Monday, November 3, 2008

Silence is golden

Given the economic roller coaster we've been riding, it was with keen interest that I joined a seminar on investments this morning.

Unfortunately two attendees maintained a conversation throughout the session, making it hard to follow the presentation. I think one of them finally noticed my glare but it would have been better if the speaker had handled the interruption sooner.

Except, how do you do that without offending the individuals? I think the best approach is to get the audience to help:

Raise your voice or get closer to the mic, signalling that you're aware of the competition.

Pause until the culprits realize they're the only people in the room who are talking. (As I've observed in an earlier post, you should be pausing already for emphasis. Just stretch one of those silences.)

Look in their direction during one of your pauses and ask, "Can everyone hear me?"

By indirectly focussing attention on the talkers, a speaker may encourage the audience – or, better yet – the host to shut them up.

At any rate, the investment seminar was interesting, but, with the gold crowns I've acquired over the years, I now have more wealth in my mouth than in my 401K.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Nice commentary, O.M., but do we really need to get that close to your mouth to hear what you're saying? (;