Have you noticed how presidents and presidential candidates often speak in front of a group of VIPs or firefighters or schoolchildren? Using people as a backdrop makes for good footage on the evening news and communicates subtly that the candidate has a lot of supporters.
Depending on the space you have available for an Eagle court of honor, you can achieve a similar effect. Create an “Eagles’ nest” area at the back of the stage and fill it with past and present troop members who are Eagle Scouts (as well as any other Eagle Scouts in the audience). They’ll have a great view of the ceremony and demonstrate to the rest of the audience that the new Eagle Scout is joining a select brotherhood of successful men.
While you could seat Eagle Scouts in the Eagles’ nest from the beginning of the ceremony, I recommend waiting until shortly before the actual badge presentation. That way, they won’t feel like they’re in the spotlight for the full 45 minutes or an hour that the ceremony takes.
When I’ve done this in courts of honor, I’ve had each Eagle Scout as he comes forward step to the microphone to give his name, hometown, troop number, and the year he earned his Eagle badge. Note that some more seasoned Eagles won’t remember all this information, so give them a heads-up at the beginning of the ceremony to give them time to remember!
For more great ideas, check out my ebook, Showtime: 45 Top Tips from EagleBook.com and The Eagle Court of Honor Book; it costs just $2.99 and is available for immediate download from both EagleBook.com and Amazon.com.