Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Etiquette for PR XVII..Meeting manners for Service Clubs

 Be Punctual
Since you know you meet at a particular time, schedule your activity/work accordingly.  It is very distracting for the speaker of the day to find members tricking in every now and then.
Take your seat
As Soon as the meeting is called to order, take your seat.  If you are halfway through your coffee, you can sacrifice it.
Don't walk-out
It is bad manners to walk-out while the Chief Guest is speaking.  If you have something important to attend to sit in the last chair of the back row, closer to the door, so that your exit is inconspicuous.
Avoid whispered/loud comments
Even if you don't agree with what the speaker says, avoid making comments. You can reserve them for the question/answer session.
Be a Listener
The biggest insult to a speaker is to find a tittering audience. Once you have invited a speaker, however good or bad, he/she is, you have to be a silent listener.
Question politely
Speakers invite question.  But don't challenge.  Be polite and ask for clarification, if you have a doubt.  If you don't find the answer satisfactory don't start a discussion.  It will bore others.  Wait for the meeting to be over and then meet the speaker alone.  If he is in a hurry, take his phone number and meet him again.
Calling the meeting to order
The president calls the meeting to order.  The voice must be firm, loud, clear and pleasant.  The president's communication should be short and crisp.  He should confine himself to communicating policy decisions which he should have read and understood earlier.
Introduction of the speaker
This is an important function and should be handled by someone whose language is fluent, pronunciation right and accent good.  The introduction should be done with some warmth.  Reading out a long Bio-data in a deadpan voice, sounds like an obituary.  A long list of the 'speakers' academic qualification and all the jobs he has done is unnecessary.  Pick-out the highlights of his career and a few personal glimpses.  A touch of humour will help.
Welcome address
This should be brief and include the chief Guest, visiting members/ dignitaries and the congregation. If Press is present, special mention can be made.
Vote of Thanks
Mention must be made of all those who have helped, specifying how.  Since it is at the tail end of the function, with everyone impatient to leave avoid anecdotes or personal comments. A gracious thank you is sufficient.
Enlist yourself as a member of a sub-committee only if you believe in its activities.  Go for an activity you can relate with and spare time for.  Once in it keep to it.  Remember your responsibility doesn't cease with paying subscription fee.  Your time and personal involvement is important
Try and be present for meetings.  The purpose of being member of a professional body is to interact.
This is often related to eating and drinking and making merry with one's own circle of friends.  The essence of Fellowship is meeting new set of members at every meeting so that you know each other well.  There are invariably some shy members.  Draw them out and introduce them to others.
Visiting Members
Make them feel welcome.  Set up a table at the entrance at every meeting with a'Welcome to visiting members...’  Let some members of the fellowship committee be in attendance so that visitor feels at home.  After all, he will carry your goodwill back to his club.
New Members
The type of members who are inducted should be carefully scrutinised Quality and not quantity must be the guiding principle.  Essentially, the yardstick should be.
a. How professional is the member
b. How much time can he/she devote?
The role of proposed
Once a member has been inducted, the proposer's interest cools off.  This should not be so.  He should, at least for a year, take personal interest in helping the member 'integregate' into the clubs' culture, ensure he attends programmes, projects and contributes in a positive way to the club.
For a professional body to function effectively, there should be delegation and decentralisation. But this should be done judiciously; only those with an aptitude for that activity should be nominated.  The committees should be small and meet often to plan, execute and review a project.  Preferably, these should be business meetings.  Combining it with a fellowship dinner can rob it of the seriousness required.
Circles & Groups
A professional body is not a political arena.  Here, everyone has a common goal-service to the profession.  Factions, lobbies and circles only break up the homogeneity of the club.  Personal biases should be set aside and whoever is the President, everyone must co-operate and work as a team.