Share the Stage, But Be
On occasion, I like to share
the stage. I’ll bring up a volunteer to participate
in a demonstration, or even bring up a guest to
share a quick story. This can be very effective, but
also very dangerous, and you’ll need to decide for
yourself how adventurous you want to get.
In item #83, I explained the
importance of staying within your time limit. If you
plan to share the stage, you’ll need to make sure
your guest agrees to, and abides by, a time limit,
or you may have to politely interject, and stop them
from taking over your program.
Another risk is that your
guest may not behave exactly according to plan. I
invited a volunteer to the stage once, and, to prove
a point, set up a scenario that was meant to garner
a specific reaction from the volunteer. This
scenario had him walking down the street, and had
him see me coming toward him. He was to recognize me
as his long-lost brother. He was to have been
searching for me all of his life, and right out of
the blue, there I was. I asked him how he would
respond. I expected him to open his arms, and to
welcome his long-lost brother back into his life,
but instead, this volunteer put his hands on his
hips, and yelled angrily, “Where the hell have you
been?” Not exactly the response I was hoping for.
So, what’s the lesson?
Sharing the stage can get a laugh, and it can
enhance the experience for your audience, as well as
help you prove a point. Be aware, however, that it
can also be fraught with peril. Be prepared for the
possibility that things might not develop the way
you expected them to.