“Hey, you! Over there! Is your idea machine dormant too?” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Yes, from the stage, you do see a few people sleeping. No, it’s not my fault!
When asked what I do for a living, I’ll often respond, “I go out and talk to large groups of hungover people!” And that is certainly true – in many instances, I’m speaking at a conference or convention, and the people have been having a grand old time the night before. Las Vegas, Orlando, New Orleans – these are the most challenging cities for a speaker. It’s where you earn your stripes – and where you get the greatest stages. The energy is electric, and it fires you up on stage.
But some in the audience have a different dynamic happening. They drag their sorry selves out of bed early the next morning to get to the event, and I can see them in their pain and misery. I’m about to wake them up with their new future reality, and have to use a lot of humor hooks throughout my material to get them to turn their mind on!
Some don’t! Some sleep!
As a speaker, you always see a few people in the audience, sound asleep, racing away to a land of recovery. Over 25 years, I’ve had a few situations where someone in the first few rows has been snoring – loudly. It’s kind of funny!
Every speaker obsesses in the early years as to whether this is their fault. “Is my material not right? Am I too dull?” Then you realize that the impact of ethanol in the morning on these people is such that they can barely do anything but sleep!
So I reach out to the rest of the audience.
This week? It’s 530am, and I’m working on my daily quote. It’s a bit of holiday time, and lots of people are sleeping in! Not me!
As a speaker, when you do your job on stage at 8:00 or 8:30 in the morning, there are logistics that require you to be there earlier than that. Since the client is often stressed with details, they want me there for sound check and to meet with the AV crew at about 630am!
This means I need to up by 5, coffee primed and a machine of energy and enthusiasm, ready to go when the stage demands it.
Good thing I’m early to bed and early to rise!