I’ve sat in tons of audiences at tons of conferences this year. I’ve noticed a trend that I first noticed at Gnomedex: more and more people are sitting on their computers or Blackberries. Some people have decried this as the inattention of an audience that should be paying attention on stage.
I say that’s hogwash. If you want us to pay attention do something worthy of paying attention to.
Yesterday I watched as an audience of several hundred put down their Blackberries, turned off Twitter, and became transfixed on what they were hearing. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop almost the entire time.
It was magical. It was an experience I LOVED as an audience member. I didn’t feel like talking back. The only thing I wanted to do was tell everyone else about it.
What was the talk? By photographer Franz Lanting. He’s worked for the National Geographic for years, among other projects.
Franz is a master story teller. There are very few in the world who are at this level. I’m simply in awe, even 24 hours later. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t have my HD cameras to film this, but since Franz lives a few miles away from me we’ll definitely go and film him again soon.