Lost and Found: The Audience

The wonders of writing, especially in a public place is that one receives so much food for thought in response. I often used this as an internal reason in having my poems published - making the attempt, even failed, gives one more of a reason (and chance) to get it right the next time.
After yesterday's post, so many thoughts came to me about different ways to consider the problem of the audience. Today, I considered how there were times when thoughts were conveyed symbolically (Pythagoreanism; Byzantine art; etc) - meaning that some messages are for an audience of initiates. I also thought, especially as I prepare my class outline for this year's lectures, about how much a message can be changed in terms of delivery without losing its essence: specifically, how much critical thinking can be taught with minimal reference to the writing that has been produced by the great minds who have contributed to the life that is around us. I am willing to admit that saying "it is hard to locate an audience" may reveal the weakness of the speaker.
So I am going back to the drawing board on this issue. There are certain rhetorical tools, like the use of humour, which are known to warm the audience. This should be the starting point. Empathy. Humour. Then, one can embark on what one has a need to say. One must always be willing to make jokes at one's expense.
And if one is faced with hostility, this can be so tricky, but the bottom line is in "not swallowing other people's poison they try to feed to you," and remaining in control of one's self. One is allowed to remain silent for a few beats. There are techniques.
And there will always be nay-sayers. But I just remembered something I used to say quite often: those who speak the loudest usually do so because they have no argument and because they usually don't represent the majority (so need to appear bigger than they are, so get louder). Hecklers. It is an art to deal with the heckler - but one heckler spoils not the crowd if one is witty. I will conclude by saying that an audience is as big as one's wit. Now I am going to go to youtube to find clips of comedians dealing with hecklers...

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