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Public Speaking Course: 

The Front Row

When I researched my program before going to speak in Thailand, I found out that a meeting custom there is to seat VIP members in the front row. Nobody of a lesser social or business status would ever think of sitting closer to the front than their boss. This custom is pretty much ignored in Western meetings, but still carries a big significance in Thailand and Asia. Since many meetings are rather westernized anyway, don't fret if your presentation is not run this way, but your knowledge and participation with this custom can earn you some real points with the people that count. You will learn more about customs in my public speaking course.

Room Setup

I normally use a semi-circular style in my room setup whenever I can. Instead of using this style for my Thailand program, I found out approximately how many VIPs there would be and set the front row with plush chairs that were obviously nicer and different than the rest of the typical hotel chairs. I also made friends with a an audience member who knew who the VIP attendees were. When a VIP was identified, either me or my assistant escorted them to a front row seat.  But all the audience counts, but none too much, so when I had some time to blow while awaiting the arrival of the Governor, I went around the room allowing the attendees to name themselves and their affiliations. I started at the back of the room and ended with the most senior official in the front row. These gestures were very well received and opened the door for a very productive presentation. These skills are very important to what you will learn from my public speaking course.

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