Jun 24, 2008

Extemporaneously Speaking

During Scott Appleby's presentation he misspoke and called our website "Broken Halo." I mention this not to slight the good professor's name (God knows thousands of people make the same mistake--so much so that we even tried to buy Brokenhalo.com a few times), but rather to offer a few funnies.

One Paulist yelled out: "BUSTED halo."

To which Appleby replied: "Shoot...right sorry. Wow! It's even more drastic than I thought."

To which I replied: "At least it isn't SHATTERED."

And it was all that quick. Laughs all around.

My advisor said to me..."You've got a real gift for quick retorts. Were you always that quick? Or does that come from your radio training?"

I said, "Well I learned a bit in radio...but I was the state extemporaneous spaking champ for a club I was in in high school. That's where I really learned it. In fact, that's probably where I learned how to preach."

And I went to public school...

In short--the rules I learned for extemporaneous speaking are as follows:

1) Tell stories throughout--and one that grabs the audience right away up top.

2) Speak vibrantly and strong as if you were trying to make a point that the audience just had to know--as if their lives maybe didn't quite depend on it--but rather something that you just had to share.

3) Speak between 3-5 minutes only. That makes you narrow in on a point.

4) Have ONE point and one point only. Stay on topic and don't try to go through any back doors.

5) Speak ENGLISH. No high fallutin words.

6) Know your audience--and if you don't know your audience (for some odd reason) try to lead with stories that everyone can resonate with.

7) Make people fall in love with your idea--not neccessarily appealling only to the intellect but more to the heart.

8) Don't go overboard with syrupy stuff--have a gentle balance while leaning towards the heart.

All good advice. Hopefully I've lived up to it.

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