Is anybody home?

There is nothing like talking to an underwhelmed audience. Blank faces. Not one laugh. Scattered barely there applause. It was quiet. And not the kind of quiet where people are hanging on to your every word. More like bored or that drowsy stupor before you fall asleep.

That was my Sunday. And, well, this doesn’t usually happen. Usually there is energy in the room – something going on. Laughter. Sometimes tears. Head nods. Response. Common decency. You can feel the feedback before you hear it.

I am animated when I speak. I use my hands when I talk and even when I’m serious, and my hands calm down, I believe there is some joy, some aliveness conveyed. In this nightmares can’t come up with this stuff setting I must have appeared psychotic. I must have looked like a cartoon character on speed. It was that quiet. Like I had slipped into someone else’s coma. I believe there was one thumbs up after the speech. Oh and I got a sideways hug from my mom.

I have my story as my backdrop and I think I have some decent thought provoking material to give. I have known this group of people for a long time and I knew it would be a tough sell. I didn’t crack them. It’s alright. I’ve done this enough that I wasn’t bothered. To be fair they were treating every speaker before me to their poker faces. Even now, writing about it, I’m laughing.

As soon as I finished the speech I was over it. And, apparently, so was everyone else.

Swept Up


In The Weepies
I love, love this band (well, duo). I once wrote a speech (the most emotionally grueling speech to date) to their album, Say I Am You. This one is their latest, Hideaway.

10 thoughts on “Is anybody home?

  1. curious girl (lisa)

    ugh…there’s nothing worse than the low energy of a crowd while presenting. you just never know. all you can do is do what you do how you do it and hope that some little bit of inspiration seeped in.

  2. Kate Coveny Hood

    I actually hate this as an audience member. I try to be very supportive of speakers. I’m a very empathetic person. I feel your pain.

    I also like you tremendously. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  3. Dorkys Ramos

    As if public speaking weren’t bad enough already…well maybe not to you though. I’m a good audience member though. Thats why I just gave you an award.

  4. Heidi

    hi all, thanks! For some reason it was more funny than terrible. And with this group it didn’t surprise me.

    For you Americans have a very happy Thanksgiving!! I’m going to try to benefit from your Thanksgiving sales.

  5. Jordan Bateman

    “There is nothing like talking to an underwhelmed audience. Blank faces. Not one laugh. Scattered barely there applause. It was quiet. And not the kind of quiet where people are hanging on to your every word. More like bored or that drowsy stupor before you fall asleep.”

    Sounds like Jenny when I talk politics.

    I’ve heard you speak… clearly these people were made of stone.

  6. Heidi

    Jordan, “Sounds like Jenny when I talk politics.” Love it. Or when I’m listening to Scott talk about some e commerce platform he’s developing. Whaaa??
    Also, I immediately went out and got a gingerbread latte after I read the other comment….with whip. YUM!

  7. Linda Sue

    So admirable to even TALK before any sort of audience! I did not speak until I was three years old, have always been quiet (until recently..)Have never been able to say anything in front of more than two people. Iam full of admiration and awe that you can deliver speeches in the first place and in the second, come away from a less receptive audience laughing. You are a wonder!

  8. Live More Now (LMN)

    In a very different setting (legal), I have had the SAME experience. Sometimes groups are receptive. Sometimes not. When you are talking about “ethics within the law” perhaps the subject is either so boring, or so far removed from anything anybody (in the audience) can relate to, they just tune out. And then at other times they are totally engaged. Comme ci comme ca, I suppose.

    But, I’m sure you did a great job, and I am also sure, based on your blog, I would have enjoyed what you had to say and could have even learned a thing or two. 😉

  9. Mar

    The Weepies – Mmmmmmmm. You introduced me to them and I am forever grateful. I love, love them too! Oh, and I miss you!

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