Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Great Public Speaking: The Last Speaker

The last speaker of a long afternoon or evening program should
not expect a great response, again because folks are too worn
Keep your presentation short and crisp and acknowledge the
lateness so that the audience knows you care about them. One time
I was the last speaker on a long program in Baltimore, Maryland,
for a food service management company. I was being introduced at
8:35 p.m. on a Monday night in the fall. What do you think the
mostly male audience was thinking at 8:35 p.m. on a Monday night
in the Fall? Of course! MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL! I got up and said:

There are three things I would never want to be: 1. a
javelin catcher; 2. the scoop man at a Donkey Basketball
game; and 3. the last speaker on a long program. (I looked
at my watch.) It's now 8:40 p.m. I'm going to limit my
remarks to 15 minutes. I guarantee you will be in the
hospitality suite in time for the kickoff. I kept my

Do you think I had more of their attention than if I had not made
the comment? You bet I did! Even though it had been a long day,
they all had a good laugh during my talk. A little care for your
audience will go a long way.

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