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Motion or Commotion

How To Run A Meeeting

If you would like to know more about how Parliamentarian Procedure from Little Ben, click here for my DVD called How To Run A Meeting.

Little Ben says “Make a motion.”

Have you ever attended a meeting where everyone is speaking or trying to propose business at the same time?  It’s Little Ben’s two rowdy opponents--bedlam and confusion.  Or have you attended a board meeting and everyone is discussing topic, then someone says, “I think we are ready to take a vote on this.”  The chairman takes the vote and the secretary writes it down in the minutes. It’s Mr. Confusion at work. At the next meeting when the members hear the motion read in the minutes, they say we didn’t vote on that!  If you are having these types of problems at meetings, then there is one solution.  Little Ben says, “Make a main motion.”

A main motion states in a concrete way what is be discussed and vote on.  A main motion usually states what the member wants done, when, how and any costs involved.  Let’s say the board is discussing buying a lap top computer for the secretary.  Many people want a certain brand name, others want something refurbished instead of new, others are very concerned about the cost.  The person making the motion gets to decide what to put in the motion.  He states, “I move that we buy a new lap top computer by the end of the month and not to exceed the cost of $1000.  The secretary shall purchase it.”  Now the members of the board have something concrete to discuss.  They can amend certain sections by inserting, striking, or striking and inserting.  The board now has control over the motion and through discussion and amendment can come up with a decision that will satisfy the majority if not all of the board members.  Many believe this takes longer but it does not.  Making the main motion shortens the time.  Try it and you will shorten the times of your meetings and all will know what the members voted on.  No more Confusion!  Good riddance Bedlam! Great meeting Little Ben.