For Presenters

 Posted by at 1:26 pm

Dear Presenter:

We greatly appreciate your willingness to present to the Miller Eccles Study Group. Please read the following carefully as it contains important information concerning your presentation.

Website Entry: We would like to post an entry about your presentation on our website home page. Please take a look at that page to see entries for our upcoming speakers, as well as for our most recent past speakers. As soon as possible, we would appreciate your providing Scott Volmar ( with (a) a title for your presentation; (b) a description of the topic; (c) a short biographical sketch; and (c) a photograph. Bear in mind that an interesting, attention-getting description can help draw a good crowd.

What to Expect: Over the years the Miller Eccles Study Group has become perhaps the premier organization of its type serving the Mormon community. We typically draw 50 – 75 attendees in Orange County and 30 – 60 in Los Angeles County. Among our biggest strengths are the intimacy and informality of our meetings. We have an eclectic group that includes conservative, moderate and liberal Mormons and we try to be respectful of all viewpoints. Although our group includes some academics, the majority are not intellectuals. As you prepare your remarks, try to gear them to non-experts in your field. We find that it is better to avoid “reading a paper,” as one might at an academic conference, but rather to speak informally.

Locations: On Friday evening you will be presenting at the Cal State Fullerton Institute building in Orange County. On Saturday evening you will be presenting at the Frandsen home in Los Angeles County. Please visit our Venues & Directions page for addresses and directions.

Timing: Our meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. After welcoming remarks and introductions you can expect to begin your presentation at about 7:45. We ask you to limit your prepared remarks to about 50 – 55 minutes, which means you should conclude by at least 8:35 – 8:40 and open the floor for questions. We close at 9:00 p.m. (The interchange between the audience and speaker is one of the most important features of our meetings, so it is important that you leave 20 – 30 minutes for questions.)

Set-Up: We are happy to accommodate whatever setup you need. Please let us know as soon as possible if you will need a screen and projector. Also, let us know if you plan to use your own laptop or would like us to set up one for you.

Friday Evening Dinner: If your schedule permits, we would like to take you to dinner on Friday evening. Our custom is to meet at 5:30 p.m. at a restaurant near Cal State Fullerton. This gives us time to have dinner and still arrive at the venue in time to accomplish last-minute setup details, make certain that the audio-visual equipment is working properly, and greet early arrivers.

Dialogue Podcasts: In addition to serving on the MESG board, I am also a member of the board of Dialogue Foundation and host of the Dialogue Podcasts. Our practice is to record the Orange County lecture, edit it and post it online. These audio podcasts are a popular way of reaching individuals who cannot attend the lecture, either because they don’t live in Southern California or they have a conflict. There are some 1,000 to 2,000 people who subscribe or individually download our podcasts. Unless you inform us otherwise, we will assume this is acceptable to you. If you use a PowerPoint presentation, please bear in mind that podcast listeners will not be able to see your slides, so you should try to incorporate the substance of them into your remarks.

Books & CDs: If you have books or CDs you would like to make available for sale at Miller Eccles meetings we would be happy to accommodate you in one of several ways:

  • You can bring the books or CDs with you.
  • You or your publisher can ship the books to our home and you can take any unsold books with you to the Frandsen home on Saturday. You or your publisher should have a return label for any unsold books remaining after Saturday night.

Customarily a “Miller Eccles Discount” is offered for books sold at our events. The amount can vary but typically is at least 20%, rounded off to the nearest dollar for cash customers. This helps make the price more competitive with Amazon’s price and it also tends to boost sales (who can resist a “discount?”).

Claremont: Sometimes we partner with the Claremont Mormon Studies program to bring speakers to Southern California. If you have been asked to speak at Claremont you will typically give a presentation Thursday evening and attend a class on Thursday afternoon as well. Details will be worked out with the director of the Claremont Mormon Studies program (Patrick Mason).

Expenses: We will reimburse you for your airfare, rental car and lodging expenses. You should make your own travel arrangements and submit a request for reimbursement to our treasurer, Phil Bradford (, 951.735.2135). Phil usually attends our Orange County meetings. If you are also speaking at Claremont, you should submit your expenses to the Claremont Mormon Studies director, who will then bill us for our share.

Since we are a non-profit organization dependent on the contributions of our attendees, we appreciate anything you can do to keep expenses reasonably low. In some cases our presenters stay with friends or family in Orange County and though it is certainly not required, we do appreciate any savings you might pass along as a result.

Sometimes our presenters will elect to drive to Southern California. In such cases we will reimburse an amount equal to the standard round-trip airfare.

Suggested Flight Arrangements: If you are not presenting at Claremont, we suggest you fly into Orange County’s John Wayne Airport (SNA), since it is much closer to your speaking venue. Alternatively, you can consider Ontario International Airport (ONT). This will require a slightly longer drive to Orange County, but it is preferable to Los Angeles International (LAX). (The drive from LAX to Orange County on Friday afternoon is extremely unpleasant and the airport isn’t very close to any of our venues.) If you are presenting at Claremont, then Ontario Airport is the preferred choice. Claremont is about ten miles from the Ontario Airport.

Suggested Motel Accommodations: We suggest you consider the Fullerton Marriott, which is located at 2701 Nutwood Avenue, within walking distance of the Fullerton Institute building.  If you are presenting at Claremont it will probably be most convenient to stay at a motel in Claremont. Our suggestion is the Claremont DoubleTree.

Driving Distances: If you are unfamiliar with Southern California you may find the following table of distances and estimated driving times to be helpful. To help you visualize, think of Claremont, the Frandsen home and the Fullerton Institute as forming a giant triangle. If you click on any of the links below you will be taken to a Google Maps page giving directions. The driving times are my best guesses based on the time of day you will likely be on the road.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. We look forward to seeing you!

— Morris Thurston