1. Don’t spread the message to thin.
The issues facing middle school audiences are very different from those facing high school students. When Bill is asked to address both age groups in one single presentation he must focus only on those topics and issues which are relevant to everyone, and as a result, the message gets “watered down.”
2. Let’s keep time on our side…
Bill’s best programs are given when he has from 60-75 minutes to present. Although he can do an admirable job in less time, programs confined to 45 minutes or less are usually ‘hit or miss’ propositions. *Presentation time does not include the time it takes to seat the audience, make announcements etc.. If you are releasing students at the end of a new period it is always best to have them report to their next hour class and have that teacher come down to the assembly with them.
3. Make certain the audience is in front of Bill
An auditorium is the best place to hold an assembly, and a gymnasium will only work is the audience if seated on one side facing Bill. If you can’t fit all students on one side of the bleachers, the remaining students should be seated in chairs or on the floor in front of the bleachers facing Bill.
4. Keep the students close to Bill
Use staff members to usher students in and fill the venue from the front to back, and then staff members should sit with their students. When they are allowed to sit anywhere they choose, students typically scatter. Then it takes longer to seat your audience. If your school does not have the tradition of seniors setting up front and center, this would be a good time to start that tradition. The best assemblies are always the ones where seniors are sitting up front and center! Do not allow staff members to sit in back or stand in the back or along the sides. This makes it feel as if we are making them do something. In the 15 years of doing assemblies Bill has discovered that a focused staff sitting with students will create a focused student body. If teachers are standing along the side, or huddled together in the back you are almost asking for a challenging situation.
5. Have the faculty sit with the students
Sometimes the faculty feels that it is necessary to stand along the sides of the auditorium or gymnasium to “police the students”. This is not necessary. Bill has tons of strategies for handling these situations, and having faculty members along the side just creates a distraction and keeps students from hearing the message. Faculty members can be of greatest assistance by sitting with the students and simply participating and enjoying the program. In the event that Bill points out a need for assistance an administrator or faculty member
can stand up and attend to the situation.
6. Make certain everyone will be able to hear Bill.
If Bill did not catch a plane to get to your program then he will bring his own sound system. If Bill has to “catch a plane” to get to your program, then this section is very important!
Have a Quality Sound System. This is one where the speakers are evenly distributed throughout the venue, (a “speaker ball” is great for games but will not work for listening to a speaker). If you are in an acoustically friendly environment a centralized speaker system should handle his needs.
In most cases, all you will need to set up is two-corded microphones, (both cords with a detachable microphones) this will allow Bill to “hook-in” to your system with his wireless microphones and a
nearby power source.
If Bill had to fly to get to your program, and you do not have a quality sound system then buy, rent or borrow an amplifier and two speakers with speaker cables…just make sure Bill has the ‘main tool’ to reach your students. The quickest way to sabotage an assembly is to overlook the need for excellent sound. As a suggestion for a portable sound system go to: http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/speakers/portable_amplification_systems/index.jsp and look at the Bose PAS (personal amplification system). This system can be delivered to your door for a 45 day free trial! If after the assembly you decide you do not like it then you can return it. However, it is my experience that you will get tons of use out of this system.
7. Bill does not require a podium
8. For the best results…
an assembly should follow these 5 steps.
- Get the students in the auditorium, and seated with your staff. Bill will have some fun with your students as they are walking in.
- Have a teacher or administrator gain control (quiet ) the audience.
- Have a student leader or teacher read Bill’s introduction.
- Then, “Hand it over” to Bill
- At the conclusion, have a teacher or administrator dismiss the group.
9. Projector and Screen
Please provide a quality projector and a screen for the assembly. Bill presents from an ipad and will bring all of the necessary cables to hook into your projector. The larger the screen the better. If you are using a permanently mounted projector (such as ones in an auditorium) a standard VGA Cable on stage so Bill can run his projector from the stage works best. If the Ipad needs to be in the sound booth because there is no way to get a VGA cable to the stage we can make that work as well. Just let us know. Questions: call:316-680-6207
10. Bill’s Introduction
(example) Today we have a nationally known speaker who speaks to over 70,000 high school and college students each year. Bill Cordes (Pronounced: Kordis) is a dedicated husband, father of four and is a former teacher, coach, television talk show host, and noted author of 6 books for teens and college students. Please give a warm (your high school name) welcome to…Bill Cordes!