When you are in meetings, there are certain things that you can do to “help” business along. If you following any (many!) of these steps you too can expidite business during a meeting:
- The maker of the motion is entitled to the floor first. When the Chair asks “Is there any discussion?” be prompt to rise, address the chair, and when you are recognized, preface your remarks with “I rise to speak in favor of the motion” give your reasons, and conclude with “I urge a YES vote”. REMEMBER: You MAY vote against your motion but you MAY NOT speak against it.
- When the Chair feels almost everyone is in favor of a motion, he may say “if there is no objection, we will….” This is called voting by Unanimous (General) Consent, and saves time.
- Motions which the maker realizes will be lost anyway may be withdrawn by the maker as follows: Before it is stated by the chair the maker can withdraw his motion with-out permission saying “I withdraw my motion”.. After it is stated by the chair it is in possession of the assembly. The maker would say “I request permission to withdraw my motion’.’…and the Chair (using Unanimous Consent) would say, “If there is no objection the motion is withdrawn.” .if there is objection a vote is required)
- Be QUICK to second a motion to get it on the floor and save time. The person who seconds the motion may be for it, against it, or neutral.
- If a members offers an amendment to your motion which you agree with, ACCEPT the amendment. (Saves time of voting on amendment separately.)
- If the lack of a SECOND is unnoticed and the vote is completed, the results of the vote are valid.
- If you have a report to make, sit near the front and move the adoption of your report or recommendation if it requires action.
- Give all the bills to the Treasurer BEFORE the meeting and tell the president ahead of time if you plan to bring up NEW business so both can be prepared and save time.
- The Chair should know in advance which committees are prepared to report and not waste time by calling on those who have no report to make.
- In discussing the question (during debate) Do not repeat points that have been made. Address all remarks to the Chair and RISE TO A POINT OF INFORMATION if you need clarification.