Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Public Speaking: False Guest Speaker Gag

One of my favorite gags is the false guest speaker. The length of the bogus
speech is easy to vary to suit your program. Some speakers have a canned act
and speak on a generic topic like stress reduction. They then go off on bizarre
tangents to the point of lunacy until the joke is revealed.

A better version includes a presentation that is customized for the group. An
insider or accomplice provides industry buzzwords and authentic issues so the
speech starts off in a believable and relevant fashion. The speaker then rambles
off on unrelated topics that are weaved into the real information to lead the
audience down the path to bewilderment.

Really good speakers open up the microphone for a question and answer
session in which they ad-lib or give pre-written comical answers to expected or
planted questions.

The speaker doing an impostor routine has to be ready for anything. One
thing to avoid, unless you are really good at ad-libbing, is being pinned down
before the program on questions you couldn't possibly answer. To avoid this
situation, I usually rush into the in-progress meeting carrying my luggage as if
my plane was late. Then I let them have it. The downside to this type of entrance
is that you do not have a chance to check the room setup and microphone before
you go on. Make it clear to the meeting planner how important these items are
if you decide to try this gag.

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