I want to say "You are just a speaker in a conference room" meaning that you get reduced to a tiny loudspeaker on a conference room full of people where you are actually connected to via teleconference. The main idea I want to convey is that you, to all practical effects, effectively are that tiny loudspeaker people hear you through and that the people in the room just forget about you as a person.

I can see how the original phrase can be interpreted correctly as "You are a person talking in a conference room".

Finally, even with other expressions like "You get reduced to a speaker in a conference room" the same problem appears even if maybe less pronounced.

So, can we do something to make evident I'm talking about speaker (thing) and not speaker (person)? I think that the conference room part helps with the confusion...

1 Answer 1


I would suggest that a different idea rather than "reduce to a tiny loudspeaker" be implemented, because that is pretty unidiomatic.

An option that makes sense to me and still conveys the idea of a person being lost/ignored in a conference room full of people (the exact grammar may not fit with the larger context but the important thing is the idiom):

You are/become just background music in a conference full of people

Other idioms that involve being ignored in a room full of people include "becoming furniture" or "being wall art", but background music emphasizes that the "You" is still making noise and trying to be heard.


After realizing that OP means the person speaking is reduced to a disembodied voice passing through a loudspeaker, and not a full person, here is my updated suggestion.

Just say "voice"

You are/become just a voice in a conference full of people

That will most likely be understood as the sound of someone talking before anything else

  • Thing is that the person is actually speaking via conference through a tiny loudspeaker :-)
    – Vinko Vrsalovic
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 8:45
  • Ohh... so you mean that people start to view the person as a "disembodied voice coming from the loudspeaker" and not a full person
    – katatahito
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 8:48
  • Yes, edited the question to clarify
    – Vinko Vrsalovic
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 8:51
  • I think you just need, "All you are is a little loudspeaker." The words "All you are" have the effect of "reducing" or "shrinking" the person. If you wanted to be more explicit you could say, "You shrink till you are no more than a little loudspeaker (in the corner of the room)" Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 9:05
  • @OldBrixtonian Since your answer is different enough from mine, I think it would be worthwhile to post it as a separate answer
    – katatahito
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 0:43

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