I continually tell audiences that life is a presentation and that everybody is a public speaker. Here's an example of how speaking skills can impact your personal life. What to do when your wife complains your Seder is boring and your story of the Jews' freedom from bondage is as long as Cecil B deMille's movie "The Ten Commandments?" You get a coach and she doesn't even have to be Jewish.
Tired of his wife's criticisms every Passover, a man I'll call Burt, hired me to help him with his Seder presentation. Being Christian I had to do a quick study of the Haggadah,(the guide for conducting a Seder containing prayers and songs). With not a moment to waste, we got down to work.
We began paring down his story and I showed him how to tell it in an animated voice. He needed to shift from being a lecturer to an emcee. Then we created index cards with one sentence descriptions of each Seder food to be read by guests. Each of the ten plagues were also written on cards for the children to recite, followed by the refrain of a group song that each of the ten tables would sing.
The key to a successful presentation is to engage the audience. Group participation raises the energy level and keeps peple interested and engaged.
The Seder will be held on March 30th at a New York City restaurant. The Indian chef has learned to cook Jewish food with a unique blend of Indian spices. I look forward to attending the Seder and hearing the new and improved presentation.