Never under estimate your audience because you sometimes get a surprising response as Chris Longmuir found out.
You’ve heard about walking the walk, well this is talking the talk. I’ve never been one to be stuck for words (maybe that’s because I’m a writer), but when I set off to give a talk to groups, I worry that I’ll dry up and have to leave with my head hanging in shame. It hasn’t happened yet, but there could always be a first time.
So, what has brought this confession on? Well, it’s simple really, I’ve just returned from one of my talks. This one was to a local stroke group, and a previous speaker had indicated I shouldn’t expect too much, and when he gave his talk a few months ago a lot of the listeners seemed tired and sleepy. Oh, and another thing he said, was I shouldn’t expect to sell any books, and I wouldn’t get paid anything. Well, I knew there was no payment involved because the organiser had been upfront about that and I didn’t mind, although it’s always nice to sell a few books because it helps with the expenses.
So, I set off expecting an unstimulating morning with uninterested listeners, as well as being out of pocket with the expenses involved in getting there. However, I’m an optimist, so I took my bag of books with me and a few extra in the boot of the car.
When I got to the venue I received a warm greeting. The group members were sitting at tables in front of the windows of a lovely, light airy clubroom. Several were in wheelchairs, and sticks were in evidence, but they were all smiling. They listened intently and were very interested in my talk and I built up a good rapport with them. Some of them asked questions at the end, and it was lovely talking to them. I was supplied with tea, cake and biscuits after my talk and I joined one of the group tables. Oh, and I sold six books, so the expenses were covered after all.
I think this was one of the warmest and welcoming groups I’ve talked to, and I will retain it in my memory as a pleasurable experience.
So, I’ll keep on talking the talk, as well as walking the walk, and I hope to meet a lot more lovely people along the way.