How do you keep your composure?
June 26, 2018

The gentleman in front of me was older than the others. Well, maybe not all the others -- but he was right up there. I know this because approximately three sentences into my presentation he lowered his top row of dentures, kind of played with it for a few seconds, and eased it back into place. He maintained eye contact with me the whole time.

“I’ve never seen that before!” I thought. “In my whole life, I’ve never seen anyone do that in private, let alone in public.”

Now what?

Get the giggles? It did occur to me. But I had to brush the thought aside quickly. If there’s anything more interesting than what had just happened, after all, it would’ve been calling attention to what had happened. “Quick,” I told myself. “Think of something, or you’re going to lose it.”

I remembered how much more fun it is for people if the speaker’s having fun. How would they know I’m having fun? If there was a twinkle in my eyes, a bit of mischief, a sudden if subtle burst of energy. Darrell was in the back, getting some video. “I’ll ask him later,” I told myself, “if he could pinpoint the moment where my smile got a little brighter.”

I had that conversation in my head as I continued the presentation, and it gave me a little distance from what I’d seen. I couldn’t have asked for a more engaged audience, better questions, or a sweeter promise of more work. I hadn’t looked at Floating Dentures Man again, granted.

Whatever it takes!