To open a meeting, the president or committee chair raps a gavel one time and says, ?The meeting will come to order.? To close or adjourn the meeting, the same individual says, ?There being no further business to come before the board, the meeting is adjourned.?
In between the opening and closing, Robert?s Rules of Order provides an easy-to-follow meeting agenda. After the opening, the group approves the minutes from the previous meeting, either with or without corrections. Usually the minutes are delivered before the meeting so that the secretary does not have to take meeting time to read them to the committee. Next on the agenda are reports from the officers, standing committees, such as membership or finance, and special committees, in that order.
The president or meeting head, called the ?chair? in Robert?s Rules of Order, then opens the meeting to new business. Often, a member presents a suggestion, in the form of a motion, to do something, such as form a special committee to further investigate a topic. Another member must second the motion before a group discussion. Any member who wishes to engage in the discussion must first be recognized by the chair. Once all who wish to speak have been recognized, the organization or committee leader calls for a vote, either by hand or secret ballot, and then communicates the results of that vote to the group.
The final agenda items are announcements and setting the time and date for the next meeting.