You’re Such a Lovely Audience, We’d Like To Take You Home With Us

Public speaking can be a nightmare. That’s why a professor at the Kogod School of Business established the Audience Dogs program, in which students can practice on pups who hang on their every word. You don’t need to imagine them naked — they already are. Students who master the course may advance to a more challenging audience: Two dozen cats with slingshots and tomatoes.

Take a bow (wow), Megan W.

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29 thoughts on “You’re Such a Lovely Audience, We’d Like To Take You Home With Us

  1. JenDeyan August 9, 2016 / 9:13 am

    What a great idea. Once again, dogkind helps mankind ascend to greater heights. We stand on the shoulders of fuzzy giants.

  2. Circe August 9, 2016 / 9:24 am

    I’ve heard the suggestion that you practice your speech to your own dog. If you can keep his/her interest (without treats), then you are animated and engaging enough to keep a human audience awake.

  3. Murray C. August 9, 2016 / 11:13 am

    The I love the idea of being able to tell your audience,”Sit. Stay.”

    And the upcoming cat audience for the overconfident!!!!😂😂😂

    • fkaWaldenPond August 9, 2016 / 12:01 pm

      the cat bit cracked me up too 😀 😀

  4. Madame X August 9, 2016 / 11:17 am

    I doubt Luna and Nina would be interested in a lecture about Alternative Minimum Tax and Foreign Tax Credits…

    Not even for ham and cheese rolls…

    • Murray C. August 9, 2016 / 1:18 pm

      Heck, *I* wouldn’t even do it for ham and cheese rolls.😝

    • Birdcage August 9, 2016 / 2:01 pm

      You might be surprised what I’d do for ham and cheese rolls.

      • Faye August 10, 2016 / 12:34 pm

        Me too. Food? Reaches for chair.

    • Clairdelune August 12, 2016 / 12:50 am

      I might do it for eggplant parmesan, if done well. 😀 😀 😀

  5. Ricky's Mom August 9, 2016 / 11:32 am

    Outside of Cutetropolis, Ricky is known as Ricky the Dialect Dog, and he has been assisting me in my dialect design/coaching practice since I adopted him from a rescue organization seven years ago. He’s now fourteen, and has mild dementia, which seems to have taken a turn for the worse in the last couple of weeks. So he may not be able to assist for much longer, though as long as he is enjoying life, he will have a loving and supportive home with me.

    Pictures of Ricky with our clients can be found all over my Facebook Page at You can expect this fabulous video—Thank you, Megan W. and Mike!—to appear there before day’s end.

    • Murray C. August 9, 2016 / 1:16 pm

      How completely cool! I have been admiring how far along dialects have become in recent years – it used to be a bit painful in the past. Do you have Ricky listen to people, is that how it works?

      • Ricky's Mom August 9, 2016 / 2:02 pm

        He tends to put people at their ease, which is helpful because speech is part of identity, and altering one’s own speech pattern can be very disconcerting, especially to newbies. Plus, I work almost exclusively with performers these days, and the pressure to “get it right” at short notice (sometimes I get last-minute requests the day before an audition) induces fear. Well, it’s hard to stay afraid with a little dog sleeping contentedly on your lap, or gazing at you adoringly.

        When it comes time to move from just breaking the accent features down to expressing oneself through the new accent (or dialect; a discussion for another time and place), Ricky’s a good acting partner just like the dogs in the video are a good audience. Dog’s don’t lie; they’re always truthful, and their feedback is always sincere. You’d be amazed at how much better the accent gets when the acting gets better, which it always will with a good partner reflecting your work back at you.

        Also, he’s very good at demonstrating tongue exercises, and I have a video on my Fb page of him giving a friend a laryngeal massage.

        • debg August 9, 2016 / 3:05 pm

          Ricky’s Mom, this may be the coolest thing I’ve ever heard. I might have stayed in speech pathology if I’d known dogs and cats could be involved.

          So sorry about the dementia. I’m sure you’re bracing yourself for sadness, and having just lost a beloved kitty myself, I send you both virtual hugs.

          • Ricky's Mom August 9, 2016 / 5:26 pm

            Oh, Deb, I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs. They’re not enough, but they’re what I’ve got. Please be kind to yourself, you need a lot of that right now.

            I try to take each day as it comes, which is not something that comes naturally. Today was very hard, because he’s not eating enough, and he bites the heck out of me when he’s not in his right mind. When he’s himself, which he still is some of the time, he’s adorable – though still feisty. He’s always been a bossy little critter.

    • Sumo-Mermaid August 9, 2016 / 5:54 pm

      And what’s Ricky known as inside of Cutetropolis?

      • Ricky's Mom August 9, 2016 / 6:10 pm

        Ricky, son of Ricky’s Mom. But he has many nicknames, sobriquets, and secret identities.

      • Ricky's Mom August 9, 2016 / 6:21 pm

        I often call him ordinary things, like Boo, Buddy, Buster, Pally, Little Man, Little Dog … not very imaginative, but terms of endearment. When he’s extra feisty, he’s the Maltese of the Baskervilles. One of our neighborhood friends calls him Muggsy.

        My favorite, however, is His Royal Hiney, Count Barky von Fussypants.

        • Clairdelune August 12, 2016 / 1:03 am

          Ricky’s Mom, love your favorite name for your doggy! Do you think that dog food advertised as brain food for older dogs would help Ricky? So sad, when all you can do is love them and wait.

          I’m considering Her Royal Hiney, Countess Howling von Furrypants for my kitty, based on her 5 AM howls and the furry white layer on most of her favorite sitting/sleeping surfaces.

  6. Patty August 9, 2016 / 11:41 am

    Nice Beatles reference in the title, Mike.
    Dogs make a good audience, they listen to every word, probably hoping to hear familiar ones like: walkie, treat, ride.

    • Ricky's Mom August 9, 2016 / 6:22 pm

      As in Ticket to Ride? 🙂

  7. Mich Patt August 9, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    I guffawed aloud at the ‘story’ Mike ‘made up’ to go with this video. And then I watched it and realized it’s a real thing! 😀 Oh, happiness!

  8. Laura August 9, 2016 / 2:50 pm

    I not only recognized the Beatles reference in the title, I also picked up an earworm from it immediately. Gee, thanks, Mike.

    And while Melody participates in a program for kids to improve their reading by reading aloud to dogs, I’d never thought of applying the same principle to adults practicing speeches with a doggie audience. It’s actually an excellent idea!

  9. misspiggy August 10, 2016 / 9:41 am

    Would anyone be able to tell me what breed the large black-brown-white dog is? Because I think I’ve just found my ideal future dog.

  10. Clairdelune August 12, 2016 / 1:09 am

    Mike, I LOVE that gorgeous white cat that at times shows up in the header, what beautiful jewel eyes – one aquamarine and one topaz!!

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