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How To Run A Roberts Rules Of Order Meeting

To run a Robert’s Rules of Order meeting, it is crucial to follow a preset agenda, encourage structured debate and decision making, give everyone a chance to speak, and ensure proper voting procedures are followed for efficient and fair governance.

A Roberts Rules of Order meeting is a method of conducting formal meetings that follows a specific set of rules and procedures laid out in the book “Robert’s Rules of Order.” These rules are designed to ensure fairness, efficiency, and productivity in meetings by providing guidelines for agenda setting, debate, voting, and decision-making. A Roberts Rules of Order meeting allows participants to have their voices heard, facilitates orderly and structured discussions, and promotes democratic decision-making.

What is the purpose of a Roberts Rules Of Order Meeting?

The purpose of running a Roberts Rules of Order meeting as a leader is to ensure fair and orderly decision-making. By following this established set of rules, the leader can facilitate productive discussions, maintain decorum, and give each participant an equal opportunity to express their views and participate in the decision-making process.

How To Run A Roberts Rules Of Order Meeting: Step-By-Step


Step 1: Call to Order

The meeting’s designated leader or chairperson initiates the proceedings by standing up or using a gavel, officially commencing the session and capturing everyone’s attention.

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Step 2: Roll Call

The Secretary of the meeting plays a vital role in recording attendance, usually by calling out names or requesting participants to indicate their presence, ensuring accurate documentation of who attended the session.

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Step 3: Reading and Approval of Minutes

During the meeting, the Secretary reads the preceding meeting’s minutes. Attendees then review and either endorse or propose amendments to the minutes. Once endorsed, they are incorporated into the group’s official documentation.


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Step 4: Reports of Officers, Boards, and Committees

During group or committee meetings, leaders are responsible for presenting reports on their specific areas of responsibility. These reports serve to update, share findings, and propose recommendations to ensure effective decision-making and progress within the team.

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Step 5: Standard Orders of the Day

During group meetings, participants engage in discussions pertaining to pre-planned topics or activities. These can encompass routine business tasks or specific matters that require discussion and decision-making.

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Step 6: Special Orders

The group effectively tackles any pressing matters that demand immediate attention and might surpass the regular agenda items, ensuring that urgent issues are promptly addressed and resolved.

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Step 7: Unfinished Business

During the group’s next meeting, they resume unfinished discussions pertaining to business matters that were left unresolved in previous sessions.

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Step 8: New Business

Attendees of the meeting contribute by introducing fresh topics or issues, ones that have not been previously addressed in earlier sessions, providing an opportunity for diverse perspectives and fostering the exploration of new ideas within the group.

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Step 9: Announcements

During meetings, the chairperson or attendees play a crucial role in disseminating essential information regarding upcoming events, imminent deadlines, or any other relevant details to ensure effective communication and planning among the participants.

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Step 10: Program

If the group meeting has a special presentation, guest speaker, or activity planned, it takes place at this point in the order. This segment allows for valuable insights, knowledge-sharing, and engagement, enhancing the overall experience and adding value to the meeting agenda.

Questions to ask as the leader of the meeting

1. “Is there a motion on the floor?” – This question is important to determine if any members of the meeting have a proposal or action they would like to bring forward for discussion and consideration.

2. “Does the motion have a second?” – This question ensures that there is sufficient support for the proposed motion by at least one additional member, indicating that the idea is not solely the opinion of the original speaker.

3. “Are there any amendments to the motion?” – This question allows for modifications or changes to be proposed to the original motion, allowing for flexibility and collaborative decision-making.

4. “Is there any debate on the motion?” – This question opens up the floor for discussion, enabling members to express their opinions, share their perspectives, and provide arguments for or against the proposed motion.

5. “Are there any questions or points of clarification on the motion?” – This question gives members an opportunity to seek clarifications or gather additional information about the motion before voting, ensuring that everyone fully understands the proposal.

6. “Is there any further discussion?” – This question allows for any remaining thoughts, concerns, or viewpoints to be expressed before moving towards voting on the motion.

7. “Is the assembly ready to vote on the motion?” – This question ensures that all discussion and debate have been exhausted, signaling that the meeting is ready to proceed to a vote.

