Holiday Format - Technical Information
For the Secretary/Chair to read before leading a phone bridge meeting
As the Secretary/Chair for this meeting you will be given a “leader code” that will give you more features on the key pad than other members.
Here is some information that will help before dialing into the meeting once you have been given the leader code.
1. Dial the phone number and then use the regular pin number followed by the # sign that everyone else uses.
2. There will be a voice prompt after entering the regular pin # that says “IF YOU ARE THE MODERATOR PLEASE PRESS 1.”
3. Follow the prompt and Press 1. The word “moderator” and “leader” mean the same thing.
4. The voice prompt will again say “PLEASE ENTER THE MODERATOR PIN (Leader Code) number FOLLOWED BY THE # SIGN”.
5. You will join the phone meeting muted after entering the leader code and # sign. Press *1 to unmute yourself and then introduce yourself as the Secretary/Chair of the meeting. Press *0 for a menu of all features.
Probably one of the most important services you can give as the Secretary/Chair is to have the highest sound quality on the phone bridge system. This means without background noise and weak sound quality. “Sound” is all we have for the phone meeting to work.
Background noise can be taken as disrespectful or interruptive while members are speaking. As a trusted servant you can guide the meeting without background noise or interruptions to the best of your ability.
Along with your own skills; here are a few tips and a few pieces of information to help you:
1. Technically the phone bridge system is built for “only” one person to be unmuted at a time. This of course would include, You (the Secretary/Chair) as well as the Timekeeper to stay muted by using the *1 keys. The timekeeper only unmutes to say “time”. The Secretary/Chair unmutes a few seconds before the member is done sharing to welcome the next share. You can remind the timekeeper to please stay muted except to say “time”. (Only one line unmuted at a time).
2. As the Secretary/Chair (with the leader code) you are encouraged to use the *5 to clear the line to address the noise. This ensures that members will be able to speak so their share can be heard. Then the member can press the *1 keys to continue sharing without the previous background noise. We call this “Cycling Through”. (Most of the time people forget to mute and don’t know they are not muted). This can be done by saying “Excuse the interruption, I’m going to clear the line” and then press *5 keys. You then could say, “Whoever was sharing please press *1 and begin again,” or “Whoever would now like to share please press *1 to unmute yourself.”
3. Some meetings have multiple readers. The extra unmuted lines will cause the reading to be heard by some but not by other members.
Here are some suggestions.
1. Organize the readers so they know the order they will be reading.
2. Then tell the rest of the readers to mute until a few seconds before it is their turn to read.
3. After each member reads remind them to mute again.
4. (AS A Rule of Thumb), just because you can hear does not mean that other members can. These phones meetings have global coverage. Not all phones have equal sound. Only one line unmuted at a time will keep a clear worldwide phone line for everyone during the meeting.
These 4 technical points can promote safety, warmth and recovery similar to face to face meetings. This was written to assist you to know and understand the phone bridge technical features.
Thank you for taking the time to read these suggestions. If you need help, just ask. Congratulations on doing service and beginning the flow that opens our heart to what it already knows---that we all need each other.
Your Web Coordinator
The Meeting Format Starts Now
(This is the part you read out loud)
1. Hi, my name is ____________________, a grateful Al-Anon member and your secretary for this holiday marathon meeting.
2. This meeting last for one hour and ten minutes and will at the stop at five minutes after the top of hour for members to share their telephone numbers.
a. Prior to joining the meeting, we ask members to temporarily disable their call waiting by dialing *70 before calling the number to the phone bridge (example *70-1-712-432-8733). If you do not disable your call waiting we may hear your conversation or beeping.
b. When you dial in, you will start the conference being muted.
c. Stay muted at all times unless you are sharing. You can un-mute by pressing your *1 keys. You will hear a voice say “you are now unmuted”. Some phones do not have a long enough beep for the muting and un-muting to happen. You may have to press *1 several times for this function to work. When the voice comes on you will know that the *1 keys have worked.
d. We ask members to use the *1 keys to mute even if they have a mute function on their individual phones. The *1 keys ensure the greatest sound strength for the entire phone line and provides the greatest service to all members of the phone bridge during the meeting.
e. Please do not use a speakerphone for sharing or we will all hear an echo. Some speaker phones will not mute even when pressing your *1 keys.
f. To hear a menu of all the features--such as volume control and member count--simply press * by itself.
