How to Stage a Memorable Banquet

I know, I know. I write on media, faith, and culture, but this time I have to speak out on a topic close to my heart (and stomach). If I have to attend one more poorly planned rubber chicken event for an organization’s fundraising, anniversary, or award, I’ll slice my wrists. Come on people, banquets can actually be fun, not the torture sessions we usually sit through. So if you have to plan an event in the near future, here’s some tips to keep in mind (if you don’t want me leaving early):

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Edit Yourself. Leave Us Asking for More.

I went to a fundraising banquet recently.  It was a nice affair as far as banquets go.  The music was good, and the keynote speaker was excellent.  Everything was going well until the ministry leader stood up to cast the vision for the project.  An hour and a half later I wanted to shoot him.  Looking around the room people were in agony.  After all, they had already sat through dinner, a couple of songs, and a keynote address.

Now all the ministry leader needed to do was spend 10 minutes showing the need, and then one last person would ask for donations.  But by the time the leader was through, the last thing the audience was interested in was donating.  They wanted to run from the room.

If you’re a pastor, executive, leader, or speaker of any kind – learn to edit yourself!  Always leave people wanting more – not wondering when you’ll quit.

Put yourself in their seat.  The tougher you are on yourself – filtering your content, judging what’s important, and refining your talk – the better off you’ll be, and the more the audience will enjoy it and benefit from it.

Anyone else experience this?

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