Laurence, Evan, and Avery were all asked to say a few words at the annual company barbeque. The barbeque is designed to be a fun celebration that includes all employees, their families, and their friends. This year, there was a lot to celebrate since the company had experienced tremendous growth. The physical setting included a small stage with a microphone, and a field with no chairs. The audience included employees, family members (many of whom were small children), and friends. The audience was happy to be at the event, but for many of them, the speeches were keeping them from the fun.
Laurence did not prepare his comments, because he didn’t see this as a formal speaking opportunity. When handed the microphone, he said, “The annual company barbeque is a longstanding tradition here at Company D. So I encourage all of you to keep the tradition alive and well by having a lot of fun here today.”
Evan welcomed this speaking opportunity, and he had prepared some remarks. His speech went as follows:
To the rest of the world, Company D is made up of all the outstanding employees that are here today. Let’s give a round of applause to all Company D employees. [Allow time for applause.] What a team!
Now stop for one moment and look around this crowd. Go on, look around. What do you see? I’ll tell you what I see. I see our real team, our complete team. The unprecedented success of Company D did not happen simply because we have a great team at work. It happened because we are supported by a great team when we leave work, a team made of our families and our friends, many of whom are here today. It is this at-home team that understood our long hours this year, helped us unwind, served as our sounding boards, and supported us, allowing us to grow as a company.
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This barbeque is merely a small token of appreciation for all that you do—you being employees, family, and friends. Congratulations on an amazing year, thank you once again, and enjoy the 45th Annual Company D Barbeque—you’ve earned it!
Avery was the last one to speak. Like Evan, she had prepared her remarks. Avery had been with the company for many years, so she decided to take this opportunity to discuss the history of the organization over the past 45 years. She thought to herself, “This barbeque is part of our history, and the company has gone through a lot of changes this year, so some reflection would be nice.” Her speech was about 25 minutes long.
By the end of the speech, the audience was restless and unhappy.
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