Protocol and Installations

An Educational Lesson By Paul McClintock, PRP, 2002-04-01


Installing New Officers

An installation ceremony is one way to stress the importance of officers and their contribution to the organization and it will inform the members of the officer roles. Being chosen as an officer is an honor which deserves recognition.  (Adapted from

Sample simple script (adapted primarily from

Will the newly elected officers please come forward.

1. Would the newly elected Treasurer, please step forward.

_______________, you have been elected to the office of Treasurer of this Society. It will be your duty to provide fiscal leadership through careful attention to the disbursement and receipt of Society funds. You are expected to attend all meetings and carry out the responsibilities vested in you by the Bylaws of this Society. Do you promise to fulfill your duties to the best of your ability?

2. Would the newly elected Secretary, please step forward.

_______________, you have been elected to the office of Secretary of this Society. It will be your duty to provide a permanent record of all official meetings and communications of the Board of Directors. You are expected to attend all meetings and carry out the responsibilities vested in you by the Bylaws of this Society. Do you promise to fulfill your duties to the best of your ability?

3. Would the incoming President please step forward.

_______________, you have been chosen for the highest office in the __________________ Society. This office has been conferred only upon those who have proven great dedication and great ability. Those who fill it must be willing to follow the high ideals of this Society and pledge themselves to this Society, always in the light of these ideals. Do you promise to devote the time necessary to fulfill the duties of President to the best of your ability?

It gives me great pleasure to present you this gavel, which is the symbol of your authority.  (Present the President with the handle and then shake hands.)

This concludes the installation of your new officers.  Please welcome them and wish them well in their responsibilities with your applause.

Notes:  Installations often first thank the officers ending their term.  Installation ceremonies may include lighting candles, giving each new officer a small gift, and a prayer at then end for the new officers.  Gifts could be roses, Spotlights, polished stones, etc.

Installations often have a theme and it is often woven into the charge to each new officer.  A color theme could have green (money) for treasurer, blue (truth) for secretary, gold (loyalty) for vice president, and purple (royalty) for the president.  Other themes could be “passing the torch” or “outer space” or “character traits” or spices or plants or music; see NAP’s Installations, Invocations, Memorials.

Seating Arrangements at Head Tables

(Adapted from Spotlight on Protocol.)

Regular Business Meeting:            Treas   VP   Sec   Pres   Lectern   Parl   Prog   Pledge   Invoc

Installation Meeting:
Pledge   Treas   Sec   VP   Inst   Pres   Lectern   NewPres   NewVP   NewSec   NewTreas   Parl   Invoc

Pledge   VP2   VP1   St-Pres   Natl-Pres   Pres   Lectern   Parl   Sec   Treas   Cred   Rules   Prog   Invoc

Treas: Treasurer, VP: Vice President, Sec: Secretary, Pres: President, Parl: Parliamentarian, Prog: Program Chairman, Pledge: Leads the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, Invoc: gives invocation, Inst: Installing Officer, New: Incoming officer, VP2: 2nd Vice President, VP1: First Vice President, Cred: Credential Chairman, Rules: Rules Chairman.


(Adapted from NAP’s Spotlight on Protocol and AIP’s Protocol.)

When a state or national president is introduced, the audience should stand and applaud.  They should be invited to say a few words, and are always introduced by the presiding officer (not the program chairman).

When introducing guests, start with the one of lowest rank.

When introducing speakers, start with the one of highest rank.

“Present” to the assembly a person they already know; “introduce” those they do not know; “present” when in doubt.

The President always thanks the Speaker; it should be a simple thanks.


(Adapted from NAP’s Spotlight on Protocol.)

The invocation is a prayer for divine assistance.  The presiding officer says, “Please rise for the invocation led by ______, (and remain standing for the pledge of allegiance to the flag led by ______).  Invocations are generally given by a recognized religious leader or member of the clergy, and the invocator sits at the head table if possible.  Opinions differ regarding how sectarian the prayer should be, but it certainly should be directed to God seeking His assistance, and not be used to preach to the audience.  Sectarian advocates urge saying the faith-neutral “Almighty God” or “God Almighty.”

Flag Etiquette

The “Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America” (as it should be called) follows the national anthem (which follows the invocation).  Each person should stand at attention facing the flag with their right hand over their heart.  A man not in uniform should remove his hat and hold it at the left shoulder with his hand over his heart.  Those in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.  “One Nation under God” is properly said with no pause in the middle.

The Flag of the United States of America should be carried on the marching right when with other flag(s) or in center in front of a line of other flags.  On a stand on a platform it should be to the speaker’s right as he faces the audience.  If hung on a wall vertically, the blue union should be in the upper left.


Installations, Invocations, Memorials, National Association of Parliamentarians, 1993, 38 pages.  Numerous samples of each of these.

Protocol, Miriam Butcher, CPP, PRP, American Institute of Parliamentarians, 1996, 11 pages.  History, flag, receiving lines, installation ceremony, head table, speakers, introductions, toasts.

Spotlight on Protocol, National Association of Parliamentarians, 1993, 17 pages.  General principles, seating arrangements, introductions, invitations, flag, decorum.

Social Usage and Protocol Handbook, U.S. Navy.

World wide web resources:

Paul E. McClintock,, 1-866-PAUL-MCC.
Updated 2006-04-18.