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Public Speaking Course: 

The Front Row

While I was conducting research for a Thailand trip I discovered that an important meeting custom is to seat the VIP attendees in the front row. No person of a lower status either socially or professionally would ever think of sitting closer to the front than their boss. This is a custom that is pretty much ignored in American meetings, yet carries a much higher significance in Thailand and Asia. Since many meetings are rather Americanized anyway, don't worry if you do not run your presentation this way. Just be aware that your knowledge and participation with this custom can earn you some real points with the important people. You will learn more about this custom in my public speaking course.

Room Setup

I usually use a semi-circular theater style setup in my room whenever I can. During my Thailand presentation, I found out approximately how many VIPs there would be and set the front row with plush chairs that were much nicer and different than the rest of the regular hotel chairs. I got to know one of the members attending who knew what the VIP people looked like. When a VIP came in and was identified, either me or my assistant escorted them to a front row seat.  The next thing I did was go 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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