My other blog JonAcuff.com is full of “how to” type posts. You should read that blog. You would find it delightful.
But very rarely do I give “how to” advice on SCL. That changes today.
Here is how to make nobody look you in the eye when you speak at a church.
Ask if they have seen the show Curb Your Enthusiasm.
It’s really that easy. How do I know? Because I tried this and my joke bombed.
I sometimes tell people about Jesus Jukes when I talk. I do this at the beginning of my talk. (A Jesus Juke is when you’re having a normal conversation and someone tries to juke Jesus in out of nowhere.)
Thirty minutes later in my talk, I tell a story about Larry David, the creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I ask the audience if they have seen it. I’d say 99% of the audiences I speak to clap and cheer, acknowledging they have seen it. At which point I say, “I haven’t. It’s on HBO. I’m a Christian. I was too busy journaling. Juke!”
It’s a trap!
But one day, at a church, I tried that joke. I was ready for a big laugh and, when I asked if anyone had seen the show, the place went deathly quiet. No one would make eye contact with me. Nobody said a word. The joke bombed.
I was flustered for a second and then blurted out, “Oh, are we pretending we don’t know HBO exists? I see.”
And then I went on. It wasn’t awkward at all. Not even a little bit.
So there’s a little bit of free wisdom. Want to make sure nobody makes eye contact with you? Mention HBO to a room full of Christians.