1. Have you ever been in a performance situation, either as an audience member or a performer, where the audience was behaving in a less than desirable way? 2. Describe what the experience was like and how it made you feel. Also, did it affect the performance in any way?

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Because the second question asks that you describe the experience, you're supposed to answer in the affirmative to the first one. So you're really trying to think about ways you've seen an audience behaving inappropriately, whether you were the one on stage or not. Here are some things I have observed audience members doing that didn't follow proper etiquette:

  • Talking to others—even loudly—during a speech or performance.
  • Using smart phones during the performance.
  • Leaving in the middle of a performance. I've even watched some people do this repeatedly during a single performance.
  • Booing a performance.
  • Standing up and arguing with a presenter in the middle of a large presentation.
  • Standing up, blocking the view of others.
  • Failing to take crying or upset children out of the performance.
  • Failing to turn off phones and having those same phones blare ring tones throughout the performance.
  • Actually taking a call and engaging in a conversation with the caller during a large presentation.
  • Falling asleep and snoring loudly during a presentation.

Although I have experienced some pretty awful audience behavior, I have never once seen a performance or presenter rattled by the behavior, which really speaks to the preparation they have done. Even the guy who stood up and started yelling in disagreement with the presenter was taken away by security, and the speech continued without missing a beat.

It can definitely be distracting to the rest of the audience, though. People sitting near you who can't stop texting long enough to sit through a performance (and their screens light up the area like a beacon) can make it almost impossible to concentrate on the performance. Having someone yelling a "private" conversation right behind you throughout a performance can be equally distracting. So although I don't think presenters are typically fazed by inappropriate audience behavior, it can certainly affect the rest of the audience.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
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