Speaking from the Pennsylvania House
I love my work. Last week, working with the National Conference of State Legislatures, I presented to a group of legislative researchers. Our session took place in the Pennsylvania House Chambers in Harrisburg, PA. If you can visit Harrisburg, DO IT and schedule a tour. Pennsylvania’s state capitol is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen. Without question, it’s the most gorgeous setting I’ve ever presented in.
What I learned in Harrisburg:
The House Chambers still holds the original desks, which held their original brass ashtrays and spittoons until 1995. (I met the guy who got to remove the ashtrays and spittoons).
A collection of Civil War Flags are preserved in the Capitol. They’re kept behind glass, in silk wraps to prevent deterioration.
The lighting fixtures are heavy. Many of the original lighting fixtures are still in use at the Capitol, and can weigh as much as 1 or 2 tons.
And, while I was speaking to a group of legislative researchers, I was reminded to take my own advice: Give your listener(s) a moment to respond. During an icebreaker, I was surprised when my audience didn’t immediately answer a question, until one of our astute audience members reminded me, “We need time to think!” I appreciated the reminder!