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Parliamentary Procedure and Sample Business Meeting Agenda

Download an Adobe Acrobat version of Parliamentary Procedure

Parliamentary rules ensure accuracy in business, economy of time, order, uniformity and impartiality, and enhance the transaction of business. All members should have the privilege of voicing their opinions, and sessions on “how to participate” should be scheduled periodically.

In accordance with Federation Bylaws, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised is the parliamentary authority.

Eight Steps to Action

1. A member should rise and address the chair.
(“President Mary”)

2. She should wait for recognition by the chair.

3. She makes the motion.
(“I move that” not “I make a motion”)

4. Another member seconds the motion.

5. The chair states the motion.
(“It is moved by ______________and seconded by _________________that…”)

6. If the motion is debatable, the chair asks for debate.
(“Are you ready for the question?” or “Is there any discussion?”)

7. The chair takes the vote.
(“The question is on the adoption of the motion to…As many as are in favor of the motion say ‘aye’…Those opposed say ‘no.’”) (If a two–thirds vote is required: “As many as are in favor of the motion, please stand…Be seated. Those opposed, please stand…Be seated.”)

8. The chair announces the result.
(“The motion is adopted.” or “The motion is defeated.”)


A motion may be amended by any of the following methods:

  • to insert;
  • to add;
  • to strike out;
  • to strike out and insert;
  • to substitute.

When a motion is amended, the amendment then becomes the main motion and must be acted upon first. An amendment may also be amended. Always remember to work backward when taking the vote:

  • amendment to the amendment;
  • amendment to the main motion;
  • main motion.

General Meeting Agenda

Call to order
One rap of the gavel.
"The meeting of ____________________will please come to order.”

Can be an invocation or grace, then — if appropriate — a pledge of allegiance.
(Introduction of VIPs can be given here.)

(If a quorum is present):
"The secretary will read the minutes of the ____________meeting, Ms. _________________.”
"Are there corrections to the minutes?”
"The minutes stand approved as read/corrected.”
"Is there any correspondence?”

Treasurer’s Report
"Next business in order is the treasurer’s report, Ms. _____________________.”
"Are there any questions?”
"The report will be placed on file for audit.”
"Are there any bills?” (The treasurer may either move that they be paid, or it can be done by
general consent.)

Reports of Officers, Board and Standing Committees
(If there is a Board report or recommendations, ask the secretary to read them.)
(Call only on standing committees having reports. This should be predetermined.)

Special Committee Reports
"May we have the report of the committee appointed to (consider/investigate/act).”

Unfinished Business
Unfinished business and general orders. Any general orders not taken up at the last meeting are now taken up.

"The question on ______________________was postponed to this meeting.”

"The question is on _______________________.”

“The question on ______________was postponed to the last meeting, but due to lack of time was not disposed of; therefore, the question is on________________.”

New Business
“The next business in order is new business. What is the pleasure of the assembly?”
"Is there further new business?”

“Will the program chair present the program?”
(If an outside speaker is utilized, the program may be presented earlier to allow the speaker to
leave following her or his presentation.

(President gives hers first, then:)
“Are there further announcements?”

“If there is no further business, (pause) the meeting is adjourned.”

Language for special orders

"The question on ______________was postponed and made a special order for this meeting. The question is on _______________________.”



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