4. Train, Advise, or Write Scripts for Busy Chairmen

  1. Can a chairman move motions in a meeting?
  2. Who should the chairman recognize first to speak with a motion has been moved and seconded?
  3. When does a chairman vote – and when does a chairman refrain from voting?

New chairman may have these questions – and many more. An individual session with a new chairman may answer these and many others. There is no need to turn the page upside down to find the answers.

  1. A fair chairman should be neutral on organizations’ business and never introduce main motions. The chair should have pre-arranged with others to introduce items the chair favors – but will enforce meeting rules fairly on the motions, when they are introduced.
  2. If there is a second, the chair should restate the motion clearly to the group and then open the item for discussion. The chair should recognize the mover of the motion first to explain or support the motion.
  3. The chair only votes when that vote will either create or break a tie on the motion. That could occur on a “counted vote,” where the group raises hands or stands to vote. The chair also votes along with the other members in a secret ballot vote, such as an election.

While these are very basic questions for any chairman, those who are more advanced are likely to have questions about more complex issues. A new chairman should always read the bylaws of the group carefully and review the minutes from the last several meetings to refresh what the major issues are likely to be. If the chairman is anxious about the new tasks, the CD, Building Confidence for Chairing Meetings!, also offered through this website, will be helpful. Jim also has digital recording equipment for recording, playing back, and analyzing training sessions with chairman.

When might scripting for the chair be helpful? Again, with new chairman, until the basic procedures are “unconscious,” a script helps to relieve anxiety. Scripting speeches, as is done for most company presidents and politicians to insure accuracy and guard against embarrassment, is also available with the assistance of the chairman and-or the staff prior to the meetings.

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