Small Business and the Entrepreneur

Effective Meetings
General Assumptions
• Zonta clubs vary widely as to cultural norms,
managerial experience of its members, the
number of members in the club, and their
languages spoken.
• It is easier to have discussions and make
tough, good decisions when everyone knows
and abides by the rules.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
• Club size often determines the level of formality required to
efficiently run a meeting.
• In large club meetings and formal settings, the President
cannot make a motion, must avoid showing bias, be impartial,
refrain from expressing personal opinions, and should not
participate in discussions except to guide it in an orderly
• In small clubs or less formal meetings, members may have a
standing rule or custom permitting the President to
participate in discussions with the same privileges as other
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
• Whether formal or informal, effective
meetings are characterized by members
seeking the best answers together, not by
sides debating or insisting on having their own
viewpoints and positions adopted.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
Officers’ Rights
When members become Officers, they retain
all the rights that they had as regular
members: the right to make motions, to
debate, and to vote.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
Presidential Voting
In a formal organizational structure, the
President does not vote, except in three
1) the vote is taken by ballot;
2) the President's vote would break a tie vote;
3) the President's vote would create a tie vote.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
• The agenda should be made known to
members beforehand.
• The agenda can be changed by the members
any time during the meeting, except when
another motion is on the floor.
• The agenda change must be voted on if one or
more members object.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
• In the absence of a quorum, business
requiring a vote is postponed. If urgent action
is required, the action must be ratified by a
quorum at the next meeting.
• The Zonta International Bylaws require that a
quorum for club meetings be at least onefourth of the members, and that the quorum
for club board meetings be a majority of the
members of the board.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
A motion (with few exceptions) requires six (6) steps:
1. A member stands up, is recognized, and makes a
motion. Member: “I move that” followed by the
statement of the motion.
2. Another member seconds the motion.
3. The President restates the motion to the club (and
provides reference to the agenda item).
4. The members debate the motion.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
Motions (cont’d)
5. The President asks for affirmative votes and then for
negative votes and abstentions.
6. The President announces the result of the voting;
instructs the corresponding officer to take action;
and introduces the next item of business.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
Possible Meeting Sequence
• Call to order
• Agenda approval
• Consider Minutes of previous meeting. Review and
approve, asking for “corrections” and including all
changes. (Until approved, the minutes constitute a
draft document.)
• Correspondence
• Guest Speaker
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
Possible Meeting Sequence (cont’d)
• Unfinished Business
• Reports of club Board, Treasurer, and Standing
• New business: Introduction of new substantive
material usually already listed on the agenda.
• Any other business and general discussion
• Announcements/date of next meeting
• Closing
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
Time-saving Tools
The Consent Agenda
• The consent agenda is a SINGLE ITEM that encompasses all
the things the Board/Club would normally approve with little
comment. Minutes, financials, reports, etc.
• All of the items combine to become one item for approval .
• Reports and information can be grouped together under a
consent agenda only if all members agree. If just one member
selects a specific item for discussion, it must be removed and
placed on the regular Board/Club meeting agenda.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
Time-saving Tools (cont’d)
The Consent Agenda
• Depending upon the organization, a few minutes to half an
hour can be freed up for more substantial discussion on items
requiring strategic thought, decision making, or action.
Item #1:
Item #2:
Consent Agenda
a) Minutes of prior meeting
b) Contract to retain HR Counsel
c) Financial report
d) Project status report
e) CEO report
Item #3:
Discussion Item:
Change recommended for XYZ Program
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
General Assumptions
Time-saving Tools (cont’d)
Committee Reports
• If Standing Committees are to give reports at the
meetings, the President should call these committee
chairmen prior to the meeting to see if they have a
report to give. At the meeting, the President would
then only call on those people who indicated in
advance that they have reports.
• A recommendation contained within a committee
report may be moved for adoption at the end of the
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Member Roles
• To have effective club meetings, Club Members must respect
the rights of other members 1) to speak without interruption,
except as allowed under a point of order or point of
information and 2) to exercise their own quiet judgment on
issues, activities, and projects. Presidents should insist that
these rules be followed.
• Club decisions should be based on consideration of the facts
rather than on the skill of speakers or on an opinion of how
others might vote.
• Members may criticize an idea but should never criticize a
fellow member.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Member Roles (cont’d)
• Club Members should agree that we all belong to the same
organization, with a common purpose. Club Members can
have widely differing views and still work together for a
common good without dividing into opposing sides, each
trying to get its own way.
• Members can study the bylaws, standing rules, and rules of
order as a group or get tips from Club Members with
demonstrated experience in managing effective meetings.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Member Responsibilities
• Attend club and relevant committee meetings and actively
participate in the proceedings.
• Be familiar with club bylaws and parliamentary procedure.
• Abide by the rulings of the Chair without debate, except
when a point of order is made.
• Accept majority decisions.
• Expect member rights to be upheld by the Chairman.
• Propose motions.
