How to run a successful meeting in a professional way A summary by JOHN BADR.22/05/2007

         How to run a successful meeting in a professional way

A summary by

JOHN BADR.22/05/2007



  Vision of a successful meeting :


– Clarity of issues, process.

– Productivity

– Balance: Equal opportunities to be heard;

                  No Domination

– Collaboration: Focus on issues; openness;


– Shared Responsibility


– Rules (Robert’s Rules of order)

   In order to officially apply (Robert’s Rules)

   in conducting meetings. You must note on it,

   adopted and enter it in the by laws of the WLCU.


– Quorum

   A quorum is the number of members entitled

   to vote who must be present in order that

   business can be legally transacted.

   In the absence of a quorum, or establish an

   adjourned meeting. Any other votes taken in

   the absence of a quorum are invalid.


– Unanimous/ General Consent

   Unanimous/ General Consent is an informal

   method of taking a vote, used for routine and

   non- controversial decisions.


For example:

“Is there any objection to moving item n.5

   forward on the agenda an concidering it now

   (pause)? There being no objections, we will

   proceed now with item n.5 and then return

   to item n.3”


“ Is there any objections to adding the words ——?

(pause)  Hearing no objection, the words are added

 and the motion now reads ——-. Is there any

 discussion on the motion?”






– Types of meetings

1- Regular meetings

2- Special meetings

3- Adjourned (continued) meetings

4- Executive (“in camera”) session. – Secret –

                     (behind closed doors, meetings)

5- Annual General Meetings or Election of election

    of officers appointing members to comities.



Rules of Formal Debates


The following is a combination of rules for formal debates:


1- Members speak only after being recognized by the chair.

Recognition is on a “first come first serve” basis except:

  • The maker of the motion has the right to speak first in preference to others.
  • To speak a second time on a motion, a member must wait for those who wish to speak on it for the first time.
  • If possible, the chair alternates between proponents and opponents of the motion.


2 – Rules of Decurum:

  • Members must remain courteous and avoid personal attacks.
  • Remarks must be confined to the pending motion.
  • In a formal meeting, remarks are directed “through the chair”.


3 – Limits on the length and number of speeches per member on each debatable motion should be specified in the procedure by law.



Handling Main Motions


A main motion is a proposal to take action or express a view. The six steps of handling a main motion are:

1- A member makes a motion: “I move that we _______”

2 – Another member seconds the motion “second”

3 – The chair states the motion:

It is moved and seconded that ________. Is there any discussion?

4 – Debate and amendment take place.



5 – The chair puts the motion to a vote :

“We are now voting on the motion to _______. Those in favour please raise your right hand. Thank you. Those opposing please raise your right hand. Thank you.


6- The chair announces the results:

“The affirmative has it and the motion is adopted” or “the negative has it and the motion is lost”


Handling Amendments


Amendment is a motion to change the wording of another motion before voting on it. The amendment sets aside the motion which it proposes to modify. A motion to amend a debatable motion is debatable and requires the same steps shown on the previous page.




3 Main Methods of Amending:


1- By inserting or adding words/paragraphs

2- By striking out words/paragraphs

3- By striking out and inserting.



Number of amendments:

A primary amendment changes the wording of the main motion.

A secondary amendment changes the wording of the primary amendment.


Only one main motion, one primary amendment, and one secondary amendment may be pending at the same time. A third level amendment is not allowed.


Number of votes:


First, a vote on the secondary amendment.

Secondly, a vote on the primary amendment.

Third, a vote on the main motion (original or amended).






 Making it less confusing:


1 – State the amendment and its impact clearly, e.g. :

“It is moved and seconded to amend the motion by adding the words: at a cost not exceeding $1000.”

If the amendment is passed, the motion will read “________”

Discussion is now only on adding the words “at a cost not exceeding $1000”.


2- Non-contentious amendments may be handled by unanimous consent: “Is there any objection to inserting the words _____?





Specific information about the committee is required.

Information and job description is necessary.

Plan and mission statement is required.

What this committee is for

What is to achieve? What is the benefit?

The duration of this committee. Who qualifies to fill the positions on this committee? What qualification do people need to have to be on the committee?

When can we get results from the committee?

When does the committee have to report to the board? How does it fit to the WLCU mission statement etc.


Committee  Recreatives


  • Education
  • Experience
  • Time required (does person have time)
  • Financially able to do the job
  • How much time or money is needed for the job
  •  How to make resolution





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