I mentioned in several previous blogs that keeping focused during the course of a live auction is one of my highest priorities. That’s why around 20 minutes prior to an event I place myself in my “performance zone.” I need this “alone time” to gather my thoughts and review the program in my mind. Any interruption could derail all the hard work that started weeks or even months earlier.
What’s even a bigger challenge is to stay focused during the live auction when event chairs or event volunteers try to communicate with me.
During the live auction, my brain, like my vocal chords are racing at 100 mph. If someone attempts to talk to me – to give me a message during the live auction – one of two things happen.
- My brain screeches to an abrupt halt forcing me to go off message as I search for an answer or response to the communication.
- My brain continues racing along as I stay focused on the mission and unfortunately must ignore the message.
Neither option is productive to serious fundraising.
What I’m saying may make it appear as if I’m antisocial during the course of a live auction – or worse yet – a Prima donna. Nothing could be further from the truth. The charity and I have but one goal – and that is to raise as much money as possible in a relatively short period of time. My preferred method of making that happen – limiting the number and timing of interruptions – helps me accomplish our mutual goal.
With that said, here’s what works for me and hopefully will help your emcee or auctioneer if and when these situations arise at your event.
I find if someone will write me a note, sticky note preferred, and attach it to my auction binder located at the podium I can read the note without derailing my thoughts or interrupting the momentum of the live auction.
This is why at each auction I request that one cool-headed person be designated as my contact. This gatekeeper will be the only person to share information with me. This makes for better productivity for everyone and will increase the results of the auction.
That which I just described is a controllable situation.
In my next blog I’ll discuss the uncontrollable – the unexpected situation – when a drinking guest interrupts the flow of the live auction by presenting what he or she believes is a “great idea.”
Here’s a hint! There’s no easy answer. Until then…