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I saw this question posed somewhere on the Internet … “How does an auctioneer quiet a noisy crowd?” Interesting question with what I would guess are only a couple answers.

First, why would an auctioneer have an overly noisy crowd?

People do attend auctions to purchase items, but also to converse with friends and acquaintances, talk over current events, tell jokes, and the like. Yet, the focus is typically the auction and what item is being sold at that moment.

If the crowd is unreasonably noisy, I would suspect one or the other of the following reasons:

  • A speaker system is not being used, or used properly, and therefore the noise of the crowd is material in comparison.
  • The item or items being sold largely have no interest to the people in the crowd.

While other factors may be at play here, if a crowd is overly noisy, then a speaker system can be used to project the auctioneer’s voice sufficiently in excess of that crowd’s conversational sounds.

Or, if the items aren’t keeping the attention of the crowd, maybe those such items should be skipped over, and more important or desirable items be put up for auction.

I’ve attended numerous auctions where I’ve heard the auctioneer tell those conversing essentially that “I appreciate that you folks want to talk, but take your conversations somewhere else, as we’re trying to have an auction here …”

I suspect this issue is not really any different than any public speaker’s inability to keep the attention of their crowd — either talk louder and/or tell them something they want to hear … and they’ll stop talking to each other, and listen to the speaker.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.