We aim to be friendly and welcoming to all, and to be a club that encourages and embraces diversity. We all need to show respect to our guests and other members. We have built a very good reputation with judges and speakers and want to ensure this continues.
We recognise there is a distinction between competition nights (with judges) and talks (involving guest speakers or our own members). We therefore set out the following guidance:
Judges have a lot to get through and their views are what we have come to hear – whether or not we agree with them. Unless judges actively seek a response, we agree that there will be no interruptions or comments, to enable them to make progress through their prepared lists, and to be fair to all competition entrants. Most judges are willing to offer further clarification to individuals at the break time or at the end of the evening, provided they are approached with respect and a willingness to learn. We agree that on the night their decisions are final and accepted.
Guest speakers have crafted thoughtful and, in most cases, accurately timed presentations. Some welcome questions or comments during their talk and some prefer interventions at the end, so we need to be sensitive to this. In any case, our contributions should add value (to elicit clarification or learning) and be constructive and proportionate, being careful not to interrupt the speaker’s ‘flow’. We will not allow generalised banter or heckling.
Mobile phones are recognised to be a distraction for both speakers and other members, whether that is the noise of an alert coming through or the light from a phone that is on. We therefore ask that everyone should ensure their phone is switched off and put away.
As a welcoming club, we want actively to encourage members to chat to each other! Please, however, save chat for the breaks and not at times when it will distract others or interfere with people’s ability to hear the speaker.
Thank you for your understanding.