Even though most of us are terrified to stand up and speak in public, the truth is that at some point you have to do it. 

A presentation at work, a toast, a eulogy, or even a backyard bbq. 

A recent podcast with speaker and activist Danielle Strickland gave us some great insight into public speaking. If you missed it, you can check it out HERE.

The truth is we all get nervous. I’ve been speaking publicly since I was in junior high and I still get anxious before I go out.

But none of us wants to be that person who is so nervous you make other people nervous. And at the end of the day, we’d like to say something that makes a positive impact. 

So before you say “let’s all raise a glass”… Here are 3 things you should NEVER do when public speaking:

The 3 Things to Avoid When Public Speaking

1 • Never expect anything to be funny.

Laughter is one of those things we all love to do,  but we don’t all laugh at the same things. So you might have something in your speech you think is hilarious, but others may  not.  If you are planning for a big laugh and its crickets you could be stuck staring at everyone wondering if your mic is on.  Best advice, if you expect nothing to be funny, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised if it is.  

2 • Never punch down first.

This is a comedian’s term for making fun of the audience – “punching down”.  You may very well be able to poke fun at the guest of honor, the bride and groom or even your audience, but  start with self-deprecation or “punching up.” Making fun of yourself will make you  much more relatable and your audience will then be ready for you to tease someone else later. 

3 • Never wing the take off or landing.

They say speeches are like flights – most problems happen on the take off or landing.  Too many speakers have no clear opening and no clear ending.  You don’t want to be the guy trying to stick the landing with “so, I guess that’s all I have to say… so thank you.”  A clever opening and closing will be a gift to you when you are on stage. 

They say fear is simply the absence of knowledge.

When we don’t know what will happen, we fear the worst. A well written out speech will take away most of your  fear… Most of it. 

Your Pastor,
Rusty George

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