• Debate issues.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Member Responsibilities (cont’d)
• Seek clarification.
• Vote.
• Calling for a vote is sometimes necessary. Members who
believe discussion is complete and becoming repetitive may
stop debate by saying,
Member: “I move the previous question.”
• Recommend action and change needed for progress.
• Provide any report in writing and deliver it to the Secretary for
the records.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Recording Secretary
• Attend meetings of the Club/Board and keep a record (the
minutes) of all proceedings, stating without personal
comment what was discussed, acted upon, and the rationale.
• Prepare draft minutes for the President to review. Distribute
the minutes in advance of the next meeting and record
• Assist the President in preparing the meeting agenda.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Treasurer Responsibilities
• Submit financial reports to the Club and its Board as required,
and a written report of the club's annual financial position at
the annual meeting.
• Make monthly reports to the Board and the Club.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Leader Roles
The President has the responsibility to
• Present Board recommendations to the Club at its next
business meeting.
• Prepare the meeting Agenda, allowing time for new and
unfinished business, and distribute it prior to the meeting.
• Anticipate and prepare for potential parliamentary problems.
• Conduct Club and Board meetings.
• Ask members to call out if they can’t hear her and to gently
remind her if she forgets something.
• Pay attention to the discussions.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Leader Meeting Requirements
• The President or Chairman has the responsibility to conduct
the meeting in an efficient, courteous manner and to
maintain order by requesting members to participate as
follows, and ensuring that they do so:
– Adhere to bylaws and rules.
– Follow an established order of business (agenda).
– Address all remarks through the chair.
– Follow legitimate orders from the chair.
– Accept the will of the majority.
– Act with decorum at all times.
– Refrain from disturbing others or interrupting the speaker.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Leader Meeting Requirements
The President should
• Establish the presence of a quorum before
• Call the meeting to order, establishing a pattern of
starting on time.
• Welcome guests.
• Conduct the order of business according to the
agenda and established time limits.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Leader Meeting Requirements
Basic (cont’d)
• Recognize members entitled to the floor, identifying
participants where possible.
• Sit down when a member is assigned the floor. If
there is no place to sit, or if members can't see the
President when he/ she is seated, the President
stands back from the lectern.
• Confine discussion to one topic or motion at a time.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Leader Meeting Requirements
Decision Making
• Sometimes decisions are made by consensus in which the
President says,
President: “If there are no objections then [the decision
is described].”
• Otherwise, all decisions are made with motions or resolutions
in which a member says
Member: “I move that [some action be taken].”
The President is obligated to help members phrase motions,
even when he/she is opposed to the motion. If there is a doubt
about the motion, he/she asks the intent of the proposer.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Leader Meeting Requirements
Decision Making (cont’d)
• The President should entertain every motion that is
in order. If in doubt about why a member rises, the
President can ask:
President: “For what purpose does the member
• Asking this question keeps business going in the right
direction. If the member has risen to say something
that is not in order at that time, the President stops
the incorrect procedure immediately. If it is in order,
the President allows the member to proceed.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Leader Meeting Requirements
Decision Making (cont’d)
• The President must state each legitimate motion for
the purpose of discussion and for taking a vote.
• The President ensures the rights of the members to
debate the motion by allowing each side fair
representation during controversial issues and by
keeping debate to its time limits.
• Calling for a vote is sometimes necessary. The
President might ask:
President: “Are you ready to vote?”
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Leader Meeting Requirements
Decision Making (cont’d)
• The response from the group is only a guide for the
President and does not force a vote. A member can
either move that “we delay the vote for more
discussion” or that “we vote now.” Such a motion
needs a second and should be voted on with little or
no discussion.
• The President announces the result of each vote
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Leader Meeting Requirements
Debate Protocol
• While presiding over a formal meeting, the President
must not make motions or enter into debate.
• The President can enter into debate only by giving up
the function of presiding over the meeting and
letting the Vice-President or another officer preside.
• If the presiding officer steps down and enters
debate, he/she must stay out of the chair (not return
to presiding) until the motion has been disposed of
either temporarily or finally.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Leader Meeting Requirements
• Similarly, the President leaves the chair position
when a motion has direct, personal or monetary
interest, or when he/she is censured or reprimanded.
• The President may preside during nominations and
elections when he /she is a candidate for office or is
being considered in a motion with others, such as
when there is a motion to send delegates to a
convention, and the President is nominated as one of
the candidates.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
Leader Meeting Requirements
• When there is a difference over the meaning of a bylaw or a
procedure, etc., the President may assist in solving the
dispute. For example, he/she could pose a question designed
to resolve the dispute and ask for show of hands on it. The
final decision rests with the members.
• When some proposed business is controversial, the President
can plan ahead for problems that may arise during the
meeting and consult with a parliamentarian beforehand to
learn how to handle the situation.
President: “The chair rules that the discussion is out of
order at this time”.
ZI District 11 Area Meeting Module
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