Thursday, August 09, 2007


I've heard a few thousand speakers in my life.

I've heard teachers, lecturers, philosophers, poets, singers at concerts that talk to the crowd more than they perform, politicians and preachers.

I've been to classes, comedy clubs, seminars, conferences, debates and churches.

I've heard people go way too long and way too short...and I'd take way too short any day.

I've heard them be stern and demanding and I've heard them be funny and inspirational. You can guess which I prefer.

In general I've found that the speakers that really have a pride/ego thing going - tend to go long. I guess that makes sense. If you really think what you have to say is incredibly insightful...and just go with the assumption that they're hanging on every one of your well timed words....well why wouldn't you just keep going?

I've noticed that the best public speakers tend to be comedians. They have to earn the audiences appreciation on a level that you don't at a church. People have paid money to go see the comedian and they're there only to see them bring the funny. I've seen a few conference speakers get some laughs and then decide that they're funny enough to take it on the road and try out stand up comedy....and they're not. They're just used to an easier crowd. That's why I sort of cringe when I see "Christian comedian". Generally they're used to crowds who are just waiting to laugh...wanting to laugh. They get those Robin Williams/George Carlin crowds (neither of them have been funny in 20 years).

I'm a big fan of a speaker that can be funny throughout, inspirational, make one great point, flesh out truth, and tell stories from their own life that help us to see the reality of where they've gone and how they've lived out some of what they're talking about. Doesn't matter what the subject is....that's just what I like.

So I'm off to a conference to see how these folks do...should be fun.

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