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From the desk of Steve Lowell, Master Speaker and Mentor to those who speak in public.

Being Sensational

You Never Know Who’s In the Audience

Always comport yourself as if the most important person in your life’s watching you, because they may just be doing so!

I’ve often been told that so and so had been in the audience, after I’ve delivered a talk or a presentation. I’ve learned to comport myself as if the most important person in the world’s watching me at all times, and I learned this lesson in Thunder Bay, Ontario, back in the early 1980’s.

I was on the road with the band, and three of us headed to a Laundromat, to get our laundry done. We were always joking around, and making fun of ourselves, whether on the stage, or off the stage. The Laundromat was mostly empty, with the exception of the three of us, and one older man, who was sitting alone at the other end of the room, engrossed in his book.

We were all wearing our band jackets, with the name of the band, “Midnite Sun,” emblazoned on the back, and with our individual names on the shoulders. We were goofing around, and making fun of each other, as was usually the case. Then I decided to give our agent a call from the pay phone, because we’d had a cancellation for the following week, and he was working on finding a replacement gig.

I spoke with him on the phone for a few minutes, and then announced to my band mates that after we were done in Thunder Bay, we were off to a place called Assiniboia, in Saskatchewan. Who’d ever heard of such a place? Certainly not us, and so we made jokes about the name, and how it must be a little hick town, along with all the other wisecracks that young men generate.

The next morning, the front page of the newspaper held a headline that read, “Midnite Sun En Route to Assiniboia.” The page was split in two columns. The first column talked about our silly antics in the Laundromat, and the second column gave a short history about the town of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan.

The older gentleman in the Laundromat was a reporter, and he wasn’t reading his book, he was writing in it. He had quoted some of our silly wisecracks, and explained how he’d enjoyed watching us have our fun in the Laundromat.

That evening, we broke the all-time attendance record at the venue we were performing in. There was a lineup of patrons wanting to get in, and it stretched out the door and down the street.

Similar events have happened to me many times over the years, so I’ve learned that you never know who’s in the audience watching you, even when you’re not on a stage.

So, what’s the lesson? Always comport yourself as if the most important person in the world’s watching, because they just might be!

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