A reader recently submitted a situation and question: What is the etiquette at banquets during a keynote speech? It is always a temptation to want to chat with the person next to you at a meal, I understand, but not when the speaker is speaking. I find it incredibly uncomfortable to tell people at my table who are talking during the speech to “shhh” it seems so grade-school that anyone should have to do that, but what is the appropriate way to do so? This has happened several times recently. Do you have any suggestions? – Mindy R.
During the next event you attend, I would suggest bringing it up as part of the conversation before the keynote begins. Something along the lines of “I’m excited to hear today’s speaker. I was shocked during the last luncheon I attended…” commenting on how you could not hear the speaker for everyone carrying on his or her own conversations at your table and throughout the audience. I think by making it a point of conversation prior to the speaker, will keep it fresh and in the forefront of everyone’s mind.
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