In the audience

It’s a small venue – a conference session or a corporate meeting, the audience close enough for him to engage with them a bit as he speaks. From my seat on the sidelines, separate from the main tables, I watch him deliver in his smart, engaging, funny way. 

He’s easing into his theme by telling a story with two tracks; a deal in process that looks promising, one afar that’s long term, not likely to become active any time soon, leaving him free to focus on the first.

His intelligence and wit, and his innate business sense, are all artfully interwoven with a homespun delivery – he chooses the perfect moments to play up his country roots, exaggerating an accent he doesn’t really have and sprinkling in metaphors and idioms that are both deeply expressive and yet jarringly unfamiliar to the mostly city-and-suburban-raised audience.

He has them – us – in the palm of his hand.

He transitions the story from the primary deal and the primary focus – the second deal suddenly requiring something outlandishly unexpected – the building of an 80-foot wide wooden gate in the Himalayas perhaps – and he delivers this turn of events with a humor and grace that has the audience surprised, frustrated, and laughing with him.

I know as he begins to turn back to the first story line, that the primary deal – the deal in hand that was expected to be smooth – is about to go sideways. I don’t know in what way he will portray it, but I feel as if I am in the know already; I feel it coming. And I don’t know where he is planning to take the audience with that turn… Something about prioritizing the important things in life? About divided attention and maintaining focus? About developing the flexibility to shift with changes in circumstances? About overcoming obstacles?

I don’t know, but I can’t wait to hear. I am utterly rapt.
He turns a phrase; the audience laughs… I laugh along.
I think, “God, it’s so easy to love him” and my heart aches just for a moment with it.

I am not sure whether it is the laughter bubbling out of me, or the way I need to try to shake off that last thought, that dispels the dream.

Even as it fades away, I wish I could have heard the rest of his speech.

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~ by lorakceel on March 18, 2015.

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