Friday, May 8, 2009

Five Strange People ...

Time once more for Fiday High Five hosted by Angela:

Five Strange People I Sometimes See When Speaking In Front Of An Audience

  • The bored one. This is the person who is bored to tears by your very appearance before them. It doesn't matter that they were the one who invited you to speak and suggested the topic, it is still clear they would rather be anywhere other than listening to you. You have to be careful though, because sometimes it is these sufferers of ennui that ask the sharpest questions.

  • The perpetual yakker. They were talking before you started talking and they will still be talking long after you are finished. The joke telling variant of the yakker is the worst because they have those around them laughing at their jokes as you speak of serious matters. The worst part is that you'd dearly love to hear a good joke as well.

  • The overly attentive listener. They nod and mouth yes and no to every point and sentence you utter. If they were dogs, they'd be slobbering on your shoes and laying their heads in your lap. Unfortunately, they exhibit just about as much comprehension of the topic of your speech as your dog does.

  • The overly amorous couple. If the audience has a median age below 55, you can count on the show given by this pair. It can leave one with a mixed mind. On the one hand, there is a strong temptation to just shout "Get a room!", but that is probably a holdover from high school. Other times you're sure that a small camera and contacts with the right web site could insure your income for the next year or more.

  • The buffet nabber. This is the person that waits until you start to talk to make repeated passes back through the buffet. Given the amount of food that they carry back to their table during the course of your speech, you wonder why they don't weight 400 lbs. Then you wonder if they have the plastic lined purse and are stocking up for the week.

So what kind of odd people do you see when you speak before crowds. If you don't speak (and I have to ask why not), then what about the odd people sitting around you in the audience?


  1. I am the one sitting there with my eyes rolled to the back of my head. Unless you grab me at the beginning and speak with multiple inflections, you have lost me.

    I would rather clean up yard poo than listen to someone who drones on and on while wrapping their lips around the microphone, slurping and muttering about something that has nothing to do with anything.

    But I am sure you are a wonderful speaker and I would be captivated :)

  2. Oh no - I don't speak in front of people. At all. Ever. Although, I'm afraid that will change soon, seeing as I work in corporate communications. I'm sure I'll eventually have to get up in front of people - ooooh I'm dreading it. I get sooo nervous!
    As a member of the audience I usually bounce between super focused and super spaced out. I start off strong - hanging on every word. Then it depends on the quality of the speaker. A lot of them lose me a few minutes into their speech and I zone out...

  3. So funny ... I know what you are talking about! And I don't talk in front of crowds often ... but I did read to my son's pre-K class and they were ALL perpetual yakkers!!!

  4. Wow...I think I may have heard you speak before...The last time I spoke before a crowd...hmm I'm not sure I can remember

  5. That's some audience! I love your descriptions. So funny! The overly attentive listener one cracks me up. Those buffet nabbers are ready to throw their fork at anyone who cuts in line :)


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