Quick Start - Getting Started
Welcome to Public Talks!
The public talks database is populated with dummy data when it gets installed. There is a certain amount of action required on your part to get Public Talks up and running. If you follow these steps through, it should be a simple process. In each step, you will find a link which will take you to the help topic for that particular task. I recommend you do this and understand how to to add, delete or modify entries before performing it yourself.
There is a facility to import all the information needed into each table. But you must have your information in a specific format. If you want to do it this way, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the importing facilities in the Database Maintenance window.
Each maintenance page on this window has its own import facilities. However, if you want to get up and running quickly, I suggest you follow these 6 simple steps.
The very first thing you must do after installing the program and launching it is to add the Brothers that you have assigned as Watchtower Readers or Chairmen, and which brothers are assigned as Watchtower Conductors (if you need to). Once you have added them, you can delete the dummy entries.
The next thing you should do is add the names of those who offer Hospitality to the speakers giving the Public Talks. Once you have added them, you can delete the dummy entries (this step is optional). If you don't manage the Hospitality, just delete the dummy entries, and then when adding Home Talks, just select the blank entry from the drop-down list for the Hospitality. Using the program preferences, you can get it to default to <NONE> automatically.
The next thing you must do is add the Congregations that you exchange with and the speakers available in those congregations. You should also specify who the Talk Coordinator is and the Public Talk numbers for each speaker. You don't have to add all of the congregations at this time as it may take a while to do it. It is recommended that you build this information up as you make your next exchange with each congregation. When you do add a congregation, you must remember to manually specify when it was last invited to your hall. You only do this once. Once you have added some congregations, you can delete the dummy entries.
You should set your own congregation as the Local one and specify which of your speakers are assigned as away speakers (see the Congregations help topic).
You must do this for the program to function correctly.
If the congregation has more than one meeting time for the Public Talk, then use the Time Changes Manager to setup this information. Once done, the program will keep the meeting times correct for you.
Next, you might need to add some public talk Categories. However, this is unlikely as they are provided by the society and all current ones are included by default.
All the current Public Talk outlines are already in the database. However, you must update the information for each talk. This task is probably the longest that you are required to do. For each Public Talk, you must specify when it was last heard at your hall (if ever) and how many times you know it has been heard. You only do this once. Afterwards, the dates and talk count are automatically kept up to date.
All the resource information is now in place. So you can now begin adding Away / Home Talk entries into the database!
That's it! By following these six simple steps, you already have the program tailored to your congregation and can even begin generating your first Reports which can then be saved, loaded at a later date and printed out.
If you want help it writing custom report scripts, please have a look at the Scripting Tutorial.
... and that is basically it! If you want to know more, make a cup of tea, sit back and check out the remainder of this help file.