules of Order were created to help groups run
The rules were designed to:
Protect the right of the minority to express its opinion.
Allow the majority to ultimately rule.
Allow groups to process business as needed in a fair and
Be applied only as strictly as needed.
3. Meetings are effective when….
Debate and discussions occurs in an orderly and
Business is dealt with in a fair and open process.
The minority opinion on issues have had their say.
Your agenda is dealt with efficiently.
4. Keys to being an effective chair
You as the chair play an important role in the
effectiveness of your meetings.
As the chair, you have a few key responsibilities
and rights which will help you be effective. They
To provide an unbiased application of the rules
To ensure controlled debate
Provide adherence to the agenda
To know how to deal with motions
To apply the rules only as strictly as needed
5. Unbiased application of the rules
What does it mean to be unbiased?
Not entering into debate
Not unduly influencing discussion
Protecting every opinion, even if you disagree.
Not allowing personalities to interfere in business.
What can you do as chair?
Provide information helpful to the discussion (but
don’t enter into debate while doing it).
Answer questions that are raised.
Break a tie – in most cases.
6. Ensuring controlled debate
As the chair, it’s up to you to be sure that debate on
issues remains focused and under control.
In general, that means:
Stopping the “run away trains.”
Enforcing speaker limitations when necessary.
Focus on hearing both sides.
Understanding how rules apply in situations of importance.
7. Ensuring controlled debate
Robert’s Rules of Order limits the right of any member
to speak on a given issue twice in one day.
Robert’s Rules has motions that can be made that limit
debate. For example:
Robert’s Rules requires that all speakers stay focused on
the business at hand and chairs can rule debate out of
8. Knowing the rules
It’s important that you have a general understanding of
It is NOT necessary that you know everything.
Don’t be afraid to buy a book and have it with you!
Understanding how to deal with motions will make or
break your meeting.
Know your bylaws!
9. Dealing with motions
Main motions: should address your item of business and
seek to deal with it in some way.
Amendments: will seek to change the main motion in
Understanding the most efficient way to deal with these
will make your meetings run amazing!
10. Dealing with motions
Using the logical precedence of motions will help you
work through your business.
You must deal with all amendments before dealing with
the main motion.
11. Dealing with motions
There are four categories of motions in Robert’s Rules:
Subsidiary motion: are used to change how a main
motion is handled or debated (amendment is most
common of this category).
Incidental motion: purpose is to allow for questioning
of procedure (point of order is most common).
Privileged motion: are used to bring other business,
usually unrelated to the main motion before the body
(lay on the table is a common motion in this
12. Commonly used motions
Lay on the Table: allows for temporary set aside of your
Postponement: allows for longer term set aside of
debate on the main motion.
Previous Question: allows for the immediate end to
debate on the main motion and forces a vote.
Division: allows for clarification on the result of a voice
Reconsider: allows for further debate on an issue that
has already been acted upon.
13. Application of the rules
Robert’s Rules requires that the rules only be applied as
strictly as necessary to complete your business.
What does this mean?
14. Application of rules
If you don’t need to enforce a rule, don’t.
Only limit people to speaking twice if they’re excessive
and obviously trying to slow down the business.
Don’t use unnecessary motions.
Allow people some latitude until they take advantage of
A friendly reminder is always a good first step.