May 12, 2007

When the bell tolls, stop talking

I attended an event this afternoon at a downtown park surrounded by busy and noisy streets. The sound system wasn't loud enough, and the first two speakers could barely be heard. And then the church bells across the street starting ringing. . .

Apparently, there was a wedding going on. It wasn't the kind of bell that tolls the hour and then stops. It went on for almost five minutes. But did the speakers wait for the bells to stop? No - they chose to continue speaking through the whole thing.

Unfortunately, they happened to be describing the programs their organization offers to the community and introducing a dozen high school students who've benefited from the programs.

None of us could hear a word, especially those of us farther away from the loudspeakers. They gave up a golden opportunity to introduce their organization to community members who might not have known anything about them.

It's okay to stop talking when facing a loud distraction. Wouldn't you rather be heard?

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1 comments. Please add yours! :

Rowan Manahan said...

I remember being best man at a wedding and having to bribe the kitchen staff at the hotel to stop clattering and banging around during the father of the Bride's speech, so bad was the noise they were making.

Veeery difficult situation to find yourself in and definitely one of those moments when you want to have some pre-prepared material to fill the gap. (In this case, perhaps some video footage of Marcel Marceau!)

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