Monday, February 21, 2011

Public Speaking Presentations - Alcohol

An audience that has been at a cocktail event of one hour or longer usually means you will have some boisterous audience members to deal with. You could be faced with hecklers, disruptive and loud people, loud snoring sleepers, etc. Unless you are a comic who is very good at mild insult humor, you SHOULD NOT use heckler lines like: Hey, buddy. There's only one Mic. and I've got it. Or, If I'm going to make an ass of myself up here, I want to do it myself.

When you suspect you may have a problem because of a long cocktail hour, let the meeting planner know in advance that he or she should be prepared to tell the heckler that there is a phone call waiting. This gets the person out of the room where the meeting planner can try to calm them.

Request in advance that the bar be shut down when you are speaking, or people who really like to drink will be getting up and down during your presentation distracting everyone.

Many professional speakers guarantee their work EXCEPT when the audience is drunk or too tired. Patricia Fripp, C.P.A.E, told me about a time she was booked to speak to a vegetable company. They had the meeting in a winery. The entire group including the president were pickled. The meeting planner forced her to go on. Patricia said, "Half the crowd missed me completely and the other half saw two of me. I guess it evened out."

Remember, you are the one standing up there looking foolish. Take every precaution you can when alcohol is flowing.

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