Agenda – A list of items of business to be considered at a meeting. The agenda sets out the order in which business is to be considered.

Amendment – Amendments modify the wording, and within limits, the meaning of a main motion.

Annual General Meeting – A mandatory meeting of the directors and members or shareholders of an association, society or company, held once every financial year, at which the annual report is presented. It is also when organizations elect officers and hear reports from officers, boards, and committees.

Articles of Incorporation or Corporate Charter – When an organization is incorporated, the laws of the country, state or province generally requires it to have Articles of Incorporation or a Corporate Charter. They are the primary rules governing the management of a corporation in Canada and the United States.

Assigning the Floor – The presiding officer recognizing a member to be able to speak in debate or make motions.

Bylaws – The bylaws of an organization contains its own basic rules that relate to itself as an organization. It is one of the two highest governing documents governing the structure of an organization.  The bylaws also contain any limitations on the rights of members as well as delegations of powers from the membership as a whole to smaller entities within the organization such as the board of directors or the executive committee.

Convention – An assembly of an organized group such as a national society—held, for example, annually or biennially—in which the delegates are selected by, and from among the members of, each local branch. It is similar to an annual general meeting, except that only those members who have been selected to attend as delegates have voting rights.

Custom – a habit of doing something over and over again until it becomes an established custom; similar to a non-written rule.

Debate – The parliamentary name given to any form of discussion on the merits of a motion.

Majority – More than half of the votes cast by persons entitled to vote. It does not include blanks or abstentions.

Majority of the Entire Membership – A majority of total number of those who are members of the voting body at the time of the vote. It includes blanks and abstentions.

Meeting – An official gathering of a group of people to determine, in full and free discussion, courses of action to be taken in the name of the entire group.

Minutes – The official record of the proceedings of a meeting, generally written by an organization’s secretary and adopted by the assembly at the next meeting or a committee specifically appointed to adopt the minutes.

Motion –A formal proposal by a member that the assembly take a certain action.

Nomination – A formal proposal to a voting body in an election to fill an office or position, suggesting a particular nominee as the one who should be elected.

Obtaining the Floor – Before a member in an assembly can make a motion or speak in debate, he must be recognized by the presiding officer in order to having the exclusive right to be heard at that time.

Parliamentarian – An expert on the rules of parliamentary procedure, but much more than that—a parliamentarian is an expert on how to make organizations and meetings operate in a fair and efficient manner.

Parliamentary Authority – The rules of order an organization adopts to govern it meeting procedure. The term rules of order, in its proper sense, refers to any written parliamentary rules so adopted, whether they are contained in a manual or have been specially composed by the adopting body

Parliamentary Procedure – The name given to the rules and customs that have grown in a civilized world for governing meetings.

Pending Motion – A motion under consideration.  Several motions may be pending at the same time.  For example, a main motion and an amendment to the motion may be pending at the same time.

Pending Motion – When a motion has been stated by the presiding officer it is said to be pending. It is then before the group for debate and decision.

Presiding Officer – The presiding officer is the person who leads a meeting, sometimes called “Chair” or “President.”

Putting the Question – Putting the motion to a vote.

Quorum – The number of members who must be present in order that business can be validly transacted. The quorum refers to the number of members present, not to the number actually voting on a particular question.

Second – Indicates that at least two members want a proposal (motion) considered.

Special Meeting – A special meeting (or called meeting) is a separate session of an organization held at a time different from that of any regular meeting, and convened only to consider one or more items of business specified in the call of the meeting.

Special Rules of Order – Special rules varying from the general parliamentary law. An organization is free to adopt such special rules of order as it finds needed to supplement or modify rules contained in their parliamentary authority.

Standing Rules – Administrative rules that are not important enough to be put in bylaws and do not relate to the conduct of business in meetings. For example, there may be a rule regarding guest attendance at meetings and the need for them to be registered.

Stating a Motion – The chair states the motion for it to be properly before the assembly for consideration. This ensures everyone knows what exactly is being proposed for action.

Two-Thirds Vote – At least two-thirds of the votes cast by persons entitled to vote. It does not include blanks or abstentions.

Unanimous Consent – If there is no objection after the chair asks if there is any objection to a desired action, it is adopted by unanimous consent.

Vote – A formal expression of opinion or choice, either positive or negative.

Yielding the Floor – When the member finishes speaking, he yields the floor by resuming his seat.





Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th Edition)

Robert’s Rules of Order In Brief