By Jared Fields, Managing Editor
I daydream during Chapel.
Mostly about impossible scenarios, the perfect day and odd ‘what-ifs.’
This week, now that only those without Chapel credits are attending, a new daydream emerged.
What if I had to speak in Chapel?
A Chapel’s worth of thought devoted to developing criteria for a successful speech ended by realizing failure at speaking.
The first, and possibly most important criteria for a successful, lasting Chapel speech is to reveal a dark enough secret or past, personal experience that everyone would have no choice but to listen.
In Chapel, if you have broken a Commandment, been ostracized or done something culturally taboo, then you are Chapel gold. All ears are yours when you begin with a corny joke or gimmick and then spill your life for 10 minutes.
I have no such secret to share.
After this revelation, I made the decision to be the best speaker possible without possessing such an experience. After all, people could still remember me by employing a few corny jokes, a memorable gimmick or wearing outrageous clothes.
The memorable gimmicks, good or bad, have been taken.
Whether they were good or not in the viewers’ mind doesn’t matter. Being remembered is all that counts.
Starting a speech from Section U has been done. Walking around the floor has been taken too.
I can’t even bring an animal on stage and play a clip of a popular Disney movie while making an obscure reference to a goal of mine. It’s all been done.
While thinking about what to do in such a situation, planning what not to do is just as important.
Almost everyone in Chapel has taken Communication 111, where we learn the most basic, structured way to give a speech.
Because we all know this formula, speakers should avoid it at all costs.
According to this model, you begin with an introduction, present clearly stated topics with quoted attribution and concludes by referring back to the beginning.
After the introduction, we all know the points are next, and it’s another typical Chapel speech. That is when the talking and disinterest occurs.
Then, when you refer back to the introduction by using the same line you began with, we know you’re about to finish and people head for the stairs.
So while daydreaming about my hypothetical Chapel speech, I found a solution for Chapel indifference. Unless you have an emotionally captivating speech, form a Chapel committee devoted to developing as many gimmicks, jokes and anti-COMS 111 speeches as possible.
Being a good speaker will take care of itself, but the rest of the speakers need some help. Then we might daydream a little less.
Now, about the only thing not done has been to drop from the ceiling or stage a death.
Maybe the two could be combined. In planning my imaginary Chapel speech, the only new gimmick I’ve come up with was too incorporate faking my death and descending from the roof. If you have something else in mind, the rest of us in the seats would like to see it.
No one can daydream through that.