If you have been in the public speaking game for any length of time, you will no doubt have experienced some awkward speaking moments.
Here are mine. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
5. The first sermon I ever preached in my homiletics (the study of preaching) class was brutal. I think everyone in the audience felt awkward for me. Choppy words, not looking up, rushing through my thoughts, and even shaking a little bit. If I wasn’t so nervous I likely would have fallen asleep while preaching my own sermon. Worse yet, the night before I was up all night dry heaving and throwing up because I was so nervous. Even worse yet, the sermon was recorded and I got to experience the awkwardness everyone else felt when I watched myself. Brutal.
4. One Sunday, the Sunday School of the church I was at put together medical kits for kids in Africa. I thought it was brilliant. So during my sermon I kept alluding to the brilliance of these medical kits, even used the imagery at the end of my sermon to hammer the point home. Turns out they were school kits.
3. Once I was speaking at a tiny church in a rural Manitoba town. There were about 30 people in the church building that fit around 50. Many younger families with kids. Half way through the sermon one kit stood up on the pew, screamed at the top of his lungs and flung his soother all the way across the sanctuary nearly hitting an older woman in the head. They tell you in preaching class to preach through it… but sometimes you just gotta laugh.
2. Because I was so nervous preaching my internship supervisor suggested I preach as much as I could in senior homes to get a feel for speaking in public. One time this older gentleman fell asleep in his automated chair and starting driving, while sleeping toward me. It was like in slow motion yet I stood in shock not knowing what to do. Thankfully a nurse slowly walked to cut him off and turn his chair off.
1. I had really bad gas once while I preached a sermon in my old church in Winnipeg. So I was farting… a lot. I felt bad for the people in the choir loft as I was sure they were both hearing my farts and, worse yet, smelling them. It is certainly a strange experience preaching a sermon and smelling, you know…
I do not want to offend with this short video, but at least I wasn’t this guy.
Pastors and public speakers alike. What are your awkward public speaking moments?