Musical Muse: “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg
May I share a Wednesday Word with you?
More to the point, I’d like to share some words of advice: Don’t beg for pity applause. Never, ever implore your audience to applaud for you, on command, at any point during a speech or a presentation.
At times, we may have desired a certain response or result so badly that we resort to begging. We’re only human, so I won’t judge–unless you’re begging your audience to applaud for you.
Which is exactly what I just watched Jeb Bush do at a New Hampshire town hall event earlier today. (Hat tip to Steve Benen at The MaddowBlog.)
I watched the video and blurted out, “Are you serious?” First, he came across as both bossy and needy, which are unappealing traits in a speaker.
But the second point is most important, and yes, I’m going to be a bit harsh.
You know what I’d privately ask Gov. Bush–or anyone–after pulling such a stunt?
How dare you ask that of your audience? It’s not their fault that you failed to do your job.
Gov. Bush failed to connect with his audience at that point during his speech. Imploring them to applaud only compounds the error. He insulted his audience by barking commands at them.
If you don’t receive the applause you think you earned during a speech, then pause and keep going. But you are not owed an applause, so don’t ask. Note what went wrong, and then after the speech or presentation, do your homework to discover why the delivery fell flat.
What you don’t do is a beg for pity applause while speaking. Ever.
And that’s your Wednesday Word.