I recently attended an informative webinar by Kay Allison Crews, CPP, PRP, President of the American Institute of Parliamentarians on how to conduct a great business meeting. Here are some tips that apply directly to an association board meeting.
If you’ve ever attended a bad meeting, you will always remember it. Maybe there was no agenda. Or maybe the meeting was called with no true purpose/mission. Even worse, the meeting started late, so it ended late as well. These are just some of the ways that meetings are ineffective and the truth of the matter is that those you invite to a meeting have a right to an effective meeting. So, how can you make that happen?
- Set a meeting agenda and adhere to it! Be sure to address motions. Allow for “new business” at the end of the meeting.
- Follow parliamentary procedures which help to expedite business, maintain order, and ensure justice and provide equal treatment of all members and help organizations accomplish their purpose. It’s very important that each meeting attendee has the opportunity to express his/her opinion before a vote is taken on a matter.
- Know your association’s bylaws so that you are aware in advance of what constitutes a majority vote.
- Be sure that someone is taking the minutes of the meeting so that motions and actions are recorded. Distribute the minutes after the meeting so that the meeting attendees are accountable for the action items they’ve been assigned.
During this webinar, attendees were also instructed on the purpose of motions and how to make them. Motions are proposals that the meeting attendees must discuss and vote upon. There are a few steps to motions and they are:
- A member signals the chairperson and makes a motion
- Another member of the meeting seconds the motion
- The chairperson asks the meeting members if there is any discussion. Should a debate arise during the discussion portion of the motion, the chairperson should control the conversation and call for tabling a motion if consensus is not reached
- Once all discussion is had, the chairperson restates the motion and calls for a vote
- The majority vote wins and the outcome is recorded in the minutes
In conclusion, remember the importance of organizing the meeting in advance to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly, on time, and on course. This will also ensure that your meeting attendees are prepared to actively participate and that your meeting is most efficient.