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Chairperson Guidelines

Thank you for your willingness to be of service to the group and AA by acting as chairperson for your designated meeting. By accepting this responsibility you agree to either be personally present at the meeting or to be responsible for recruiting another AA member with one year or more of continuous sobriety. This person should be knowledgeable in the application of the 12 steps. They agree to be present at the meeting and will serve as chairman for the meeting. The following are suggestions for leading the meeting which have been discussed by The Group Conscience:


Prepare an AA topic in advance of the meeting and be prepared to share on the topic at the beginning of the meeting from personal experience. REMEMBER…STEP ONE IS TRADITIONALLY THE TOPIC WHENEVER A NEWCOMER TO AA (never attended an AA meeting) IS IN ATTENDANCE.ALSO…A TOPIC REQUESTED BY A MEMBER MAY NEED TO TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER YOUR SELECTED TOPIC OR MAY NEED TO BE INCLUDED IN THE DISCUSSION…particularly if the member is having trouble staying sober.


Please arrive at the meeting at least 10 minutes early to set up for the meeting. Personally welcome any strangers who enter the room prior to the meeting PLEASE FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE GROUP MEETING GUIDE AND FOLLOW THEM AS WRITTEN! This Guide has evolved over several years of Group Conscience input. The Meeting Guide is kept in the brown Group Folder.


START AND END THE MEETING ON TIME. Complete the announcements, etc. and begin member discussion within the first 15 minutes of the meeting. Keep the meeting on track. Occasionally remind the group of the topic to let those arriving late know what topic is being discussed. If the meeting gets off track call on one or more old-timers to restore meeting focus.


THE CHAIRPERSON SHOULD NOT DOMINATE THE MEETING BY MAKING UNNECESSARY COMMENTS THROUGHOUT THE MEETING. It is the group’s meeting…NOT the chairperson’s meeting INCLUDED IN THE DISCUSSION…particularly if the member is having trouble staying sober. Do not allow cross-talk (conversation between two or more attendees).


If an attendee is disruptive to the meeting or will not comply with the Group Conscience Guidelines quietly ask one or more home group members of the same gender to accompany the disruptive person out of the room.


At the end of the meeting give out sobriety chips, and then close with the Lord’s Prayer. Return books, basket, cart, etc. to group's room. Ensure attendance and collection are recorded in the group book.