INDIANAPOLIS — Public speaking can be anything but easy.
Five minutes into his keynote presentation onstage at The Independent Show, industry consultant and futurist Shelly Palmer (pictured) made the best of a tough spot.
After the fog for a laser show had barely dissipated, jackhammers started pounding away on the roof, to the dismay of the speaker. Then, after a few minutes, fire alarm sirens and strobe lights started going off.
Then a Voice of God came to life on the PA system and tried to reassure Palmer that the fire alarm was being checked out, and it was probably a false alarm.
And in the words of the late Hunter S. Thompson, when the going gets rough, the weird turn pro.
Palmer whipped out his phone: “I think it’s time for Facebook Live. This is one of those moments….
“This is really funny, I mean, you know, in a weird, completely ‘are you kidding me?’ kind of way,” he continued. “In a minute, they’re re going to tell me if I can finish my speech or what’s behind door No. 2? Run like hell for the exit!”
Once on Facebook Live and streaming, he looked into his phone and began: “Hi, the strobes are going here. I’m onstage at NCTC. Here’s everybody. Notice the strobes … We’re live on Facebook right now. Wave everybody.”
After a bit more of that inspired improv, Palmer said goodbye to the assembled online masses. The sirens stopped, and he resumed his talk.