Speech stuff

The seminar for teachers was held in the cavernous St. Cloud Civic Center. I gave the same presentation as at the other teachers' seminars to which I have spoken this fall. However, this time instead of tight quarters, the room was huge. The teachers sat at the same tables where they had eaten. And they were spread quite far apart.

I think for those reasons my talk never really gathered any momentum. I said the same things, but there wasn't that sense of having the people with me that I had at the previous two seminars. In fact, I think the talk was better organized this time, but not as effective due to the largeness of the room.

The arrangement of the room makes a big difference. When people sit in rows of chairs they are always much, much more responsive than people sitting at tables. There isn't even a comparison. Tables are necessarily spread apart, and you aren't able to make eye contact with the entire room without walking around. That hurts, too. Some of the people were facing the other way, which is fatal.

On the positive side, it was awfully fun singing over the huge sound system in the massive Civic Center. The piano came across well--probably the best piano I have played on recently at a performance. Some of them have been abysmal. So, the singing and playing was a lot of fun, but the speech felt a little flat.

The St. Cloud Civic Center is on the bank of the Mississippi. It is a huge structure, completely devoid of charm or warmth, but impressive nonetheless.