A Tip for Speaking at a Luncheon Event

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2015 12:58 Written by Pam Chambers Tuesday, 7 June 2011 04:17

After more than 20 years of public speaking, I thought I had pretty much seen it all. I was wrong.

The meeting was to be one hour, including the buffet lunch,  some organizational announcements, and my presentation (on giving presentations).

More people showed up than were expected and the servers had to scramble to set up an additional table. For this, and other reasons, the start of the meeting was delayed. (Even when meetings start late, people will leave on time.)

The president of the club introduced me as many people were just starting their meal. Because of the rectangular tables, nearly half of the the 40 audience members had their backs to me. Picture that.

I told them that I knew better than to compete with food, and that I’d save my most important tips for when they were done eating and could turn their chairs to face me. Amazing: 2/3 of the people did not turn their chairs to face me, so I was talking to their backs the entire time.

Moral: Request circular tables with settings placed such that everyone faces forward. Duh.


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