Just this week I witnessed a member deliver a Weekly Presentation that I will never forget. It was one of the most memorable Weekly Presentations I have ever seen or heard of. I will remember it for quite a while yet, as will the Chapter members, and of course, the visitors. With visitors being the main consideration here.
You may have guessed by now that this Weekly Presentation was not memorable for the right reasons. I’m not going to go into detail about what we all saw, as that might identify and embarrass the member. Or maybe it won’t, but it’s unnecessary anyway. Suffice to say; it was whacky.
So, what’s wrong with whacky?
Well, where do we start?
I’ll start with this…BNI is not against having fun. Far from it. We understand quite well that members who aren’t enjoying BNI, aren’t going to stick around. But we’re also a professional organisation and that means that our members have, and are held to, professional standards and we aim to display a professional image to visitors.
A whacky Weekly Presentation virtually never accomplishes this.
Even if you work in what could be considered a whacky occupation, it’s still important to understand that we don’t come together each week for a whacky Chapter meeting. The expectation is that we’re all attending a professional Chapter meeting.
A cringe-worthy Weekly Presentation could greatly affect your standing within the Chapter.
Picture this – One of your fellow members watches you deliver a Weekly Presentation one week where you request an introduction to a specific Greengrocer in your neighbourhood. But you do it in a funny and unprofessional manner. That week, that fellow member also has with them a high-profile Lawyer as their visitor. The Lawyer is visibly unimpressed by the lack of professionalism in your request.
If the other member knows the Greengrocer you’re hoping to meet, but is embarrassed by your behaviour in front of their high-profile visitor; I’d suggest you’re probably not going to get the introduction you asked for. Even though that other member has a direct relationship with them.
What if the Lawyer’s business specialty is vacant? A high-profile Lawyer would have an extensive network of great contacts. But her networks will never be open to you, or your fellow Chapter members now, because you failed to behave in a matter fitting of the occasion and environment.