How to Use Robert's Rules of Order

Written by jennifer brister
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How to Use Robert's Rules of Order
Robert's Rules of Order can help you to conduct business meetings in a proper manner. (gavel image by Cora Reed from

Robert's Rules of Order is a procedure written by Henry Martyn Robert, who was a U.S. Army engineering officer. When asked to preside over a meeting, Robert realised that there was no international standard of conduct with which to rule. As a result, he studied parliamentary law and wrote Robert's Rules of Order. These rules make it easier for all people attending a business meeting to conduct themselves in an appropriate, fair and consistent manner.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Create an agenda for the meeting. Everyone scheduled to attend the meeting should receive a copy of the agenda well in advance. Make room for additional topics of discussion. After reviewing the agenda, participants may add items.

  2. 2

    Decide on the number for a quorum. A quorum is the minimum number of group members who must be present in order to conduct business. This helps ensure that the true wishes of the group will be represented.

  3. 3

    Approve the minutes from the previous meeting as the first item on your agenda. In order to vote to approve the minutes, or vote for anything else, one member must make a motion to vote. The motion then must be seconded by another member. The chairman of the meeting will call for a vote either verbally or by a show of hands.

  4. 4

    Follow the order of your agenda, allowing time for discussion. The chairman of the meeting may limit discussion by time or by allowing two pros and two cons to be voiced.

  5. 5

    End the meeting by making any closing announcements such as the date and time of the next meeting. A member will make a motion to adjourn, another member will second the motion and the group will vote on the motion.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep a copy of the rules nearby for reference during all meetings.

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