10 Tips for being an audience member

By Billy Bass – Horizon News Editor

Chapel is a time of worship. A choral concert is for sharing learning and messages. Forum is for academic lecture. For all the events that happen in the sanctuary at Hesston Mennonite Church, there are appropriate ways to be an audience member.

Here’s ten tips on being an effective, attentive audience member.

You are here to listen and absorb new ideas, information, or to reflect on God.

Jaelyn Rufenacht assists physics professor Joel Krehbiel during the forum, “We’re All Scientists,” Oct. 7. Photo by Kendra Burkey

This can happen best when you:

  1. Put your phone away. You don’t need any of the distraction this device brings either to you or the whole room.
  2. Come dressed professionally with a shirt. Remove hats inside buildings.
  3. Sit quietly with undivided attention.
  4. When someone approaches the platform, sit quietly. Cheering is for rock concerts.
  5. When the keynote speaker or another person sharing main content is finished, clap for a few moments and quiet down. Other noises and gestures can be distracting and may be viewed as distasteful and inappropriate.
  6. Following a time of worship or prayer, clapping is not usually appropriate.
  7. Wait to applaud until the person is finished speaking or the musical conductor has lowered their hands.
  8. When a musical performance is occurring, do sing along, talk, or whistle, even if you know the piece.
  9. Taking notes is appropriate in forum sessions
  10. Keep eye contact with the speaker or other person sharing on the platform. Although they may not be looking at you, you will understand their message better.

Above all, enjoy the blessing we have of great speakers, and people eager to share with you. You will want the same care and attention when it’s your turn to share!


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