Public speaking is a skill. In order to hear someone speak, it requires your undivided attention. When that doesn’t happen, then the code of civility is broken in my opinion.
DSM Magazine had their Fall issue unveiling on Thursday at Midwest Aesthetics and a large crowd was in attendance. At 6:00 p.m., the short 10-minute program got underway with the staff from DSM talking. The problem was most of us couldn’t hear who was at the mic because the crowd in the back wouldn’t stop yapping. In fact, they started to get louder.
After several attempts to quiet the crowd down, even a bad feedback from the microphone, it looked hopeless.
It’s a damn good thing I remembered to use my public address announcer voice.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, would you stop talking so that the lady can finish!”
It got quiet real fast. Then a large smattering of applause rang out in approval of what I did. Quite embarrassing if you asked me. I would never imagined using an old skill I developed back in high school: doing PA work for my high school basketball team.
I grew up listening to old-school public address announcers like Fr. Bob Holzhammer at Iowa, Bob Justis at UNI, and Lawrence Tanter with the Los Angeles Lakers. PA announcers have a very important job: announce the players, the fouls, who scored, and not draw attention to themselves like some of today’s version of PA announcers. I understand that it’s their job to get the fans involved in the game, but fans are smart enough to know what’s going on during the game.
The audience should know when to stop talking when they see or hear someone behind a microphone talking. It’s called giving the speaker your undivided attention.