Reaching the newcomer (Digitally)

Posted 3-23-2020 6pm

Suggestions for Groups on Engaging the Newcomer in Online Meetings

As groups have transitioned to online meetings, it’s become important to find creative ways to engage and help the newcomer. Based on most recent feedback, here is a list of ways for online meeting moderators to support the newcomer:

Make an announcement at the beginning and/or end of the meeting stating something like:

"Newcomers are welcome and encouraged to introduce yourself. To do this, the chat function will be open for any newcomers, or anyone in need of help, to share their phone number in the chat box at the end of the meeting. Please let us know if you are new at the close of this meeting, so we may get to know you better."

Give newcomers the opportunity to “raise their hand” to introduce themselves at the beginning of the meeting using your online platform’s “raise hand” function. Make an announcement at the beginning and/or end of the meeting stating something like:

"At this meeting we like to welcome newcomers within their first 90 days of sobriety. If you are new, please use the 'raise hand' function on your screen to "raise your hand" and introduce yourself. Even if you are sharing your camera - please do not physically raise your hand, as the moderator may not see you."

Encourage the guest speaker and/or your meeting moderators to share their number in the chat box before the meeting with a chat box message such as:

"We welcome newcomers and hope that you will reach out to get to know us better. Our speaker today is "___(Name)___" and they may be reached at: "__(Phone number)__". Here is a list of other regular attendees of this meeting that would be happy to connect with you: "_(List first names and phone numbers of other fellows willing to share their number)__".

Make an announcement or post the following in the chat box:

"If you would like to connect with someone directly from the Washington Area Intergroup Association (WAIA) to discuss the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and how it works, please call: 202-966-9115 or email:

Submitted by Cara F to

The online resource for Alcoholics Anonymous in the nation's capital.