Basic Parliamentary Procedure Terms
Agenda The order of the business meeting. The typical order for a 4-H meeting
• Call to Order
• Welcome Guests
• Roll Call
• Treasurer’s Report
• Committee Reports
• Old Business
• New Business
• Adjourn Business Meeting
Aye: When a vote is called, the members who agree with the motion will say,
Floor: Only one person is allowed to speak at a time during the meeting. The
person who has been given permission to speak by the presiding officer
“has the floor” or the right to speak. To obtain the floor, a member
raises their hand and the presiding officer will call on that member.
Majority: One more than half of the voting members. This is the minimum
number of votes needed to pass most motions.
Motion: A suggestion that a member wants the group to consider. A motion is
stated in the form, “I move that …”
Nay: When a vote is called, the members who disagree with the motion will
Parliamentary Procedure: A set of guidelines that describes the proper way to conduct a business
Presiding Officer: The person in charge of conducting the business meeting, typically the
president or the chairperson.
Second: Once a motion has been made, the president will ask for a “second.”
This is like asking if there is another member who agrees that the group
should consider the suggestion. To second a motion a member will say,
“I second that motion” or “Second.”
A motion is an idea or a suggestion that a member or committee wants the group to consider. In most instances, there are five steps in bringing a motion to the floor and having it voted upon by the group.
Five Steps of a Motion
1. A member makes a motion. Ex: “I move that our club enters a float in this
year’s Thanksgiving parade.”
2. Another member seconds that motion. Ex: “I second that motion.”
3. The presiding officer states the motion and it is discussed.
Ex: “It has been moved and properly seconded that our club enters a float in this year’s
Thanksgiving parade. Is there any discussion?”
“I think this would be a great way to promote 4-H.”
“In the past my grandfather has been willing to let our club use his trailer for the
float. I would be willing to ask him again.”
“We still have lots of supplies left over from last year’s float, so it would not cost a
lot of money to make a float.”
“I don’t think we have enough time to get a float ready for the parade.”
“Is there any further discussion?”
4. A vote is taken. A voice vote is most commonly used; however, a vote can also be taken by a
show of hands, standing up, or by ballot. Ex: Presiding Officer says “All in favor say ‘Aye’. All opposed say ‘Nay’.”
5. The outcome is announced. Ex: Presiding Officer says “The motion carries. Our club will enter a
float in this year’s Thanksgiving parade.”
Teaching youth officers to lead a business meeting is quite easy by providing them with a basic
script that explains what to say and what to do, such as the one below.
Sample Business Meeting Script for a 4-H Club
CALL TO ORDER
President Taps gavel. “The meeting of the 4-H Club will please come to order.”
President “Will ______________ and ___________ please come forward and lead us
in our Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge?” The president asks two
members to lead pledges before the meeting begins.
Any Member “Please stand and join me in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.”
Member leads pledge.
Any Member “Please remain standing and join me in reciting the 4-H Pledge.”
Member leads 4-H Pledge. “You may be seated.”
INTRODUCE NEW MEMBERS/GUESTS
Vice President (or other officer assigned this responsibility)
“We are pleased to introduce ______________ who is a (new member, guest, etc.) to our club. Thank you for joining us.” It would be great for the vice president to meet any new members or guests prior to the meeting and learn a little bit of information about them to make their introduction to the group more special.
President “The secretary will now call roll.”
Secretary Calls roll and records attendance.
READING OF THE MINUTES
President “The secretary will read the minutes of the last meeting.”
Secretary Reads the minutes from the last meeting.
President “Are there any corrections or additions to the minutes?” PAUSE. If a member notices a mistake, the member will raise his hand. When called on by the president, he or she will explain the mistake.
IF CORRECTIONS: “The secretary will please make the correction. Are there any other corrections or additions?” PAUSE. “If not, the minutes stand approved as corrected.”
IF NO CORRECTIONS: “If not, the minutes stand approved as read.”
President “Will the treasurer give the treasurer’s report?”
Treasurer Reports on the balance on hand and explains any money paid out or received since the last club business meeting.
President “Are there any questions regarding the treasurer’s report?” PAUSE. If
a member has a question about the report, he or she will raise his/her hand, and when recognized by the president, will ask the question. If questions: The treasurer will answer any questions about the report. After all questions have been answered say, “If there are no further
questions, the treasurer’s report will be filed for audit.”
If no questions: “If not, the treasurer’s report will be filed for audit.”
Committees are small groups that have been appointed or elected to discuss or investigate a specific topic and make a recommendation to the group. Some of the committees your 4-H club might have are: activity committee, community service committee, fund raising committee, parade committee, etc. Committee chairman should report back to the club to inform them of what their committee has been working on and their suggestions for the club. The club may have to vote on something that the committee suggests.
President As the agenda is prepared before the meeting, the president will refer to the minutes of the last meeting to list unfinished business, which is business that was discussed at a previous meeting that still has unfinished details or decisions to be made.
“Our first item of unfinished business is…” The president, leader, or another member will help lead the discussion about each business item. Who will lead the discussion is generally identified on the agenda.
President As the agenda is prepared before the meeting, the president or leader will identify new issues for the club to discuss.
“Our first item of new business is…” The president, leader or another member will help lead the discussion about each business item. Who will lead the discussion is generally identified on the agenda. If a decision needs to be made for any business item, the president will accept a motion from the floor and a vote will be held. President After all listed new business listed on the agenda has been discussed, “Is there any other new business to bring before the club?”
After receiving the floor from the president, any member may bring up new business. If the business requires a decision to be made, the member will say, “I move that…”
President “Is there a second to this motion?”
Any Member can say “I second that motion.”
President “The motion has been made and properly seconded to ______________.
Is there any discussion?”
Any member may raise their hand and share their views about the issue when the president calls on them.
President “If there is no further discussion, then we will vote. All in favor say‘Aye.’ All opposed ‘Nay’.” The motion carries (or fails depending of the vote).”
President: Your club leader may prepare a list of announcements or prepare a
take-home list for each member with important dates and reminders.
“Here is a list of announcements and reminders” or “Are there any announcements?”
Any Member After receiving the floor from the president, any member or leader may make announcements.
ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
President: “If there is no further business, is there a motion that we adjourn the business meeting?”
Any Member raises their hand. After receiving the floor from the president the member
will say, “I move that this meeting be adjourned.” This particular motion does not need a second.
President: “This meeting is adjourned.”
This concludes the business portion of the 4-H club meeting. By incorporating a youth led business meeting into each 4-H club meeting and equipping members with the basic skills needed to actively participate in making decisions, children gain valuable life skills. They learn to plan and make sound decisions, improve their public speaking skills, and take greater ownership of their club.
Hendricks, Patricia A. (1996). Developing Youth Curriculum Using the Targeting Life Skills
Model. Iowa State University Extension.
Robert III, Henry M. (2000). Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th edition.
Revised from Basic Parliamentary Procedure for 4-H Clubs; Donna Carter, 4-H Extension Agent Utah State University, Weber Co Extension