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What do you guys do when you have guests that just won't stop talking during your demonstration?
Yes it that can be very distracting and rude. The best you can do is try to focus on you task, try to block them out. Or you can get your audience involved in your demonstration which will hopefully draw those talker's attention back to you. Good luck!
I struggle with rude guests a lot. There are several different things I learned at conference and listening to our tapes.
Say softly "If you can hear me now, clap once" (or put your finger on your nose). If not everyone claps, do it again a little louder with "clap twice". I have not had to go to 3 times yet. Then I follow up with, "if you can give me about 10 (or whatever) more minutes, my demo will be over; we can all chat while we eat."
For getting guests more involved, copy the recipe in numbered steps on several large index cards (one step per card). Hand them out to people (especially repeat guests that you know talk a lot!). Tell them you will be calling out the numbers and they will have to come up to help.
If this is a major problem in one particular group, try an express show where the bulk of your cooking is done when people get there. Put some items out for people to play with, give some tips, answer questions, feed 'em, collect your orders and go home.
Act Like a Teacher
Both my director and my advanced director are former school teachers, so I learned from the very beginning to act like a school teacher ie "Is this something the two of you can share with the group?" or I clap my hands and say "There is going to be a quiz on this later!" I find both these remarks get a laugh and then people actually are listening to me. I find this works with all groups especially with teachers!! Another trick I use is that I will clap my hands loudly and then say " I am supposed to be the center of attention" while I am pointing at myself. Again, this gets a laugh, and then I AM the center of attention!!
numbered recipe steps
that sounds like a great idea--writing recipe steps on numbered cards! I'll try that at my next show! thanks for the idea!
I have had several rowdy bunches at my kitchen shows, but they are adults and to talk to them like school children seems very rude. I know that the people who come to my shows want to have fun, so if I feel like they are getting distracted, I let them join in. Find the person who is getting loud and invite them up to grate the cheese, or to use the can opener. They love using the products in the show and quite often they buy the product for themselves!