Handling motions

Making motions is how most business is done at Board meetings. From opening and closing the meetings to approving a budget – someone makes a motion, it’s seconded, then voted upon. You might not know how to handle every situation, but there are some frequently used motions you should be familiar with. Practice a script for each of these, and you will be much more relaxed as you preside over the meeting. Study, memorize and practice a short script for:

  • Calling the meeting to order
  • Approval of the minutes
  • Approval of the agenda
  • Each aspect of a main motion
    • Amendments
    • Debate
    • Restating the motion prior to debate/ “calling the question”
  • Voting
  • Announcing the results of the vote.

Make sure everyone knows what is being voted on:

  • Motions must be clearly worded
  • Repeat the motion often to keep the discussion on track
  • Explain and clarify amendments to avoid confusion.

If you have not already done so, review Knowing what to expect at meetings. There are also excellent resources here. As chair, it is your responsibility to know more about your procedures and rule book than anyone on your Board, so use these resources to grow your understanding of this important area.

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