Make sure the title of your talk can’t be misinterpreted!

I Skyped an old friend yesterday and she couldn’t wait to tell me about a talk she had been to earlier in the week. She belongs to a women’s group a bit like the WI. The group’s programme said that the talk was by someone from an organisation called Orchid.

if you Google ‘Orchid’ you will find there are many uses for the word in the titles of organisations who have appropriated it for their own purposes.

First of all, the woman speaker was late due to roadworks. While they waited, members of the group stood up to tell about their own experiences of growing orchids. One woman had even brought her husband along, as he grows the flowers and was interested to hear the latest ideas on the subject or about new varieties.

When the speaker arrived, half an hour late and flustered, they couldn’t get the computer presentation to work. (She told them this has never happened before). After several attempts, she gave up and talked about her trek in the Himalayas. Everyone waited expectantly for news of some wonderful new species she had discovered. At the end she told them how worthwhile it had been and how much money had been raised; but still no mention of orchids.

During the question time it became apparent that a misunderstanding of rather large proportions had occurred and it was, indeed,  a truly enlightening experience for the audience and somewhat embarrassing one. Apparently, orchids resemble testicles and the organisation raises funds for testicular cancer research! It is a very worthy cause but not what the audience was prepared for!

An orchidectomy is about the removal of disease but certainly doesn’t involve pesticide!


About Rosemary the Chickerell Chirper

I'm a private teacher of piano, guitar and music theory. I am married with two grown sons who now have families of their own. I have five granddaughters, two in NZ and three in England, including one set of twins. Ever since I was very young I have wanted to write and have had some poems and articles published but would love to complete a novel. I give talks about various things to local groups and play organ and piano at our local Methodist Chapel where I also lead the choir.
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2 Responses to Make sure the title of your talk can’t be misinterpreted!

  1. As a speech teacher, along with my various other hats, I commend you for tackling the topic, as ‘twer. It’s always interesting to see the reaction in a class when I say public speaking tension is right there on the scale of air traffic controller. They believe me. Good organization is indeed the key. Along with breathing. (Great background shot, by the way – you live up north?)

    • Thanks, Janet for your encouraging words. Thanks, also for liking my background shot. The clue to where I live is actually in my avatar name – I live in Dorset, England. Chickerell is unique, as there are no other places with that name anywhere in the world and nobody is sure of its original meaning. The picture was taken at Chesil Cove, Portland at the eastern end of Chesil Beach – a lovely spot in calm weather, not a place to go in a storm!

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