The motion “To Lay on the Table” is commonly shortened to “Table.” This is a motion that is often misused. The correct use of this motion is to put a Main Motion aside for a short while because some other more urgent business has arisen. It can only be made once a Main Motion is…

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As readers know, in a small board (up to about 12 people), it is fine to discuss an issue without having a formal motion on the table. Many of our nonprofit boards do this. A topic is listed on the agenda, and people kick it around before coming to a consensus about what to do.…

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Some years ago, I had a dramatic exposure to the motion “to Reconsider.” At a 2-day meeting of our professional society board, one member (I’ll call him “Alex”) proposed that our society spend $4000 on radio spots in Washington, DC. He felt that we needed to develop a public relations strategy, and that this would…

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Robert’s Rules of Order is quite strict about dealing with something once in a meeting and moving on. If a motion has been defeated, the only way to bring the same motion up again during that meeting is to move to reconsider the motion. You have to have voted with the prevailing side—the side that…

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There are eight steps to processing ordinary motions in Robert’s Rules. Download PDF At the right time in the agenda, after the member has been recognized by the chair, A member makes a motion. Another member seconds the motion. The chair states the motion. Members discuss and/or amend the motion. The chair restates the motion…

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figure learning on a question mark

The motion “to call the question,” which has the technical name of “previous question,” may be the most abused motion in all of Robert’s Rules of Order. It is very common for people to shout out the word “question” or “I call the question” in the expectation that debate will immediately stop, and a vote…

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