Home Service Speaker Go-Getter

Speaker Go-Getter

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I’ve been in OA this time around for sixteen years. Before that I was in for eight years, then out for five. For all of these years, I resisted taking a certain service position: Program Chair (or Speaker Getter). It seemed like too much pressure for me to handle.

In June, I relented and decided to give the position a try. I’m good on the phone, so why not? Over the years, I’ve collected tons of phone numbers from my fellows and from meeting sign-in sheets. I started doing this because my sponsor suggested I make two outreach calls a day. I’d resisted, but she told me the calls were for me and it didn’t matter if I reached someone or not—just make the calls.

So I did it. I got organized, printing out a blank calendar for the next six months, and began making calls. At first, I didn’t get many callbacks. I did, however, reconnect with fellows I had not seen in years. I caught up with former sponsees. I spoke with fellows who were no longer in program, but who were glad to hear from me—who thought, since I’d called, that they would try OA again. I spoke to some who had tried other programs that were working for them, but who were also glad to hear from me. I spoke to some who asked me to remove their numbers from my calling list. It was all okay.

I was determined to book speakers for the whole six months. I made about ten calls a day. My fellows were more than happy to help me. I asked people who didn’t normally speak and they were surprised, flattered, and a little nervous. I have found that everyone has a story, and I am interested in hearing them all.

I booked the whole six months in about a week of making phone calls. Then I started receiving calls from my fellows who had agreed to speak. They were asking me to speak at their meetings! How could I say no, when they had said yes to me? So I’ve been speaking at lots of meetings.

As I make reminder calls to my meeting’s speakers, I assure them I will see them there. That means I’m guaranteed to get to that meeting—a weekend meeting I could sometimes miss because my weekends get busy.

I saved all the numbers, so now there are numerous lists in my smartphone and a network of friends to call when my sponsor isn’t available. I also hear from fellows at meetings, even weeks and months later, thanking me for calling them. I had no idea how rewarding this particular service position would be. Now I know that the benefits overflow. I’ve done service in other positions, but this one has been especially meaningful to me. I wonder why I waited so long.

— Denise B., Los Angeles, California USA

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