When I was teaching media production, I read a piece of advice about previewing your productions. Whatever the size of your audience – 3 or 300, put them in a room that just matches the size of your crowd. They should feel like they are in a full room. The theory is that people in a group react quite differently than individuals.
Late Thursday afternoon Carol, Mary and I drove over to Boulder and the University of Colorado to see the President at a rally. Carol has recently had an operation on her knee, so after getting a ride on a golf cart, she was seated with the rest of the disabled. This location was at the top of the auditorium. Here you see the view of the rostrum we had:
Here’s what we looked like:
I should introduce Carol. She grew up in Brazil, spent five years in Ottawa, and found a true love who brought her to Loveland. She loves Canada and partying with Quebecois. Because of her knee, I’ve been giving her rides too and from the office. She is a nerd (a complement from me) and she’ll laugh at my jokes.
Carol decided that she was going down to the front to get a better view. I thought she was coming back, so i thought i should save our seats. Instead she stayed down there, but was in really rough shape by the time she climbed the stairs at the end. I should have gone with her because this is the picture:
Obama, in person, is a very inspiring speaker. However, that might have a lot to do with the size of the crowd.
The next night I watched the speech on TV – it wasn’t nearly as effective. Even more interesting, I watched on TV Bill Clinton introduce Obama. He was far effective than Obama on TV. This probably has to do with the personal, intimate tone he can achieve.
I was always envious of Wayne Gretzky being called the “Great One”. I now think that Bill Clinton’s “Big Dog” is even better.