control the meeting

Extra rules to add to Robert’s Rules

By Ann Macfarlane / February 3, 2023 / Comments Off on Extra rules to add to Robert’s Rules

Robert’s Rules of Order is a daunting subject for many folks who haven’t yet seen how much it improves meetings. We strive in Jurassic Parliament to distill key information that will help you run effective and fair meetings. Distillation is one thing, but ADDING RULES? When there are already hundreds of pages of rules in…

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Can the mayor take part in discussion?

By Ann Macfarlane / April 22, 2022 / Comments Off on Can the mayor take part in discussion?

What is the role of the mayor in discussion at city council meetings? The answer to this question is a bit subtle. Download PDF In a large council, mayor does not take part in discussion Robert’s Rules of Order says that in a large group, the chair of the meeting does not take part in…

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Was this proper use of “Point of Information”?

By Ann Macfarlane / July 23, 2021 /

Dear Dinosaur: A board member at a condo association meeting made a motion.  The motion did not receive a second.  The board member then said, “Point of Information,” and continued to state his opinion of why the motion was important.  Was this the proper use of “Point of Information?  If so, what is the use of…

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Disruptive members derailing your Zoom meetings? Use these rules!

By Ann Macfarlane / May 24, 2021 / Comments Off on Disruptive members derailing your Zoom meetings? Use these rules!

A client is running Zoom meetings for 300-400 members. Not surprisingly, the meetings are challenging! People fail to follow common courtesy, Points of Order are rife, sometimes discourse collapses. It doesn’t have to be that way. Jurassic Parliament has developed a set of “sample Zoom rules,” based on Robert’s Rules of Order and adapted to…

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Are your meetings seven hours long?

By Ann Macfarlane / February 23, 2021 / Comments Off on Are your meetings seven hours long?

  This strange time of COVID-19 is producing some strange situations. We hear reports of local government meetings lasting far into the night, in some cases taking as long as 7 hours. (See this article about San Jose California). Does this happen to you? Are your meetings too long? If yes, what can be done…

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How to be objective about subjective comments

By Ann Macfarlane / September 28, 2020 /

  What can you do when your colleagues on a board or council say things that you find offensive? What if they are making subjective statements that hurt your feelings? We are living in tough times for civility. People feel free to say things during meetings that can be offensive and challenging. Robert’s Rules of…

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“That’s a bold-faced lie”

By Ann Macfarlane / July 27, 2020 / Comments Off on “That’s a bold-faced lie”

  It beats me how people can say that parliamentary procedure is boring. An article about a recent meeting of Branson Missouri aldermen is full of interest (read it here). The most gripping moment, from my perspective, is when the City Administrator says the following: “He’s not going to stand up there and lie about…

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View Better Meetings Advance Social Justice free webinar

By Ann Macfarlane / July 23, 2020 / Comments Off on View Better Meetings Advance Social Justice free webinar

Laura Morgan, a Black Parliamentarian from Chicago’s South Shore, kicks off this webinar by sharing her story of how she became a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. Then we go on to present 4 guidelines that allow every voice to be heard and all opinions to be considered. Social justice meetings deal with important issues that generate…

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What can a president do without the board? Thoughts on leadership

By Ann Macfarlane / June 17, 2020 / Comments Off on What can a president do without the board? Thoughts on leadership

  Several readers have written to me recently with questions about their authority as president of a nonprofit organization. It seems that Jurassic Parliament has been almost too successful at expounding the principle that during the meeting, the chair is the servant of the group, and the group is the final authority. These readers drew…

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Tips for government bodies meeting remotely

By Ann Macfarlane / March 30, 2020 /

  The big moment is here. You’ve done your due diligence by: reviewing any emergency declarations affecting local government meetings in your state, studying how your body can proceed in light of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 emergency, planning with your staff, consulting your attorney, and choosing an online platform. You’re all set to launch your first totally…

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