How To Chair An Aa Meeting opaledesigns
How To Chair An Aa Meeting opaledesigns from


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings are a crucial part of the recovery process for people struggling with alcohol addiction. The role of the meeting chairperson is to facilitate the meeting and ensure that everyone has a chance to share their thoughts and experiences. If you have been asked to chair an AA meeting, it can be a daunting task. However, with some preparation and practice, you can become an effective and confident chairperson.

Preparing for the Meeting

Before the meeting, it is essential to prepare yourself for the role of chairperson. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

1. Read the AA Guidelines

The AA Guidelines provide guidance on how to conduct a meeting effectively. It is essential to read and understand these guidelines before you chair a meeting. You can find the guidelines on the AA website or ask your local AA group for a copy.

2. Arrive Early

Arrive early to the meeting to set up the room and greet the attendees. This will help you to feel more comfortable and confident in your role as chairperson.

3. Introduce Yourself

Introduce yourself to the attendees at the start of the meeting. This will help to establish a rapport with the group and make everyone feel welcome.

Conducting the Meeting

4. Start on Time

Start the meeting on time, even if there are only a few attendees. This shows respect for everyone’s time and sets the tone for the meeting.

5. Read the AA Preamble

Read the AA Preamble at the start of the meeting. This sets the tone for the meeting and reminds everyone of the purpose of the group.

6. Set the Topic

Set the topic for the meeting. This can be done by asking for suggestions from the attendees or by choosing a topic that is relevant to the group.

7. Encourage Sharing

Encourage everyone to share their thoughts and experiences. This can be done by asking open-ended questions or by inviting people to share their stories.

8. Keep the Meeting Focused

Keep the meeting focused on the topic. If the discussion starts to veer off-topic, gently steer it back to the topic at hand.

9. Monitor the Time

Monitor the time to ensure that everyone has a chance to share. If someone is taking too long, gently remind them that others are waiting to share.

10. Avoid Cross-Talk

Avoid cross-talk, which is when one person responds directly to another. This can be distracting and prevent others from sharing their thoughts.

11. Be Respectful

Be respectful of everyone’s opinions and experiences. It is important to create a safe and non-judgmental environment for everyone.

Dealing with Challenges

12. Handling Disruptive Attendees

If an attendee becomes disruptive, calmly and respectfully ask them to stop or to leave the meeting. It is important to maintain a safe and supportive environment for everyone.

13. Dealing with Sensitive Topics

If the topic of the meeting is particularly sensitive, it is important to be mindful of everyone’s feelings and emotions. Encourage everyone to share, but also be prepared to redirect the discussion if it becomes too intense.

14. Handling Confidentiality

Maintain confidentiality at all times. Remind attendees that what is shared in the meeting should stay in the meeting.

Closing the Meeting

15. Summarize the Discussion

Summarize the discussion at the end of the meeting. This can help attendees to reflect on what was discussed and to take away some key points.

16. Thank the Attendees

Thank the attendees for coming to the meeting and for sharing their thoughts and experiences.

17. Close with the Serenity Prayer

Close the meeting with the Serenity Prayer. This is a traditional way to end an AA meeting and can help to create a sense of unity among the attendees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about how to chair an AA meeting:

1. How long should an AA meeting last?

An AA meeting can last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the group’s preference.

2. Can a newcomer chair an AA meeting?

Yes, a newcomer can chair an AA meeting. However, it is important to be familiar with the AA Guidelines and to have a basic understanding of how to conduct a meeting effectively.

3. What should I do if I make a mistake during the meeting?

If you make a mistake during the meeting, it is important to acknowledge it and move on. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and the most important thing is to keep the meeting focused and supportive.

4. What if no one wants to share during the meeting?

If no one wants to share during the meeting, it is important to remain patient and supportive. Encourage attendees to share, but also respect their decision if they choose not to.

5. Can I share my own experiences as chairperson?

Yes, you can share your own experiences as chairperson. However, it is important to remember that the meeting is about the attendees and to avoid dominating the discussion.


Chairing an AA meeting can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following these tips and guidelines, you can create a supportive and non-judgmental environment for attendees to share their thoughts and experiences. Remember to be respectful, patient, and focused on the topic at hand.

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