How ABC’s Wipeout Teaches Pastors To Craft Words

we had some friends over last night and were watching WIPEOUT together. there’s something great about seeing other people in pain (on this TV show at least). i’m convinced there’s no possible way to be cool on that show, especially with the voice overs by the announcers.

but as i was watching it, i was reminded again how well the announcers and script writers craft the words they use throughout the show. and i think those of us who speak on a regular basis can learn a lot from them.

take this clip for example:

on every show they highlight a few contestants, film them saying or doing something goofy at the beginning, and then craft the rest of the show’s script around that little bit.  it may just be me, but it’s amazing how they bring so many different nuances of specific words for each different contestant coming through the same obstacle course.

as someone who speaks on a regular basis, we can learn a lot from these guys.  here’s 3 things i jotted down:

  • PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME. it’s obvious while this show retains a good deal of spontaneity on the part of the contestants, many edits are done before going public. the announcers’ script is part of that, which has given them time to word smith and craft their commentary. as pastors we all feel the pressure to prepare more ahead of time, and when God shows up with His power, it certainly pays off.
  • USE WORDS RELEVANT TO THE SITUATION. it’s so easy for all of us to speak with terms that are outdated, irrelevant to the situation, or with words that simply don’t fit. preparing ahead of time helps us with this, but we still have to be immersed enough in culture to know how language is changing.
  • WRITE OUT THE SCRIPT. after reading speaking to teenagers, i was challenged to write out word for word the entire script of each message before hand. i rarely have time to complete it all in the course of a normal week, but what i’ve found when i do is that it allows me to choose my words even more carefully. i don’t use the script when i’m actually speaking, but it’s amazing how many of those words are delivered even after simply writing them out ahead of time.
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