Tough enough to speak

Most occupations have some sort of competitive element. People like to push their limits to show they are tougher than others. In some, it means they go with out sleep. In other occupations, people may push through the pain of stress. Or they might endure colder or hotter temperatures just to prove how tough they are.

The same thing apparently happens in public speaking.

I just got back from a trip where I did an hour and fifteen minute presentation each of 4 days. There was 1 speaker before me, and two after me. We had a different audience each day.

The crowd ranged from 80 to 120 people in medium sized conference rooms. At one facility we had a microphone available.

I came up for my slot and noticed the mike sitting there on the table, and commented to previous presenter on it. She said she noticed it, but she didn't need the microphone. I offered it to the speaker who came after me. He said he hates microphones and won't use them if he can at all avoid it. I, however, clipped it on an used it.

I guess I'm some sort of wimp.

The fact of the matter is I can fill the space without amplification. But that takes more energy. That drains me more by the time I'm done. I'd rather use the microphone, project my voice a little less, and focus on other aspects of my presentation.

I don't need the microphone, but I want it. And given the chance, I'll use it.

I guess I'm just not as hard core as the other speakers.


Anonymous said...

Gads! Public speaking! I wind up having to do it often.

The trick I've used over the years is simple -- I'll give my spiel and then open the floor up for questions. The interactive aspect of those sessions is key to keeping everyone interested.

Of course, if you've got a crowd that had rather sit and listen, they you're in trouble...

Split Rock Ranch said...

Hmmm, maybe you're just the smartest speaker in the group! Yeah, I'd have to go with that.

Kathy said...

I say they're just nervous that if something goes wrong with the audio technology, they won't be able to recover. I've had people tell me that's why they don't like mikes (or any other aids).