Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross
By Olive Aldous Garrett
(from the April, 1984 issue of The Torch)
"With Founder's Day around the corner, it's a good time to analyze reasons for having a head table at your more formal functions. I think a banquet calls for a real head table. Don't shortcut to informality and put the guest speaker with the president and her executive board at a floor-level table. Running the show from that level may not give the effect you desire.
Picture the situation from the viewpoint of the audience. With a heightened head table, members will see an efficient president handling a meeting in a well-organized fashion. She is surrounded by an outstanding speaker and other distinguished guests. The very presence of such people lends importance to Beta Sigma Phi, and all of us want to be associated with an important organization. So choose your head table with care.
The basic format demands a nucleus of four people - president, speaker, "introducer," and "thanker." If you can have other special guests who complement the speaker or the theme of your meeting, the image you create will be that much better. A head table is a sort of launching pad or show window, projecting Beta Sigma Phi as a sophisticated organization.
The head table is not a means by which you honor the member who was in charge of tickets, or registrations, or door prizes. We all know these hard-working members deserve to be honored, along with other event chairmen. Seat them together at a front table, where, in the interests of time, they can be recognized and asked to stand together. The shy members will appreciate this plan, and this salute to them may earn these members a standing ovation!
Treat your head table guests well. How many times have we had to round these guests up and just about hogtie them to keep them from straying? Try to give these guests an opportunity to meet and speak to their audience, preferably before dinner. A discreet little bell or flashing light could be the signal for the head table guests to gather at a chosen spot for the line-up and entry.
The speaker sits on the president's right. The "introducer" sits on the speaker's right, so she can visit with that speaker beforehand, and gain information to put into her introduction. The "thanker" can sit anywhere else - usually at one end of the table.
A mike on the floor near the head table is another time-saver. It shortens that long trek to the front for people in the audience who have to give reports. Seat those members near the mike for even greater efficiency.
If an extra mike seems redundant or is too expensive for your meeting, it's perfectly alright for your president to give reports. It's often a good idea to condense all reports into one speech, delivered with a good dose of humor! Laughter always helps a conclave or convention.
Of course, we can all learn from hindsight. How did your last event come off? Was it unforgettable? Memorable? Good - or not so good? I think you'll find that the natural friendliness of Beta Sigma Phi can carry most events to a successful conclusion. But isn't it good to know you got it right? That you did the proper thing? When you're in doubt, remember that kindness is always correct.
Happy Founder's Day! May it be one of the best."
Additional Founder's Day Material
a favorite of mine . . .
|Walter W. Ross ... Founder of Beta Sigma Phi|
|What Beta Sigma Phi Means To Me by Bette Plummer|
|On Founder's Day|
|Happy Birthday, Beta Sigma Phi!|
|Here's To Beta Sigma Phi|