Lucy’s opening gambit was meant to inject a feeling of camaraderie in the audience, to generate a few laughs.
Instead, silence. Blank stares. She could hear a pin drop.
She cleared her throat. ‘Jeez, tough crowd today.’ She glanced around, hoping to find a pair of kind eyes gazing back at her. Heads were lowered; an astonishing amount of audience members were desperate to find something on the floor, at their feet, or in their satchels and handbags.
Lucy prayed for the floor to open. She could fall away from behind the lectern, just disappear, and never have to remember this moment again. She squeezed her eyes shut, briefly, then opened them again.
Nope, still here.
She continued, ‘I suspect we’re asleep still. How about we all stand up?’
Lucy waited. There was shuffling about as seats flew up and clunked against the chair backrests. Yay, bit of a win. Most of them were standing.
‘Turn clockwise three times,’ Lucy commanded. ‘Then anti-clockwise six times.’ She watched as each person—save a few grumps who were still sitting with arms crossed and brows creased—did as she asked.
‘Bend down, touch your toes. Let’s see how flexible we all are.’
A chorus of groans made its way to the stage, and Lucy chuckled. ‘Alright everybody. Thank you. Let’s all sit down and get started.’
Now, with the crowd mostly eating of her hands, Lucy gave her speech on achieving success in business.