I was attending a regional Toastmasters convention in Westchester, New York. It's a suburb just north of New York City. I was conducting a training session with Toastmasters there, but now I was in a room with everyone. There was a competition going on. A speaker comes out. And his speech title was something like children and puppies are nice.
I mean, it seemed that saccharin that generic and frankly, that boring to me. I thought, well, let me give him a chance. He starts to speak. And sure enough, it's like puppies are the most wonderful thing in the world. And I like children and I'm thinking, Oh my gosh, this is embarrassing. It's hard to even look I've never heard so many boring, trite pushes cliches in a speech.
This is good to be off. I feel bad for the guy. He continues and it's more about, you know, give everybody a hug and smell the flowers and the coffee and just every kind of trite cliche you can imagine. It's going on it just seems like it's going on forever. I can barely look at this train wreck. I'm just imagining when it's done and the stones silence this speaker is going to receive how awkward it's going to be for the speaker, especially but everyone.
Finally he finishes and I'm just cringing. I'm almost wincing, and then all of a sudden, there was the reaction. Laughter Cheers. Lots and lots of applause, a standing ovation. The audience absolutely love this guy. So why don't To make from this Well, one thing you need to take away is I'm not necessarily the best audience for this guy's speech certainly but your speech either you can't appeal to everyone.
You need to know your audience. You're not going to please everyone. That speaker didn't please me. I thought he was boring, trite, insipid, and a total waste of time. Everybody else loved him, and that's what matters for him. So keep that in mind.
You're not gonna please everyone all the time. And as long as you are speaking to the audience that you care about, I wasn't really the intended audience. also realize you may hate a speaker, you can't discount them just because you don't like them. You have to look at the audience to really get a sense of how it's playing. Okay, so why do I tell that story a couple of reasons. I one big problem, a lot of people kirsov is when they tell stories, they make themselves out to be the hero, the problem solver, the one who came up with a brilliant solution each time.
So I do think there's a danger in that. So when you're telling stories, quite often, at least half the time, you need me you need to make yourself the dummy and do it in a real way. This actually happened this way. I was the one out of sync with the audience. I was the one who didn't read the room properly and didn't perceive him the way everyone else did. And another message from this story is just to realize you shouldn't strike off anyone just because you don't like their style or even their message.
You need to really listen. Figure out what you can from that person. It's not that you're going to copy them or do everything the way they did, but there's something about what they did that might have worked, that could work for you too in the future.