The Loneliness of the Long Distance Speaker…

Truth be told: The (almost…) sole purpose of this post is to share this really awesome photo with you.

Rose_HR_Inside_Summit.jpg

It was taken by photographer Benedikt Weiss during my opening keynote on Positive Psychology at the HR Inside Summit 2016 in Vienna three weeks ago. The keynote took place in the beautiful and most stunning Hofburg Palace and was, at the same time, one of the largest crowds I´ve spoken to so far.

The setting was somewhat of a challenge. As you can see, the lights on stage were really bright, whereas the audience was pretty dark. Additionally, there was this gap of at least 25 feet between the first row of people and me – which basically meant I couldn’t discern a single face in the crowd. This was somewhat discomforting since – as most speakers do – I tend to frequently scan the crowd for friendly-looking faces, people who nod, or smile at me. Not a chance in this case – but I guess I did a good job anyway.

Still, if you´re presenting to larger crowds, I´d love to hear your speaking hacks on how to get ongoing feedback from the audience when you basically cannot see anyone…

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