Public Talks Designed by the Watchtower Society
I especially like the brothers that break out the outline your giving and follow along to make sure you are strictly following the outline.
"Brother, I notice you substitiuted a scripture. Why?" or "Brother, the instructions say to cover this subheading in 5 minutes but I noticed you only used 4."
Control, control, control. I've heard a few crazy ramblings in my days as well. At least you paid attention during those.
The best prop I've seen is a large picture (hand drawn of course) of a pizza used during the "Godly View of Sex and Marriage" (a classic). "Brothers, sisters are like a pizza" Uh, ok, how is that? It was never really explained. You just stared at the picture for the next 45 minutes trying not to laugh.
(Editing got screwed up on earlier post)
I used to really work on my talks. I had a ton of outlines, and gave 100s of public talks over the years, even going out as a MS in my early 20s. I was always in one congregation, but gave talks in 5 different states.
I used lots of specifics, tried to really explain complex things so people could understand, and found that if I used maybe 10 percent of the verses in the outline, but really used and explained them well, I was doing a good job. It was perhaps my favorite part of being a JW.
I had this ability, not quite sure why or how, of being able to remember everything in the talk when I went over it just before giving the talk, so I used my notes and outline very, very little, which made for good audience contact. I had a few talks I'd completely written on my own, and they were pretty popular, but the Society eventually forbid that.
There were two things I always disliked about talks. Brothers who used the talks to make really ridiculous or unsubstantiated personal points (ie: one brother who went on and on about how bad it was to park in handicap spaces if you weren't handicapped, and another brother who used his talk to put down teaching art by having students try to reproduce the work of known artists. The audience was like, "WTF?? It's only the oldest art teaching technique in history!"), and brothers who would read the point from the outline, then say, "now let's look up," and would proceed to look up and read all the verses referred to in the point - but not explain one of them.
There were a few good speakers, LOTS of mediocre ones, and several really bad ones.
3.) Can someone relate any information regarding the talks?
We used to traipse around the local counties visiting all number of KHs listening to my dad relaying his half dozen talks. I think we heard each one 20 times. It was nauseating. He did try to spice them up a bit with my mum's badly painted (she's an artist you know!) illustrations. I can't remember them all but at least it was something to look at I suppose.
2.) Why are the talks so old?
these talks were given in the late 70s right until mid to late 80s. Anyway, last year my dad asks me to search my lock up (containing some of their stuff from recent house move) for a visual aid - I though wtf is a visual aid (I've been out so long) when he explained it was for a talk and told me the picture in question - OMG, is he really still doing those talks?!
In one of his talks he got the whole congratation to get up and sing - that surprised them! Especially the sound man who was not expecting it and was just about snoozing. We particularly enjoyed that talk if we were visiting a prickly cong.
There was another talk where he lit a match and let it burn out - probably H&S would put a stop to that now.
doubtingbro: I love the pizza illustration, that's hilarious!
"Brothers, sisters are like a pizza"
I've heard the cheesy phrase that sex is like pizza, even when it's bad its still pretty good. Maybe that's what he was getting at?
The whole public talk program has deteriorated significantly over the past 30 years or so; today's talks are not really intended for the general public at all, and are more like the Saturday evening ``service talks" to the initiated which traveling Bethelites used to give.
These were laced with theospeak jargon and intended for a JW audience. Today, the public talk outlines are virtual manuscripts andmostly incomprehensible to the general public. Speakers often appeal to WT literature for authority and read large excepts verbatim from Watchtowers and other JW publications. Time was when this was considered a ``no-no" and speakers were advised to use the publications only as sources of reference and keep all quotations to those exclusively from the Bible.