While this presentation should appear natural and somewhat off-the-cuff, you must spend ample time preparing. Believe it or not, an off-the-cuff speech requires more preparation than a formal one. Winston Churchill once said, “It takes several days to prepare a good impromptu speech.”
The first thing to do is choose the members who will make the presentations. They do not have to be the recruitment chairman and president. They should be sharp-looking men who can speak well in public and who represent the chapter well. These men should be versed in the recruitment program and the image the chapter wants to project during rush. They should carefully rehearse their portions of the presentation and prepare for questions. A well-prepared presentation can leave the kind of impression that will have a sorority buzzing about PIKE for weeks.
The next step is to have the recruitment chairman arrange a meeting with each sorority president to ask for an opportunity to address the entire chapter at their next meeting. If you cannot address them at a meeting, you might be able to speak at another one of their group functions, so long as you feel the majority of the chapter will be in attendance and willing to give you their attention.
Now as for the completion of the presentation itself, it is highly recommended that the presenters wear a suit and tie. Some may say that they want to go for a more casual “laidback” feel, but here is the problem. If you tell the women that Pikes are scholars, leaders, athletes, and gentlemen, you need to dress accordingly. By wearing a suit and tie, you will look more scholarly, more like a leader, and more like a gentleman. It will provide instant credibility to everything you say, and will set you apart as different from other fraternity men. In the Greek world, image is everything.
Now that the presentation is complete, it is time to follow up, as it is a very important part of the process. Give the sorority a few days to generate some names. Dressed nicely, stop by in the middle of the week to pick up the recommendation sheet, and be sure to leave another one with them. If you see some women in the foyer while you’re picking up the sheets, ask them if they put any names on the list. If not, ask them why? If they did, thank them for their efforts.
Now that you have a list of recommendations, it’s time to start calling. Be sure to thank each sorority member individually if one of her recommendations becomes a new member of Pi Kappa Alpha.
Presenting to Campus Organizations
Sororities are not the only groups that you can ask for rush recommendations. By tweaking the above process to fit your target audience, you can make similar presentations to other groups on campus as well. Some example of organizations where you may find good recommendations would be the following:
- Student government
- Women’s athletic teams
- Honors college
- Community service groups
- Student newspaper
- Club sports teams
Again, the members of these organizations are likely to know quality men on your campus. They may even be top-notch recruits themselves. Even if you do not receive as many recommendations as you would from a sorority, you still presented a very favorable impression of Pi Kappa Alpha, and have improved your chapter’s public relations.
A sample sorority presentation script can be found in your myPIKE account in the chapter resources under the “recruitment chairman supplemental resources” folder. For more general recruitment resources, take a look at the recruitment handbook.
Jarrett M. WayDirector of Educational Content & Strategy