It was a balmy summers evening. My wife, Grace, a globally accomplished speaker, was about to give a talk at a breast cancer fundraiser in Eumundi, Queensland.
Grace has spoken to audiences across Australia, EU and in the UK, including numerous appearances on the BBC. I had previously attended one of her talks after she had been asked by the actress, Olivia Newton-John, to address a Spa Asia conference. Olivia Newton-John later said it was one of the better talks on health and wellness she had experienced. The audience agreed.
Back at Eumundi, the cancer fundraiser room in a large restaurant was noisy as the crowd consumed more and more alcohol. I was concerned that the various speakers all lost connection to the audience, drowned out by the chaos. I became more alarmed for Grace when a very experienced radio announcer, despite trying all the usual tricks for audience engagement, was also unable to hold the crowd.
Admittedly it was a hard place to give a talk.
The configuration of the building meant that many participants were unable to see the speaker unless they moved their chairs. As well; there was the background noise of waitresses delivering food and jugs of beer which were noisily consumed.