How do you chair an AGM?

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2009-11-09 04:38:59

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(Note: this applies to fairly informal community-run committees like creche or kindergarten committees. The chairperson is usually the president in such instances. For more formal AGMs I suggest you look elsewhere.)

The chairperson declares the meeting open, welcomes guests and members and accepts the apologies.

The Secretary reads the minutes of the previous AGM (not the previous committee meeting) - sometimes these are just distributed beforehand for people to read. They must then be confirmed with a motion, and seconded - then a vote taken. For example, person A says "I move the adoption of the minutes of the 2008/09 Annual General Meeting" and person B says "I second that motion".

If there is any business arising from the minutes of the previous AGM it is then dealt with. Any correspondence for the AGM is read and dealt with (other correspondence is held over until the next committee meeting). Note: there is rarely any business arising or correspondence at AGMs - such things have generally been resolved in the previous year!

The President then presents his/her annual report, which briefly covers the year's achievements and results. The report is adopted in the same manner (one person moves, and another seconds - these people can be pre-arranged so they might say something nice about the report and/or the work of the president/committee).

The treasurer then presents the annual financial statement. The treasurer then says, "I move that this annual financial report be received and adopted". Someone seconds this motion (and if pre-arranged, might say something nice about the treasurer's work).

The next step is election of office bearers. If the president is likely to continue, he/she should have someone else chair this part of the meeting. The (new) chair then declares all positions vacant. If there is more than one nomination for any position, a secret vote will take place (generally though, those in the running might leave the room so that a show of hands can be counted). Sadly, it is more usual that members are being begged and coerced into joining the committee so voting is fairly rare in my experience! After declaring the results, the new president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and committee members are installed - the guest chair vacates the seat and the new chairperson (usually president) runs the remainder of the meeting.

If there is a guest speaker, the chair will then introduce him or her and they will speak next. A pre-arranged person will thank the guest speaker at the conclusion of their speech (and present a gift if appropriate).

The chair then wishes the new committee well and declares the annual general meeting closed.

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