Scouting ceremonies are regularly presented during troop meetings, and special occasions attended by parents and guests. Their aim is to recognize, impress, and inspire. Whether a simple presentation or an elaborate production, ceremonies should be well-paced and flow. A ceremony flows when the audience remains comfortably focussed throughout. No one should ever get restless or bored while the presentation is taking place.
There are many long, pre-worded ceremonies that can be found in publications and Scouting websites. In most cases, when delivering these scripted ceremonies, the youth or adult presenter laboriously reads and often struggles to get through the lengthy script, word-for-word. This can result in an expressionless presentation that loses meaning. That’s why the ideas and suggestions on this site can and should be adapted and often put into your own words. The important thing is to make them your own. Keep the presentation natural, meaningful, and real.
- It’s always much better to deliver a ceremony from the heart, without reading lines. Besides feeling much more natural, doing so provides a welcome sense of familiarity.
- If lines must be read, or parts are meant to be read, in order to avoid awkward moments, the presenter should practice them. Good ceremonies contain meaningful content, and the meaning can be lost if the reader stumbles and fumbles over the script.
- Presenters often mistakenly assume that if they can hear themselves talk, the people in the back row can, too. If microphones are needed, get them and use them.
- It’s also easy to assume that someone else is bringing essential props. Double check that everything is ready to go well prior to the actual presentation.
- When more than one presenter will be involved, acting out different parts, or assuming special roles, it’s just good practice to schedule some run-throughs. Again, to maintain that impressive “flow,” everything should take place smoothly. Confusion during a ceremony is a good way to create discomfort in the audience.
- Scouts are always prepared. All props, materials, microphones, projectors, and visual aids should be ready and properly positioned prior to the presentation.
- Lighting should be checked and any helpers briefed and ready.
- If there will be any special activity, presenters should be acquainted with where they will need to be, what they need to do and when they need to do it.
- Position seating or adjust the setting to assure everyone in attendance will be able to see and hear what’s taking place, so they can enjoy and appreciate the presentation.
- If individuals will need to know where to stand during an elaborate ceremony, tape their “mark” on the floor.