Let’s open with a moment of silence for those family members still suffering inside and outside of these rooms, followed by the Serenity Prayer.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
(Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual pg. 10)
4) Chairperson reads or asks a volunteer to read:
SUGGESTED AL-ANON WELCOME: (How Al-Anon Work’s pg. 8 or in the Al-Anon Alateen Service Manual pgs. 10-11)
CHAIRPERSON ASKS VOLUNTEERS TO READ:
Preamble to Al-Anon’s 12 Steps (2 Pages before January 1 in all 3 mediation books)
Al-Anon’s 12 Steps (one page after December 31 in all three mediations books)
One Tradition & One Concept of the month (1 and 2 pages after the 12 Steps in all 3 meditation books)
3. According to the 7th Tradition, Al-Anon is fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. We invite you to send contributions to WSO stating that it is from the Al-Anon Phone Meetings.
Or electronically at www.phonemeetings.org on the “Contributions” page. Donations can also be made at your face-to-face meetings.
4. Do we have a volunteer who will stay of the line after the meetings to answer questions about Al-Anon and to explain the phone etiquette?
5. Are there any newcomers on the phone bridge today? You can press your *1 keys to un-mute and state your name so we may greet you. We reserve the last fifteen minutes of the meeting especially for newcomers to share or for members who normally are quiet so that everyone on the phone bridge has an opportunity to share.
6. Are there any Al-Anon related announcements? Announcements for meetings on other phone bridges can be announced after the end of the meeting.
7. Let’s go around the globe and introduce ourselves.
Hi, I am ______(Name)_____ from (_______State___)
8. This meeting is a speaker meeting and last for 1 hour and 10 minutes. The speaker will speak for approximately 15 minutes on a topic or step of their choice.
If the speaker is not present, ask for a volunteer. If no one steps up then select a topic from a piece of Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature(CAL).
After our speaker is finished we will open up the meeting for 3 minutes shares on a topic picked by the speaker. With great pleasure, I introduce and turn over the floor to our speaker _____. Would you like a 5 minutes heads up?
After speaker is done …
Thank you _____________ (speaker) for your share and all the people that read. Would you (the speaker) like to give out your phone #?
11. Anonyminity Statement -In Al-Anon, this is a gentle reminder that we speak from our own experience and ours is derived from living with the effects of alcoholism. We ask those who are members of other anonymous programs not to break their anonymity and to try to identify with the Al-Anon approach for the family illness. Ours is a different experience and calls for a different interpretation.
12. We have three minute shares. Do we have a volunteer to be our spiritual timekeeper? Would the spiritual timekeeper like to share first? We ask the timekeeper to stay muted except to come in to gently say time at three minutes. And we ask those who share to acknowledge that they have heard the timekeeper, and wrap up their share.
13. (Five minutes before the top of the hour- Meeting is 1 hour and 10 minutes) We are now at fifteen minutes before the close of the meeting; we will now open up the sharing for newcomers or for those members who do not regularly share.
14,) CLOSING (Five minutes after the top of the hour):
Chairperson reads or asks a volunteer to read:
The Al-Anon Suggested Closing found in How Al-Anon Works pg. 396 or pg. 380 in the older version of the book or in The Al-Anon Alateen Service Manual pg. 22.
15) Chairperson asks: Will all who care to, join me in closing with the Al-Anon Declaration followed by The Serenity Prayer.
(Al-Anon Declaration can be found in the Al-Anon Alateen Service Manual pg. 22 or Paths to Recovery Roman Numeral page 9 (IX).
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And wisdom to know the difference.
(Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual, Page 10)
15.) Names & Telephone Numbers: Ask for members to call out names of individuals they want telephone numbers from and ask those members to stay on the line and give out their phone numbers.
Holiday and Meeting Schedules can be accessed on the web at www. phonemeetings.org
6am 7days a week
8am Saturday and Sunday
9am Weekdays (Monday ----- Friday)
Noon Monday ----- Saturday
4pm 7 days a week
8pm 7 days a week
10pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
12 midnight Monday and Thursday
We now open up a space for people to announce other Al-Anon meetings with different phone numbers and pin numbers. Do we have anyone that would like to announce a different Al-anon meeting?
Chair passes off to the volunteer (say name) able/willing to serve as newcomer greeter.
MEETING IS NOW FORMALLY CLOSED.