The past few months were great. I’ve been getting invites from all places to speak about internet law. Many thanks to those who invited or referred me.
Recently, I was invited to speak at a small event, a group of 10 people. It was my first time addressing a smaller crowd. The past talks were around 30 – 200 people.
I read from somewhere that, when giving talks, some participants would listen to what you say, some participants doesn’t agree with what you said and some participants just have no clue what you just said. I was ready to address these 3 types of participants.
But no one told me about disruptive participants!
Since it was a small crowd, I ended my talk quickly so that we could have an interactive session i.e. a Q&A. One participant asked me about me about Computer Crimes Act i.e. whether an employer can access their employee’s emails. When I gave my answer, one participant (who I later found out is a senior lawyer), objected and indicated that I was incorrect. It ended up in a debate and other participants joined in as well.
Once we disposed the issue and probably dropping his ‘waterface’, the I could see that the lawyer was dissatisfied and he started to interrupt and tried correcting me a few times.
Fortunately, I had the assistance of another fellow participant who was also a lawyer. Fellow chairperson was also there to diffuse the tension.
My fortune teller tells me that I would always have people helping me. How true.
But I must say it was fun. It was fun to be engaged in a public debate. It also gave me another experience on what can go wrong in a talk.
At my closing speech, I thanked the disruptive participant for sharing his knowledge. I didn’t want to be small and hold a grunge. But I think he probably left a “lousy speaker!! goto back to law school!!” comment on the feedback sheet.
After everyone packed up, one participant came up to me and said, “that guy is a jerk!!!!!!!!”.