After more than 25 years of public speaking, I thought I had pretty much seen it all. Wrong.
The meeting was to be one hour, including the buffet lunch.
More people showed up than were expected and the servers had to scramble to set up an additional table. For this, and other reasons, the start of the meeting was delayed.
When the president of the club introduced me as their guest speaker, many people were just starting their meal. Because of the rectangular tables, half of the audience had their backs to me.
I told them that I knew better than to compete with food, and that I’d save my most important tips for when they were done eating and could turn their chairs to face me. A third of the group never did turn their chairs to face me, so I was talking to their backs the entire time.
Moral: Request circular tables with settings placed such that everyone faces forward, as you see pictured here.