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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