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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Professional Speaking Bloopers by Frank Furness

I was booked to speak in South Africa and Mauritius and was asked to recommend two other speakers. I have great arrangements with many speakers where we refer each other and I organised the top speaker fromNew Zealand and a friend of mine from England.

It was his first time in South Africa and he decided to take his wife with and turn it into a vacation. He also wanted to see a gold mine, so another speaker friend in South Africa arranged for him to do a talk to a group of gold mine managers followed by the tour.

The gold mine managers are hard men working underground every day in difficult conditions. I wasn’t there for the talk, but he told me that things seemed to be going really well.


Some way into the talk the miners held their lit lighters in the air. At the big pop concerts when things are going well the crowd hold up torches and lighters, so my friend thought that this was great. The more enthusiastic he became the more lighters would light up until every man in the room was holding up his lighter.


This seemed to be the highpoint of his career until someone quietly walked to him and handed him I note. It said ‘the boys want a smoke break’

Red faced, he quickly finished his talk. His big lesson here was to do more homework on the local habits and customs of the people of any new country he was speaking in.

For more information on Professional Speaking, take a look at Coaching for Speakers or contact Frank Furness at frank@frankfurness.com for dates of the next Speakers Bootcamp

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