8. “All those in favor of the motion, please say ‘aye’.” – This question calls for members to express their support for the proposed motion by stating ‘aye,’ indicating their agreement.

9. “All those opposed to the motion, please say ‘no’.” – This question calls for members to express their disagreement or lack of support for the proposed motion by stating ‘no.’

10. “Abstentions?” – This question allows members to indicate that they choose to neither support nor oppose the motion, typically due to a conflict of interest or uncertainty.

11. “The motion is carried/passed/failed with X votes in favor and X votes against.” – This statement announces the outcome of the vote, ensuring transparency and providing a clear conclusion to the discussion.

12. “Are there any new matters to be discussed?” – This question allows for any new topics or issues to be raised, indicating that the meeting can move on to the next agenda item or adjourn if there are no further matters to be addressed.

As a leader preparing a Roberts Rules of Order meeting agenda, start by outlining the main topics and any specific motions or discussions that need to occur. Ensure that each item has a clear purpose and a designated time limit. Prioritize important matters at the beginning while allowing time for member input. Distribute the agenda in advance to give participants time to prepare.

How To Prepare For A Roberts Rules Of Order Meeting
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During a Roberts Rules of Order meeting, a variety of topics should be discussed. This may include approving the minutes of previous meetings, considering reports from officers or committees, discussing old and new business, and making decisions through formal voting procedures. The meeting should also provide an opportunity for members to raise concerns, suggest changes, and address any other relevant matters.

See Our Roberts Rules Of Order Meeting Template
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Software tools to facilitate a Roberts Rules Of Order Meeting

Software for running Roberts Rules of Order Meetings helps leaders by automating the process of creating agendas, tracking time limits, managing speakers, and recording minutes. It ensures efficient and effective meetings by guiding participants through each step, promoting fairness, and maintaining order. This software streamlines the meeting process, saving time and ensuring that discussions are structured and decisions are made democratically.

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Running a meeting according to Robert’s Rules of Order may seem daunting at first, but with a little practice and understanding, anyone can become proficient in leading effective and efficient meetings. By following the prescribed rules and procedures, you can ensure that your meetings remain fair, organized, and productive.

Remember to begin each meeting with a clear agenda, allowing participants to come prepared and ensuring important topics are covered. Encourage active participation from all members and maintain a respectful and inclusive environment. When necessary, utilize the proper motions and procedures to move discussions forward or make decisions.

By adhering to the structure provided by Robert’s Rules of Order, you can help prevent confusion, minimize conflicts, and improve overall meeting outcomes. Regularly reviewing the rules and familiarizing yourself with their nuances will only further strengthen your ability to facilitate successful meetings.

Ultimately, mastering the art of running a Robert’s Rules of Order meeting will contribute to more productive meetings, empower participants to voice their opinions, and allow for fair and democratic decision-making. Embrace these guidelines, and you will undoubtedly witness the positive impact they can have on your organization or group.

Popular Questions

What is Robert's Rules of Order?

Robert’s Rules of Order is a widely used standard for facilitating discussions and making decisions in group meetings. It helps in preventing meetings from descending into chaos by providing structured rules for the conduct of business.

Why are Robert's Rules of Order important?

Robert’s Rules of Order ensure fair, orderly and efficient meetings. They allow everyone to be heard and make decisions without confusion. They’re quite important for democratic decision making, upholding the rights of the majority, the minority, individual members, absentees, and all of these together.

What is a quorum as defined in Robert's Rules of Order?

A quorum under Robert’s Rules of Order is the minimum number of voting members who must be present at a properly called meeting for business to legally take place. It’s usually a majority of all members but can be defined by your organization’s bylaws.

What are the basic principles of Robert's Rules of Order?

The basic principles of Robert’s Rules of Order include all members have equal rights, privileges and obligations, the majority has the right to decide, the minority has rights which must be protected, courteous and respectful behavior is required at all times, and one question at a time and one speaker at a time.

How does voting work under Robert's Rules of Order?

Under Robert’s Rules of Order, there are several methods of voting including voice vote, show of hands, standing, roll call, ballot, and general consent. In regular meetings, a simple majority usually decides an issue. The presiding officer can decide which method is used unless a motion is made from the floor to use a different method.