The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parliamentary Procedure Fast-Track

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parliamentary Procedure Fast-Track

by Jim Slaughter


$12.86 $12.95 Save 1% Current price is $12.86, Original price is $12.95. You Save 1%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, February 28
17 New & Used Starting at $1.99


Parliamentary procedure, as outlined in that famous reference Robert’s Rules of Order, as well as several other procedural rulebooks, is the system that keeps public meetings moving along while allowing everyone to have their fair input. Unfortunately, Robert’s is a complex and intimidating reference that new and casual meeting leaders and participants can find overwhelming. The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Parliamentary Procedure Fast-Track lets readers bypass the arcane language, sort out the complicated system of motions, and get to what they really want to do—preside over and participate in smoothly run meetings. 

In this slim volume, readers get:

- A quick guide to the different sets of parliamentary procedure and which is most appropriate for the organization.
- Advice on setting and managing an agenda.
- The essence of what readers need to know about the most common types of motions.
- Rules for debates and voting.
- Forming and working on effective committees.
- Troubleshooting for meetings gone awry.
- Quick guidance for writing and submitting minutes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781615642205
Publisher: DK
Publication date: 10/02/2012
Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 285,401
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jim Slaughter is a partner in the North Carolina law firm Black, Slaughter & Black, PA, and is an attorney, Certified Professional Parliamentarian-Teacher, and Professional Registered Parliamentarian. He has served as parliamentarian to hundreds of national organizations, including the AFL-CIO, National School Boards Association, National Education Association, and American Federation of Teachers. He is the past president of the American College of Parliamentary Lawyers and currently serves on the national Board of Governors of the College of Community Association Lawyers. Jim's articles on procedure have been published in the ABA Journal, Association Management, and Common Ground. He is the lead author of Notes and Comments on Roberts Rules (Fourth Edition).

