Member Tips

SLAAvirtual is committed to worldwide Equality of Access, Inclusion and Diversity in SLAA.

How to start a virtual or “unified” (hybrid) meeting

A “unified” meeting is one that unites both face to face and online participants to carry the message (our Primary Purpose). Unity is one of our three pillars in SLAA.

See our suggestions How to Start an Online Meeting.

How to find a Sponsor in SLAA

This is definitely a FAQ, especially during the pandemic. Our face to face meetings are closed in most places, so there’s less opportunity to meet other members in person before and after meetings.

Member suggestions are set out here: How do I find a Sponsor in SLAA?

How to create a SLAA WhatsApp Group

WhatsApp Groups are a great way for your Group’s members to share support and resources between meetings and get to know one another better (fellowship).

They are also useful for the members holding service position to communicate as necessary to properly manage the meeting.

SLAAvirtual Intergroup uses a WAG to do outreach and help newcomers.

Finally, they are also a great way for members from many different Groups to exchange ideas on selected SLAA Topics.

Here’s our Step by Step Guide how to start your own WhatsApp Group(s).

Readings for Meetings

Tired of the mad scramble to find the Readings for your online meeting? Sick of Googling them in a panic while the whole Meeting waits uncomfortably for you to screenshare? Or worse – the readings are not screenshared, you do not have them and its your turn to read?!!

WE have a Solution! All the Meeting Readings suggested by our members linked to one handy Page.

Bookmark the URL! A bit more serenity (and sanity) for you!

Creating Unified Meetings

Meetings in 12 Step which have both a face-to-face and a virtual component are known as Unified Meetings. With many meetings allowed to return to face to face format, they are choosing to transition to Unified instead.

Here is a helpful document from the Australian Intergroup. Documentation for 12 Step Hybrid Zoom Meetings

Service Structure Abbreviations

Lets be honest. SLAA has developed a language so hard to understand that most of us have no idea whats going on for quite a while!!

There’s the BOT, FWS, CJC, BOC, CPIC, IGs, ABM, ABC and the list goes on and on!

The SLAA Organisation Chart has been extracted from the CSM (thats the Conference Service Manual! See what I just did there?) which lists all the Board and Conference Committee’s names.

If you come across any more acronyms and abbreviations that are confusing, just let us know and we will add their meaning into our helpful List of SLAA Terms.

How is SLAA structured as an organisation?

There is a helpful video at SLAA YouTube that describes the “inverted pyramid” structure of SLAA called:

Service as a Tool of Recovery.

For more detailed information about the structure, see the most current SLAA Conference Service Manual at

Auto-captioning on Zoom

Closed captions are a great idea for members who are hearing impaired or need a little help understanding the speaker.

You can enable closed captions for your home group Zoom meetings by following these simple guidelines.

Please note that this function has very good fidelity to what is spoken during the meeting.

Step 1

A paid subscription is required in order to use the closed caption features. If your Group cannot yet afford its own account, contact us and we can assist.

Step 2

Follow the configuration instructions located here

Closed captioning and live transcription – Zoom Help Center

Step 3

Start a test meeting to check it is working.

Step 4

Once in the meeting, the host must float a mouse pointer over the buttons at the bottom of the display and choose/click the Live Transcription button. A dialog box will be presented. Choose the Enable Auto Transcription option.

Step 5

If individuals attending the meeting would like to toggle Live Transcription ON/OFF, they can do so by clicking the CC (closed caption) button.

Sharing at a Unified (Hybrid) Meeting

Keeping members engaged in meetings can be a challenge, but it’s even harder when some people aren’t in the room.

What can our Groups do to make hybrid sharing more inclusive and the Group more effective? Here are a few tips.

Consider requiring cameras to be on. 

At least during the sharing portion of the meeting. This enables the Speaker to engage visually with everyone. To level the playing field even further, consider asking in-person participants to bring their laptops and turn their cameras on.

Emotionally engage remote participants. 

Greet virtual participants as warmly as those at the meeting in person and continue to involve them equally in the meeting.

Make direct eye contact. 

When speaking, begin by looking deliberately at the camera to send the message that the members not in the room are equally important. Throughout sharing, try to switch back and forth between making eye contact with those in the room and returning your focus back to the remote participants.

Foster collaboration. 

At workshops, retreats and other events, have virtual and in-person participants work together, rather than splitting the group into in-person and remote breakout rooms.

Cameras on or Cameras off?

This is a question every Group is entitled to decide autonomously in Group Conscience as per tradition 4. There’s no inherently Right or Wrong answer.

Our Meetings strive to reach substantial unanimity deciding important Meeting Rules like these. A lot of Sex and Love Addicts don’t like rules – and will test boundaries! – so its important your Meeting is clear why it does what it does on the tricky question of Cameras on or off (or both at different times).

Some say its safer to see who is in the Meeting to verify their identity. And the Meeting is more effective if we can make eye contact.

Others feel safer not disclosing their identity, even to other members.

The principle of Anonymity does not extend to Fellows: we are not anonymous to one another. But equally its every members right to choose whether they want to disclose their identity, when and to who.

Some of us are just triggered by looking at our own face during Zoom Calls. There are Solutions!!!.

SLAA has many successful Telephone Meetings and IRC Chat Meetings (SLAAonline is their Intergroup) for members triggered by looking at themselves or others. SLAAonline has been running for 25 years!

To participate in a Zoom meeting with Cameras ON but hide your video from your own display:

Start or join a Zoom meeting. The meeting automatically begins in Speaker View and you can see your own video.
Hover over your video and click the ellipses button in your video to display the menu, then choose Hide Self View.
You no longer see the video of yourself, even though others in the meeting can see the video of you.