There were four speakers, 3 Poles and a Brit. And there was no mistaking who was who. The Poles had not made any particular preparations. Everyday clothes, no last minute checking to see if the computer and the projector were going to work. No quiet period of preparatory reflection.
The Brit by contrast, dressed in a good business suit, prepared himself in text book fashion and, my goodness, what a difference he made. A succinct and effective presentation. By contrast, the Poles each began by apologising for not being prepared or for repeating what the previous speaker had already said. No agenda. Meandering arguments. Very little eye contact, no audience involvement techniques. As for not checking the machinery, there had been no need. No slides, no visual aides. Text book catastrophes. Shambolic.
However, talking to the presenters individually afterwards, the people who impressed me most were the Poles. The Brit was still in presentation mode: maybe he couldn’t switch it off?
I suggested to my colleague in corporate training that, on reflection, I probably leant just as much from the meandering but knowledgeable, though hardly organised Poles, as from the highly polished Brit. “That’s only because you like rambling yourself“` she retorted defensively.
Perhaps, but the rambler usually knows more about the lie of the land than the motorway driver, whose only intention is to get from A to B in the shortest time.
Which brings me to spitting. When I was a boy we were taught that spitting was an effective way of spreading diseases. Given the fact that so many of us have been suffering from summer flu, please could someone tell that to my neighbours?