How Parliamentary Procedure Can Benefit Your Meetings

Posted on April 28th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Jan Bilgen



Ever feel like your meetings can drag on and on? Does it seem as if people interrupt each other in an untimely fashion? Is there that one member that raises the same point as if they were trying to extend the meeting time into the next day?

If only there were a way to solve these problems, increase meeting efficiency, and frankly, get stuff done. Well there is! Thanks to Robert and his Rules of Order, there is a specific guide to making your meetings more official and less confusing.

“The purpose of parliamentary procedure is to make it easier for people to work together effectively and to help groups accomplish their purposes. Rules of procedure should assist a meeting, not inhibit it.”

I know I used to dread the phrase “parliamentary procedure.” It seemed so archaic, outdated, and simply put—not for me. After a year running an organization such as student government; however, my tune has changed and I’ve become one of the biggest advocates of how empowering the members of any organization with helpful parliamentary procedure will increase efficiency as well as save the organization’s members time to actually finish their homework and have a social life while they’re at it.


Reasons Why and How Parliamentary Procedure Rocks

         Everyone is allowed to state their opinion…in a timely, organized, and respectful fashion

  • One of the best parts of Robert’s Rules is that it ensures the opportunity for everyone who wants to speak on the topic at hand the chance to. By having the Chair of the meeting have to recognize the person speaking, it insures that no one interrupted, and if it does happen, gives a formal process to stop the person who is being disrespectful and giving the floor back to the initial person.


–         It’s easier for the secretary to document the minutes

  • By having a formal structure of how the meeting is run, the secretary will already have an idea or outline of how the meeting will go, making it easier for them to be able to accurately record what happens for future record.


–         There’s less confusion

  • I mean this in a multitude of ways. There is more consistency from meeting to meeting as well as a set way for the new Chair to run the meeting when they come into office. Because parliamentary procedure is nothing new, it’s easy for anyone to pick up a book at the library on it and be able to be as versed as the Chair in a matter of months.


–         Provides a specific way to deal with complaints

  • If a decision is made by the Chair, there is also a formal way for the aggrieved member to voice their compliant there and then. Nearly any issue that occurs during a meeting can be resolved via parliamentary procedure. This prevents petty argumentation that can occur when meetings stretch on for hours




If you have any other questions about parliamentary procedure, feel free to reach out to

Below are some helpful links to parli pro tips:




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