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.
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.