It’s Blog 4 - thanks for following along!
In my second post, we looked at how a meeting runs, and you may have noticed that one of the components is a business session. While sometimes overlooked, this session plays a critical role in keeping our Club healthy and functioning smoothly. It allows to conduct important club business such as approving minutes of meeting, approving budgets, and inducting members, amongst other activities. It is important as it allows all members to have a say in how the Club runs at it’s highest levels - it is a democracy at Toastmasters!
The business session opens with a bang of the gavel from the Chairperson - at NDG Leader Toastmasters, anyone can take this role in our meetings. Quickly, the Chairperson will then ask if the meeting has what is called a “quorum” - a minimum number of members required to conduct club business. If quorum is not met, then business cannot be conducted and must wait until another session when there is a quorum of members present. If there is quorum (and often there is) then the meeting proceeds to conducting club business.
Club business as mentioned above can contain anything pertinent to bring to the Club and its full membership (beyond the Executive, which I will cover in a later post). At most meetings at NDG Leader Toastmasters, this is limited to approving the minutes of meeting from prior meetings and some announcements. On special occasions, business can include inductions of new members, which have their own ceremony to them - think of them as a business meeting within the business meeting, conducted by the VP Membership (or whoever may be standing in for them). This process is critical to the proper functioning of the Club! In still other meetings, there may be important matters to discuss that concern the entire membership as a whole, such as budgets for the year. In these sessions the budget will be presented by the Treasurer and members have an opportunity to ask questions about it and ultimately vote on it. Democracy in action!
Announcements are a frequent presence in business sessions, as there are many reminders that must be communicated to the members, such as dates of club events, calls for executive training, District events, and more. It is important to keep the membership informed.
Once the business has been conducted, another bang of the gavel from the Chairperson will close the business session.
Everything from the business session, indeed of our meetings as a whole, are captured in Club minutes of meeting. As you read this and at the time of writing the Club has had over 850 meetings, all documented through the years! It is useful to be able to go back and keep track of what happened at any moment in time. These are all approved, and sometimes corrected by members, in subsequent meetings to make sure that our minutes are accurate as to what happened and accepted by all members. Again, democracy in action!
Why not experience it for yourself? Come visit NDG Leader Toastmasters Thursdays 7pm. We would love to have you as a guest and see our business meeting in action!