I just came back from my weekend reunion with a dozen high school buddies.  This is the 13th year we have played 5 rounds of golf in just 2 and a half days.  It’s always a blast, but as we get older it becomes more physically challenging.

This year we convened in Boise, ID where it was a “chilly” 95 degrees in the afternoon rounds.  After our second round of the second day, I was physically beat up.  The sun, the fatigue, and the golf course had me walking around like a zombie.  All I knew I was I needed to go to the bathroom…bad!

As I was walking to wash my hands I noticed the absence of urinals.  Then to my horror, I saw the remains of a wrapper for a personal female product.  I was in the Women’s bathroom.  I had missed the sign because I was so sun-whipped and tired.  I hurriedly got out of there and didn’t tell my friends.  I knew I would hear about my faux pax the rest of the weekend.  My golf game was terrible and I didn’t need to add insult to injury.  Fortunately, all the women golfers wee sitting inside their air-conditioned home on a brutally hot afternoon.  As my wife told me later, “You could have gone to jail!” 

What signs do you miss when you speak?  How about some of these…

  • Your in a sales meeting and your prospect is giving you a buying sign.  Do you shut up and take the order?
  • Your giving a presentation to a large group of investors and they are yawning during your PowerPoint.  Do you shut off the slides and talk to them instead?
  • You are presenting a speech at your Toastmasters club and your audience seems more interested in the agenda than your topic.  How do you engage them?

Here’s the bottom line…if you don’t learn how to read signs from your audience, you may end up like I did in the wrong bathroom.  Well, in your case maybe thought of as a dull speaker or without a sale.  Those could be career-killer type issues if gone unchecked.

Learn to read signs and you will become better at engaging every audience every time.


P.S.  If you are asking, “How do I learn how to read th signs?”, then you are a perfect candidate for my Varsity Speaking Academy or Panic to Power Boot Camps.  To learn more about sign reading and how to register, click here