Being self-employed, public speaking is one of my newer specialties. Since last September I’ve been giving lectures on a variety of topics in assisted living facilities and libraries.
My lecture “Luck of the Irish” was a hit this month due to St. Patrick’s Day and I’ve already had quite a few bookings with more to go.
Today’s “Luck of the Irish” lecture was the most fun I ever had at an assisted living facility. So much so that afterwards tears were rolling down my face from laughing so hard.
I walked into a place I’ve never lectured at before and was thrilled to see more than 50 people in a banquet styled room. The more the merrier, I always say. Plus, I write my lectures with audience participation in mind, which is a very cool thing for seniors because they get to participate and feel as if they are a part of something.
Well, my presentation was off to rocky start as it was a pretty rough crowd. Some people were complaining the microphone was too loud, others complained it wasn’t loud enough. Then by some miracle I found a happy medium.
I got going and then when it came time to speak of Irish Wakes, an old biddy yelled at me: “THAT’S ALL THE IRISH ARE KNOWN FOR, DRINKING. I DON’T DRINK, I DON’T WANNA HEAR THIS!”
Wow. Okay. So I said, “No problem, we’ll skip that portion of the lecture.”
Moving along …
Next a brawl broke out between an old man and an old lady and they knocked a table over. It took three nurses to break it up! The old man was told he was going to be sent to his room, but he was screaming, “I WANNA STAY!” So they let him stay.
Then finally things calmed down, I won the crowd over and did a nice lecture.
The old lady who yelled at me apologized for being rude. Another lady apologized on her behalf and says, “She doesn’t like anything, she’s always like that. Pay her no mind.”
I asked for a show of hands one how many people liked the lecture and EVERYONE raised their hands, including the one who yelled at me.
I stayed about a half hour afterwards, speaking with all the residents who attended the lecture. Two ladies I was having a great conversation with, then a 97-year-old man walked all across the large banquet room to join in the conversation.
I was impressed by his speed.
The director complimented me on not skipping a beat when I was interrupted and wondered if I’d even come back after the brawl. I said, “Eh, it’s all in a day’s work!”
She said, “Already they’re telling me you were EXCELLENT and they want you back!”
Two hours later, I’m still laughing.
You handled the situation expertly, which I knew you would. Great to know they want you to return.