Invocation & Pledge AKA Starting the Meeting
Woohoo! You signed up to start the meeting. While this is a small role, it is pretty important. The Invocation and Pledge section of the meeting has two purposes.
First, it helps keep meetings consistent. If we start the same way every time, it helps get us into the groove and know what to expect. Second, having all attendees say the Pledge of Allegiance means that everyone gets an opportunity to speak. If a guest is too nervous to participate in Table Topics later in the meeting, we can celebrate them for having participating in this small tradition instead.
As the “Pledge Master”, your main job is to lead the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance. If you forgot what your role was and remember 5 minutes before the meeting, have no fear! You can adequately fill this role with no preparation whatsoever. However if you are interested in preparing something extra, you can bring either an invocation or an inspirational thought.
An invocation is religious or spiritual in nature. This can be whatever you want, but it is nice to keep it short and sweet. The other option is an inspirational or motivational thought. Quotes from authors work well for this. Another idea is to try to match the theme of the meeting here.
The order is as follows: invocation, pledge, inspiration. Invocation always comes first and Inspiration last. You can remember this by referring to the saying “God before country.”
As the person giving the Pledge, it is your job to start the meeting. Be sure to be prompt and start right on time! Then give your chosen combination of invocation, pledge, and/or inspiration. Make sure to invite all attendees to do the pledge with you.
After you are done, introduce the Toastmaster of the meeting and turn it over to them. Easy peasy!