From an email sent to Bill Johnson:

Chet has a good point below, and he has a link that is pretty good……for large audiences that are a distance from the podium.  I have done a lot of public speaking and these are great tips for large groups.

We are different in two ways.  First, our speakers stand among, not in front of, their audience.  That can be a little disconcerting except that these are not disinterested strangers, and they are not expecting pearls of wisdom.  Use the living room approach in the link because you could actually be talking in your living room… a matter of fact, our living room is never as hostile as some family living rooms can be.

Second, remind yourself constantly that EVERYONE in the room is, or has been, in the very same situation you find yourself in.  You are therefore with friends, or at least kindred spirits.

Another thing I picked up from the article is the suggestion to speak to two people.  I have never had anyone tell me that, but as I think over it, usually as soon as I start speaking I am scanning the audience for several kind faces, and I focus on them as I speak.  If I were to suggest this technique for the Launch pad, I would suggest that before you speak you find three people who are friendly or appear friendly to you….one directly in front and one to each side, but closer to the front.  That way, you can gently sweep the audience as you start to speak and that might help to calm you down.

Good advice, Chet.  Thanks for thinking of everyone. (feel free to speak to Chet….he’s on your side)

Bill Johnson


From Chet Lohman:

I know many of our members at FUMC have not volunteered for the launchpad yet.  Perhaps this article could help…