Table of Contents

1 What Is Parliamentary Procedure? 1

What Parliamentary Procedure Is Not 2

What Rules Should You Follow? 4

Different Procedures for Different Types of Groups 5

Membership Meetings 5

Boards 6

Conventions 7

Committees 7

The Importance of Being Flexible 8

2 Governing Documents and Parliamentary Procedure 9

Higher Authorities Than Robert's 9

Laws and Statutes 10

Corporate Articles 12

Bylaws 13

Special Rules of Order 15

Parliamentary Authority 16

3 The Motion: How Things Are Done in Meetings 17

Everything Starts with a Motion 17

Bringing Forward a Motion 18

A Member Makes the Motion 18

Another Member Seconds the Motion 19

The Chair States the Question 20

Considering the Motion 21

Members Debate the Motion 22

The Chair Puts the Question to a Vote 23

The Chair Announces the Vote 24

Repetition Is the Key to Success 24

4 The Main Motion 25

The Two Types of Main Motions 26

Rules Regarding Main Motions 28

Avoiding Ambiguous Main Motions 29

Resolutions 31

5 The Most Frequently Used Motions 33

Following the Order of Precedence 34

The Subsidiary Motions 36

Postpone Indefinitely 36

Amend 37

Commit or Refer 42

Postpone to a Certain Time 43

Limit or Extend Limits of Debate 44

Previous Question (Close Debate) 44

Table 46

The Most Used Privileged Motions 47

Raise a Question of Privilege 48

Recess 49

Adjourn 49

Fix the Time to Which to Adjourn 50

The Subsidiary and Privileged Motions in Action 51

6 Other Motions You Need to Know 53

Incidental Motions 53

Point of Order 54

Appeal 56

Suspend the Rules 58

Objection to the Consideration of a Question 59

Division of a Question 60

Division of the Assembly 61

Parliamentary Inquiry 61

Request for Information 62

Motions That Bring a Question Again Before the Assembly 62

Take from the Table 63

Rescind/Amend Something Previously Adopted 64

Discharge a Committee 65

Reconsider 66

7 Voting 69

What Vote Is Required? 69

How Is the Vote Calculated? 71

What About a Tie Vote? 72

The Most Common Methods of Voting 72

Voice Vote 73

Rising Vote 73

Show of Hands Vote 75

Other Methods of Voting 76

Roll-Call Vote 76

Machine or Electronic Vote 77

Voting Card 77

Voting by Telephone 78

Ballot Vote 78

Absentee Voting 79

Voting by Mail 79

Proxies 80

8 Officers and Elections 81

Officers and Their Duties 81

President 82

President-Elect 83

Vice President 84

Secretary 84

Treasurer 85

Directors 85

Executive Director 86

Parliamentarian 86

Nominations 89

Elections 90

Ballot Election 91

Voice Election 93

Election by Acclamation 94

9 Types of Meetings and Quorum 95

Quorum 96

Types of Meetings 98

Regular Meetings 99

Special Meeting 100

Adjourned Meeting 101

Executive Session 102

Annual Meeting 103

Electronic Meeting 104

10 Order of Business and Agendas 105

The Standard Order of Business 105

Approval of the Minutes 106

Reports of Officers, Boards, and Standing Committees 106

Reports of Special Committees 109

Unfinished Business 109

New Business 110

Closing the Meeting 111

The Consent Calendar 111

Agenda 112

The Informal Agenda 113

The Adopted Agenda 114

The Timed Agenda 114

The Adopted Timed Agenda 115

11 Meeting Minutes 117

A Minute on Minutes 118

What You Should Put in the Minutes 119

What You Shouldn't Put in the Minutes 121

Approving the Minutes 122

Changing Minutes After the Fact 124

Minutes of Executive Sessions 125

Minutes Template 126

Skeletal Minutes 128

12 Solving Meeting Problems 129

The Problem Member 129

The Problem Chair 133

Meeting Problems Resolved 134


A Parliamentary Resources 139

B Parliamentary Motions Guide 143

Index 145

What People are Saying About This

Thomas Skiba

Big board? Small board? Every governing board needs to have a common framework for meetings, motions, minutes and all the other elements of parliamentary procedure. This Fast-Track Guide provides clear and simple guidance to educate board members and help your board govern efficiently and effectively.
—Thomas Skiba (CAE, Chief Executive Officer, Community Associations Institute)

Anne L. Bryant

If you are about to take on a leadership role in any organization, this book is a must read. If you want to be a constructive member of a board or committee, this book will be a very helpful guide. The Complete Idiots Guide to Parliamentary Procedure Fast-Track is a thorough and coherent explanation of Roberts Rules of Order.
—Anne L. Bryant (Executive Director, National School Boards Association)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parliamentary Procedure, Fast-Track 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, short and to the point, simple and easy to understand. As a senior, not familiar with this type of meeting, this book has made possible to be part of the "plan." Highly recommend it for anyone just beginning in Roberts Rules of Order, worth the read.
LMD More than 1 year ago
Unexpectedly, I enjoyed this book. It is not a dry, dull list of rules and regulations (though it does explain the core principles, and does it well).  Rather, it is built on a solid foundation of developing and sustaining an efficient, effective leadership community marked by mutual respect throughout its membership, allowing plenty of room for creativity and divergent opinions without allowing them to run the whole thing off the rails.  It's about being flexible at the right times and in the right ways rather than complying so rigidly to a set of lockstep behaviors that we risk losing our purpose (not to mention our humanity).  It's about being open and honest in our dealings with each other, always with a focus on the good of the whole rather than the convenience or desires of those with the most power.  It's about honoring the unique contributions individuals make toward a common goal and intentionally making space for diversity through effective process.  It's about navigating well through sometimes-difficult issues. What's not to love?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author has done a fabulous job of reducing a complex subject to the true essentials. The book presents parliamentary procedure, especially in accordance with Robert's rules of Order Newly Revised, the leading parlimantary authority, is a way that is logical, easy to read and understand, and in plain language. I highly recommend the book as a practical introduction to parliamentary procedure.
FriedaNeelum More than 1 year ago
I found this book very helpful. It's a good read. It's short, well-written, accurate. It is clearly the distillation of a lot of experience. It explains things with tips and examples. It has funny moments!. You should get this book to go with the full-blown Robert's.