Theodore Carcich, former vice president of the North American Division

Occasionally a guest speaker is invited to speak at a church or conference gathering. How should he be treated, and how should he be introduced?

First, the speaker should have prior in- formation regarding the nature of the meeting and what is expected of him. He should also know the time and place of the meeting. If he arrives by train, plane, or bus, someone should meet him and provide transportation to the church or campground. Should overnight accom- modations be necessary, care should be exercised that he does not stay with some family that delights in "talking his ears off" into the wee hours of the morn- ing. There is no surer way of presenting a washed-out preacher at the next day's service,

The service itself should be organized well in advance. It is disconcerting for the speaker to arrive on time only to discover that the meeting is disorganized, the presiding officer unable to find those who are to participate in the service, the rostrum chairs out of place, the auditorium not heated or ventilated, and the choir late getting to the choir loft.

Worse still, while the pastor or presiding officer rushes around trying to bring order out of chaos, someone with an axe to grind belabors the speaker with some real or imagined grievance. All this tends to make the guest frayed and worn out before he speaks, often resulting in a flat and insipid presentation. This frustrating experience can be avoided by careful preparation and organization.

In presenting the guest, the chairman of the meeting should make sure that he has the proper facts about the speaker. At time it is better to place such facts should church bulletin. And these facts should be accurate. A few well-chosen statements are sufficient. Every book written, f every degree obtained, and every office held need not be listed. If the guest did not have the necessary qualifications, he would not have been asked to speak.

Care should be taken in relating anecdotes, especially those involving the speaker. Many times such stories are not appropriate to the theme, the occasion, or the speaker. The one introducing the speaker can be pleasant without being patronizing, brief without being disrespectful.

The speaker's time should be protected. It is unfair to him and to the audience when a long session precedes the address. What speaker has not watched the clock tick off the best part of the speaking hour while listening to a prolonged musical program or to lengthy announcements? Equally frustrating and destructive of a speaker's time at camp meetings are the blow-by-blow instructions on how to take care of tents in a storm or how to find lost children.

It is agonizing for a speaker to hear the chairman say: "I am sorry that we have used up so much time discussing these items, but we want our speaker to feel at ease and take all the time he needs to present his subject. Ladies and gentlemen, I take pleasure in presenting..." By this time the audience is tired, children are fidgety, and infants are crying for their dinner. Upon being presented so late, the speaker may be tempted to say, "My address this morning is 12.3 Main Street, Anytown, U.S.A.," and sit down!

Theodore Carcich, former vice president of the North American Division.