I enjoyed Bizcamp Newry yesterday, though it was a long day for me. One of the main questions I got of the day was about a gentleman who asked two questions during my Q&A.1. What time does this finish?2. I’ve learned nothing from your talk, tell me one thing…..It was a curve ball, a big one at that. Like Mary McKenna said to me afterwards (to paraphrase), if you put yourself in those positions of public speaking then you are putting yourself in line for these sorts of response.There’s a bunch of ways of handling it. First things first, he is entitled to his own opinion, he is also entitled to his free speech and if he wished to make his opinions known I’m happy with that.The key here is how to deal with it. First thing I did was apologise that my talk didn’t meet his expectations. We can’t please everyone at the end of the day and I don’t make it my mission in life to please every person that crosses my path. The risk there is that the same person will expect you to jump high the next time. One thing if it’s your employer a different thing if it’s a stranger. Secondly I rattled through the slides in my head and reassured myself that the slides did their job.I answered his questions in the best way I could and confirmed that he was accepting of the answers. At the end of the day I can’t do much more than that. Once happy I moved on. From there everything seemed easier.Sometimes these things come to test us, how do we and how should we respond can be two different things. I could have torn his head off but that would have been the wrong thing to do. There are days a talk will go well and there are days we can stand up there and stumble on our feet in a grand manner. It’s all part of the learning experience, we can choose to take something from it and move on or let it fester and cause us pain.”The Stage”, a platform that commands your attention is a strange place to stand. In Hebrew times it was used as a place of judgement and in Greek times it was a place for entertainment. Now the stage is both of these things combined. You can entertain but if you don’t meet the expectations of those you intend to communicate to then expect the judgement to return at a rapid rate of knots.With 25 years of standing on stages with a bass guitar around my neck I’ve had my fair share of audient responses. My favourite is still, “I thought you were shit”, which is fine but it looks like the other 4,999 people there thought it was good.
4 responses to “Bizcamp Newry: That old guy!”
You have the patience of a saint, Jase – if I’d been in your position I’d have been much less polite and no doubt lost face as a result – you are a shining example to us all of how to conduct oneself when indulging in public speaking.
Jason,Very well done. I thoroughly enjoyed your talk. I think "that old guy" did not understand the basic bizcamp concept. It’s one thing to have an opinion and another to be downright rude.May I say you conducted yourself impeccably and better to remain with your dignity intact. I admire everyone who talked yesterday. It was a fantastically well organised and I would never make the mistake of missing a "camp" again. I found all delegates (bar one) very sociable and keen to network and share ideas and contacts. Very much looking forward to bizcampbelfast now and to hearing you speak again :)Jacqueline
Jason – although I missed this very rude man at your presentation, I have heard you speak before, and know how seriously you take the responsibility! This incident was pretty typical of the ‘traditional’ business people that I came into contact with whilst promoting the BizCampNewry Event. The impression that I was left with was that they expect (almost demand) that everyone should be fighting to be their customer not the other way round! Hopefully some of these people will have been inspired by the generous sharing of information / knowledge, competitors supporting one another and the obvious hard work the speakers put in to prepare that was very evident yesterday. I think that the core Biz/Bar campers are a unique crowd, passionate about their products and sector and are not afraid to put themselves out there for criticism – It was simply that attitude that inspired me to organise the event, so again a big thank you to all the BizCampNewry speakers and attendees.
"there is one born every day"I’m sorry I missed that exchange it must have been funny ;)On a serious note the guy was just rude! I will make sure to make it to your next talk. Even if is just to heckel…