Last month I was motivational speaker for a transportation conference. During the after dinner speaker, there was a loud possibly drunk delegate talking abruptly and clanking his cutlery during the motivational talk.
The after dinner speaker tried to maintain his composure while this man rudely distracted from his talk. Overall this uncivilized delegate ruined the experience for many.
Here are my thoughts on conquering this catastrophe:
Remove the Culprit
As one of the other motivational speakers for the transportation conference, I was surprised that nobody attempted to derail this derelict.
Irritated people threw annoyed looks his way, yet nobody took action.
It reminded me that events that serve alcohol often have a bouncer, and this is why. If you are hosting potentially roudy delegates during a motivational talk, than recruit some members to encourage disruptive people to take their conversation elsewhere.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Too much alcohol during an after dinner speaker can be a disaster. A better choice would be dancing so people can wear off the alcohol. Less alcohol always equates to more opportunity to learn.
Have a Plan
Disruptive behavior usually isn't a one time thing, be aware of previous offenders and look for ways to limit the damage. Talk to him in advance about proper etiquette.
Change the Seating Plan
By seating people with delegates they don't know,it forces them to leave their comfort zone and funnel energy into building new relationships.