How do professionals look at the work of others?

My guess is I have the same affliction any professional has when observing their profession executed by others.

Recently I attended a regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast. It was held in a lovely location, well attended, great speaker content, but many of the #AudienceAdvocate issues I am critical of were glaring at yet another event.

Sound: 

I am most critical of the sound system used for these events. Typically someone sets up a couple of speakers on stands somewhere in the front of the room. More often than not they are behind the lectern providing either poor sound or feedback.

The microphone selected and the placement is not planned based on the needs of the event. Will one or more of the presenters have to hold a handheld microphone while demonstrating something with their free hand? Will the microphone stand be such that any paper moving on the lectern creates a distraction for the audience?

Wired mics are always susceptible to interference. Is there a backup wired mic in such a case?

In this case find where the hidden speaker is. Yes early in the process someone set the room up with two speakers on stands.

In this case find where the hidden speaker is. Yes early in the process someone set the room up with two speakers on stands.

Need a hint? Sometime after that someone else came in and put up a 10 x 10' banner that is the typical background for this event.

You guessed it, the second speaker is behind the banner.'

While there was no AV used in this meeting, my second concern is can you see everything on the screen?

Projection:

In another event the bottom of the screen was set 3 feet off the ground. After setting up the room, before the people entered, it looked perfectly fine. Whoever set up the AV did not sit in the worst seat in the house to find out anything less than 5'6" from the floor cannot be seen by anybody in the second row or further in the room.

Pre-meeting room check – Looks OK

Pre-meeting room check – Looks OK

Now look at the screen with people in seats

Now look at the screen with people in seats

Lighting: 

Another is lighting. In a recent meeting in Miami Beach the hotel set the dais against a wall of brightly lit windows. Now, in their defense perhaps it was set up at night time. At no time did someone consider that the faces of those on the dais and the expensive guest speaker could not be seen because of the intense backlight.

Just as foolish in this exhibit set, the most popular activity, against a bright wall so proud grandparents could not see the faces of their precious ones riding the $10/20 second dinosaur ride.

Don't place anything, even a dinosaur, against the bright window.

Don't place anything, even a dinosaur, against the bright window.

Take a few minutes to evaluate every event as an #AudienceAdvocate.

Reject the notion from the venue "Everyone does it this way." 

Share photos of your basic challenges with others here.

Ray Franklin

2300 North Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach, FL, 32118