Reader, I am over the moon about Jim Slaughter’s new book, Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track. This brief, affordable and funny guidebook will give you the tools to apply Robert’s Rules immediately and effectively. Jim’s humor and focus kept me reading with enjoyment, underlining key phrases, and dotting the text with exclamation points.
Jim starts the first chapter, “What Is Parliamentary Procedure?” this way:
Because you picked up this book (and are still holding it), you must have some interest in meeting procedures.
This chapter and the next, “Governing Documents and Parliamentary Procedure,” lay out a clear explanation of these foundational topics.
Here are samples of other delicious bits:
A final chapter discusses how to remove an elected officer (if you’re an officer, take comfort in knowing that hardly anyone ever reads that far in the book.) (Chapter 1, “What is Parliamentary Procedure?”)
To state the question, the chair basically acts like a big parrot and repeats exactly what was moved as the motion. (Chapter 3, “The Motion: How Things Are Done at Meetings”)
Special rules of order for large virtual meetings: An individual connectivity issue is not a basis for a Point of Order or retaking a vote because one person having a Wi-Fi issue cannot be the basis for repeating everything. (Chapter 10, “Electronic Meetings and Voting”)
An oval or circular arrangement invites discussion to the point where it can be difficult to make members stop talking. (Chapter 13, “Solving Meeting Problems”)
As an experienced parliamentarian, I found the chapters on motions, voting, officers and elections etc. to the point and illuminating. Chapter 10, “Electronic Meetings and Voting,” is brilliant. It is the best discussion of the advantages and perils of our new virtual age that I have seen. It is certainly worth the modest price of the book ($14.99) on its own.
This book has another distinction in that it discusses the small board rules from Robert’s Rules of Order, allowing smaller groups to function with less formality. Often books about Robert’s Rules are focused so closely on large membership meetings and conventions that they fail to give these important provisions due weight. It’s also available on Kindle.
I have been told that in European universities, only the full professor may teach the introductory history course, because only that person has the breadth of knowledge needed to give the beginner accurate understanding. This book stands in just that position. I believe that Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track will remain the “go-to” book for students of parliamentary procedure for a very long time. I urge you to get this book as soon as you can for your own knowledge and enjoyment. And please share your observations on it with me by writing here!