My Voice Broke

May 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM | Posted in Business, Connections | 2 Comments
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I was on stage for a section of our Keynote talk at PowerPlex, our annual User Conference. My topic was the Plex Community and I was going along beautifully. I began by wishing that everyone could stand where I was, just for a moment. When you are in the audience you are looking to the speaker and it is his or her energy you feel but when you are on stage you feel the energy of the assembled and there is no comparison between the two.

As I have often done, I took the audience back to my childhood and the way things were in those days — and how I am only now beginning to understand them. I spoke of connections.

Then my voice broke – it squeaked high. In a long career with many mishaps, this has never happened. Then, as I was almost finished, I did it again. I off-handedly said, “ugh, something else to worry about” and finished my talk.

I did take some kidding from friends when I was done but I received more kudos for that short talk than I ever have before.

You just never know.


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  1. I’ll take levity, a great story, and genuine enthusiasm any day. Your off-handed comment was perfect and humanizing – often the real connector to an audience. Possibly even more important, considering the grand scale, sizable audience, and perceived separation from the grand production! It’s pretty easy to feel “small” in an audience like that – I think that unintentional gaffe may have done exactly what you were looking for – connect.

    • Yes, as I’ve thought about it, you are right. When “executives” stand before a group, there is something off-putting about the experience. That is how I feel, anyway. I expect the fellow to be “on-message” and when he isn’t, it can be fun.

      Thanks for writing!

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