He was unassuming in midlife. Arriving early, i introduced myself but never mentioned i am a speaker too.
He was much better than i had expected. Shame on me for stereotyping.
His energy, enthusiasm, stage presence, and subject matter expertise was exceptional. When i had asked how many times he had given this presentation, he said it was over 2,000.
He was polished.
And then something unexpected happened, and as a speaker with no influence, i watched helplessly from the last row. The audience’s attention slowly started unraveling after an hour. We still had 45 minutes to go. It got worse.
Not once in the hour and 45 minute speech, for example, was the audience invited to stand up. Not once was the audience invited to do something fun or silly.
Being polished is a double-edged sword.
A room of 300 teens after lunch is a handful – all the way to the finish line.
Insight: i’m thinking deeply about my presentations, especially the second halves.
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