How can I start running better meetings with Robert’s Rules?

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For people who aren’t familiar with it, Robert’s Rules of Order is an intimidating book. That’s why we help make it easy for you to get started with the most important information for running better meetings.

I.   Equip yourself with the fundamentals

  • Download our article, Follow four fundamental guidelines for successful meetings. This lays out the heart of it all—the four guidelines that are essential. They’re easy to understand, though it can be challenging to apply them!
  • Get our Cheat Sheet, Language Tips for Meeting Management. This gives you, on a single page, language that you can use throughout the meeting. It is more formal than the language of everyday speech, but it is effective. Tape it to your bathroom mirror and practice the phrases as you’re starting your day. Get used to hearing your own voice. Speak clearly, and with purpose!
  • Download the list of the 11 duties of the chair.  This comes straight from the Robert’s Rules text and explains the role of the chair. This list is only partially known and understood, but is essential to know – not just for the chair, but for the entire group.

II.  Educate your board

III.  Keep learning

Once you’re started running better meetings with Robert’s Rules, we offer a cornucopia of learning options.

  • Essential Guidelines: 19 short papers. Choose the one your organization needs here.
  • Email course: Quick Introduction to Robert’s Rules. 7 short lessons, one a day. Purchase here.
  • Book: Mastering Council Meetings: A Guidebook for Elected Officials and Local Governments. Readers love this book, which has valuable content for local governments and also for nonprofit boards. Download a sample chapter here.
  • Learn about motions and how they work: Motions are the most challenging technical part of Robert’s Rules of Order. Our book has descriptions of the most frequent motions with helpful diagrams showing how they work. You can also watch our on-demand webinar Get What You Want Using Motions here, or read about motions in the Robert’s Rules category of our parliamentary blog here.
  • Live workshops: Lively, fun workshops where you can ask questions and chat with your peers, with abundant materials. View schedule here.
  • Self-paced online courses: Energetic and interesting treatment of key information, available to you 24/7. Extensive reference materials included. Choose your course here.
  • Online course: Take Control of Your Meetings Using Robert’s Rules. Our premiere offering for those who are committed to gaining an understanding of the fundamentals of Robert’s Rules to master their meetings. This is a self-paced course that takes about two hours to complete. Purchase it here.
  • Blog: And of course, we provide short, punchy information in our blog posts and our advice column, Dear Dinosaur, which is viewable here.

We hope this list makes it easier to choose from among our wealth of options. Let us know how it’s going by contacting us here, and good luck with your endeavor!

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Ann Macfarlane

Ann G. Macfarlane is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She offers an interactive and user-friendly way to master the key points for effective, efficient and fair meetings. Her background as a diplomat and Russian translator enables her to connect with elected officials and nonprofit board directors and give them the tools they need for success. She is the author of Mastering Council Meetings: A guidebook for elected officials and local governments.