TECHiquette : Cell Phones and Public Speakers

Yesterday while I was attending the WithIt Educational Breakfast at High Point Market featuring keynote speaker Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy 3 cell phones went off. Yup. 3.

I have to say that the first “oops I left my cell phone on” moment brought the room to a chorus of roarous laughter – due in large part to the timing, Maxwell’s great sense of humor and the ring tone that blasted the Day-O tune.

The second ring was quickly silenced by a blushing attendee. In the tables around me, I saw that everyone was quietly checking their phones to make sure their ringer was off. . . a reminder that, for those of you who know me from the Linking Greensboro Luncheons, I try to offer before the event starts out of respect for the speaker & those attending the event.

The third ring was the worst. It was a cell phone grenade. Not only did the person continue to let it ring as they made it toward the exit from across the ballroom – they answered it “Hello, Hold on a second I’m attending a conference . . .”  to stunned looks from everyone they passed on their way to the door. Maxwell paused until the person left the room and continued with his brilliant presentation without skipping a beat.

My TECHiquette tip for the next time you are attending an event or anywhere in public that your cell phone will be a distraction to those around you . . . put your cell phone on vibrate.

And if the call that you receive is important . . . PLEASE for the love of all things etiquette, let it go to voice mail until you leave the room and are in a situation to give the caller your full attention and NOT be a disruption to those around you.

As a speaker, how do you handle the situation when a cell phone grenade goes off?

How do you handle the situation when your cell phone accidentally goes off at an in opportune moment?

Do you have a ritual of checking your phone before you take you seat at an event or enter a quiet space?

[UPDATE] Be sure to check the your alarms on your phone too! I was attending Julia Rosien‘s presentation and had an alarm go off to my deep embarrassment. Just because your ringer is off does not mean that your phone will be silent!

 

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About Danielle Hatfield

Danielle Hatfield is Chief Dirt Digger at Experience Farm, Managing Partner of Linking Greensboro, That chick who is responsible for hatching @gsotweetup, Admin for Social Media Club Piedmont and a Senior Editor for Mobile Local Social StudioB.

When she is not tweeting about coffee drinking and bacon consumption, her passion is Web Development, Brand Strategy, Email Marketing, Graphic Design, Social Media, Recycled Furniture Design, Vintage Style, Travel, Art, Social Networking Events, . . . oh, and she has ideas - big ones.