Silence Speaks Sometimes..!

Was called as a guest speaker for a meeting the other day, answered a few questions after my talk and was sitting down, when the vote of thanks was given. I settled down to hear the normal thanks to the speaker, the caterer, the photographer and everybody else around when I found the esteemed gentleman was having a dig at my speech asserting how he did not agree with me about this, that or the other. Now a golden rule of public speaking is that you never bring your personal views into a vote of thanks, but I smiled as I listened to him.

“Why didn’t you ask for the mike and rip him to pieces?” asked a friend afterwards.

“No,” I told him, “That is the last thing you do, when you are in the hot seat!”

The most beautiful part of a democracy, whether it be parliament or an annual general body meeting of a company is that the common man can talk directly to the chairman of the company, but how the chairman of the company treats the questioner is what the public want to see.

Strange dynamics take place at this juncture: The public watch; they wait to see, not the answer to the question, but the attitude of the man to whom the question has been addressed. If an Ambani or any corporate leader shouts at the questioner, then that is what is remembered when the AGM is over, not the good results of the company, nor the dividends announced, or the fantastic future plans.

No, just that the man in the hot seat yelled. Is our money safe with him?

How do we control ourselves when this happens? By realizing that a golden opportunity presents itself not to react. We have given our speech, we have pounded down the message and now anything extra, or less, will only take away from it.

When you occupy the hot seat you are watched not for what you have to say, but the way you behave. Every movement, smile, or act of boredom is being scrutinized and adds or subtracts with what you have to say, or have already said.

I smiled as I left the room, and people smiled back, something they would never have done had I argued with their member. I knew that whatever I had spoken would remain, despite, in spite anything that the vote of thanks man had said.

He had showered me with unnecessary criticism, but in my silence I’d deflected it back to him, manifold.

When you are in the hot seat, whether chairman of your association, or a leader in any forum, silence speaks for itself..!




DARE by Robert Clements.
It will change your life.

3 thoughts on “Silence Speaks Sometimes..!”

  1. Bob , ” Silence is Golden ” ,was taught to us long long time ago in school. This phrase still holds good. But does anyone care? ……

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