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Little Ben

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How To Run A Meeting


No Monopolizing Allowed!

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 the motion to limit debate.”

Have you ever left a meeting wanting to pull your hair out (I don’t recommend this for handling frustration) because someone monopolized the entire meeting!?  There is always a solution to every meeting conundrum. The key to this problem is the lesson we all learned as children—everyone must take turns.  The basic rules of debate or discussion are:  That each person gets to speak 10 minutes to each motion and a second time after each person has spoken a first time.  Even that can take a long time.

In discussing as issue, the first thing the presiding officer should do is alternate debate.  Ask for those who are in favor and then someone who is opposed.  When it looks like people are just repeating themselves.  The chair could ask:  “Is there anything new to say about this issue ?”  Or  “Are you ready to take the vote?”  When asking the latter question, usually those in the assembly will shake their heads yes.  The chair should then take the vote.

The other thing that the members can do is make the motion to “limit debate.”  Like the motion to “close debate” this motion is not debatable as a subsidiary motion and takes a two thirds vote to adopt.  This motion can either a set a limit to the total number of minutes to discuss the topic or to the number minutes each member can speak.  The time is amendable but not debatable.

You don’t have to be frustrated the way your meetings go and you don’t have to endure the monopolizer.  You have dominion!  Know your basic meeting rules, make the right motion and become the hero of the day.