Bad Audience Behavior

I have to say the “good” luncheon speakers I have heard lately are few and far between. This week, I found myself at one where I was actually enthralled and taking notes. Let’s face it… if I am listening to someone chatting about marketing, I find myself nodding off most of the time. Here are a couple of bad audience members I had to tolerate during a very useful speaker performance.

Sizzling Sam. When you are at a lunch event where you can order food, you might want to take care on what you are ordering. Now, it is pretty bad to sit next to lack-of-table-manners Larry and listen to incessant smacking during someone’s preso, but I have a new one. I happened to be sitting next to Sizzling Sam at a recent luncheon. Sizzling Sam decided to order fajitas which happened to show up in the middle of the speaker’s presentation, and well, they were sizzling. Not only did the noise drown out anyone’s ability to here the speaker in a 5 table radius, I had to sit there and try not laugh. (A bigger problem, because the speaker would have thought I was laughing at him). My point? Sizzling Sam should have stuck with something simple like a sandwich.

Obnoxious O’Brien. There is one event I attend quite frequently and the organizer always makes an announcement to turn off your cell phone. Now, accidents happen and if you are frequenting out in the networking arena, you know it is common courtesy to turn off your phone. Well, apparently Obnoxious O’Brien had not heard of this rule and proceeded to not only answer his phone, but talk on it very loudly during the presentation. His voice actually drowned out the fajitas. My point? When you are networking don’t be this person. Leave your phone in the car if you think you might feel the need to answer it.

Clueless Cathy. Clueless Cathy is well, pretty darn clueless. Clueless Cathy walks into the networking event so late (no-no number one) that most of the program is over with. Clueless Cathy, then decides to talk very loudly to the organizer at the back of the room while the speaker is in the middle of the speech (no-no number two). And finally, Clueless Cathy proceeds to sit down and read the newspaper (I don’t think I have to tell you that this was no-no number three). Why did Cathy bother showing up? I am not sure… she is clueless.

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