Annual Business Meetings

Towards the end of the Toastmaster year, in May, club officer elections need to take place.  It is important that club Presidents know what to do. It is suggested that the club President becomes familiar with how to run an Annual Business Meeting, including the election of club officers. Follow these notes and you can be sure your Annual Business Meeting will run smoothly.

Annual Business Meetings procedures

1.    The President of the club runs the Annual Business meeting and election of club officers.

2. Hold elections at the first club meeting in May, with new officers taking office from 1 July.

3. At least two weeks before elections, the President appoints a nominating committee. The committee should consist of three active individual members where practicable.

4. Any current active member of the club is eligible to run for office and members may run for more than one office. 

5. Offices to be filled are president, vice president education, vice president membership, vice president public relations, secretary, treasurer and sergeant at arms. All positions should be filled if possible. However, a club must have a minimum of three officers: the president, a vice president and the secretary or secretary-treasurer. 

6. Each office must be held by a different person. The nominating committee may consider active members who have announced their desire to serve in office. It may also seek out qualified candidates. 

7. A member may only be placed on the nominating committee's report if he or she has consented to the nomination.  Additional nominations may be made from the floor. 

8. The committee's report is presented at the club meeting prior to the election. If the nominating committee fails to provide its report to the club at the meeting prior to the election, then the report is invalid and not binding and all candidates must run from the floor at the meeting during which the election takes place.

9. The Annual Business Meeting can take place within a normal club meeting, and conducted separately to the club meeting, if time permits.

The Role of the Nominating Committee

The nominating committee selects candidates for each of the club offices. The club President appoints a nominating committee of three active members (where practicable) at least two weeks before club elections. The immediate past club President is the committee chair, unless the best interests of the club require otherwise.

The Election Process

Before beginning the election process, briefly explain the major responsibilities of each office.  Then explain the election process and proceed with elections.

1. Accept nominations for the office of president. 

2. Ask for seconding speeches. Any member may stand to second the nomination and give a short speech (usually two minutes) on the qualifications of the nominee. Seconding speeches are given in alphabetical order by candidates' last names. 

3. Ask the nominee if he would accept the position if elected. Allow the nominee two minutes to speak on his own behalf. 

4. Ask for additional nominations for the office of president. If others are nominated, repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for each nominee. 

5. Entertain a motion to close the nominations for the office of president. This requires a second and a vote. 

6. Instruct everyone to cast their ballots. If there is only one nominee, entertain a motion that the secretary be instructed to cast a single ballot on behalf of the candidate. This must be seconded and voted upon. If more than one candidate is nominated, hold a secret ballot. 

7. Ask two people to tally the votes. 

8. Announce the winner. 

9. If the vote is tied, the election is determined by a coin toss.

10. Repeat the above steps for each office.

11. When elections are finished, introduce the newly elected executive committee to the club.

Typical Agenda

A Typical ABM Agenda is as follows:

1. Welcome

2. Apologies

3. Confirmation of Agenda (add any items of general business here)

4. Minutes of the last Annual Business Meeting

5. Matters arising

6. Correspondence (relating to the ABM only)

7. Matters arising from correspondence

8. Financial Report (presented by club Treasurer)

9. Matters arising from Financial Report

10. President's Report (save time by including all other officer reports in President's Report)

11. Election of Officers

12. General Business