Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Business Meeting Basics Video

Here's the promised video that describes the basics of parliamentary business meeting mechanics, including how to speak in debate and the most common ways we count votes.

Once again I thank those of you who stayed after the Westercon 68 Business Meeting in San Diego to sit around and demonstrate meeting mechanics. In retrospect, I would have been better off to sit there and read the narration for the section about being recognized in debate so that the sound quality was the same as everything else in the video, but after a lot of fiddling with microphones and amplifiers, Lisa managed to get things matched decently closely. Besides, the order in which I ended up cutting the video of debate mechanics was significantly different from the way I originally wrote it, so it probably would have needed to be re-recorded anyway.

We definitely learned some things from doing this video. I need to be better about setting out exactly what I wanted in each shot. Lisa needs to learn that if something messes up the shot, like people walking into the frame, or her needing to make an adjustment in the middle of the shot, it's okay for her to stop the shot and do it again. As she told me, this is different from all of the documentary footage she's been doing of Fannish Inquisitions and Business Meetings, because you have the luxury of doing the shot again if it doesn't work the first time.

Editing is a pain, though. This video runs just under eight minutes. It ended up taking me about one hour of editing time per one minute of final footage. I'm told that's not that unusual.

I hope this video helps people who aren't familiar with our normal practices in deliberative assembly debates under formal parliamentary-law rules. I know this can be intimidating to newcomers. While I can't have the WSFS Business Meeting be a seminar in Robert's Rules of Order, I do want to make it clear that those of us running the meetings aren't trying to use the rules to silence people, but to allow a large group of people with diverse and conflicting opinions to reach a decision in an orderly and fair manner.

By the way, there are panels scheduled immediately after the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Business Meetings (in a smaller room nearby) to discuss the technical aspects of each day's meeting. That's the place to go if you want to hear in more detail why things went the way they did. If you're really interested in learning more about how to make the rules work for you, I recommend putting off lunch until after the "What Just Happened?" panels on those days.
Tags: business meeting, worldcon, wsfs
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