Shot GlassesBefore I explain the game, let me tell you where the idea came from.  Last week I had to videotape ten modules for an online course. It’s bad enough that there was no teleprompter, or even a mirror to see if anything was askew before the red light went on  (and, oh yes, there was plenty), but to have to watch it in playback was worse than hearing fingernails on a chalkboard.

Sitting next to the video technician for two hours telling him what to cut and what to keep brought a new level of cringing. Twenty minutes in I started a running commentary on all my bad habits. The verbal patterns were even worse than the visual. After the tenth time I heard myself say “Lastly!!!” [in a cheerleader-ish vocal tone],” I practically spit at the screen.

In my head I was dressing down the videographer (it seemed the fitting thing to do since the alternative was to curl up into a ball and vow never to speak again), “Were you not eight feet from me for all ten modules?!”  But I digress. Suffice it to say that when I heard the 11th “lastly” I rolled my head back and groaned.

It was at this moment that the public speaking drinking game was invented.  The technician said, “If I had to take a swig of beer every time you said the word “lastly” I’d be pretty buzzed right now.”  A complete understatement, but I appreciated the subtlety.

That’s when it hit me: what a great way to watch the playback of yourself on camera:  with the motivational beverage of your choice that you must drink every time one of the following words is heard:

Lastly, so, really, gonna, ‘cuz, absolutely

Those are my verbal tics. You may end up with a different list. The point is to get yourself in front of a camera and present. Then invite your friends over and have a party while watching yourself on the small screen. Let your friends decide what words to include in the game and how many swigs must be taken for each word on the list.  For example, “um” could be two swigs; “like” could be three, and so on.  Jargon and acronyms might warrant half a bottle along with five tortilla chips.  You get the idea.

Oh, and, if you have a hunch that there will be lot of opportunities to drink, you may want to collect all the car keys before you press play.

I guarantee that everyone will have a great time and you will receive the best, most accurate feedback on the market – guaranteed.

You’re welcome!

Barbara Roche