I’ve been Speaking in front of large crowds of people for over 20 years now. I’ve been “DJing” in front of small crowds of people for over 10 years now. I’m clearly better at one than I am the other!

Even though I’ve been DJing half the time that I’ve Teaching, I’ve learned a TON of things about Public Speaking from being a DJ! Here’s 3 of them:

1) Dig In Those Crates.
This is one of my FAVORITE parts of being a DJ and a Communicator – Digging deep into others works to find hidden gems, great takes, and wisdom greater than mine. The key to good study and preparation is learning how to cultivate this collective wisdom and connecting the dots between the best parts. Where you Dig matters. Always diversify the voices you listen to and learn from, while regularly going back to the ones you can depend on!
Two things to keep in mind:
  1. Don’t get lost Diggin! I’ve wasted lots of HOURS and lots of DOLLARS in record shops only to come up empty or overdrawn. Know when enough is enough.
  2. There’s a thin line between Inspiration and Plagiarism. Giving Credit is the Guaranteed way to keep from compromising your integrity. When you steal someone else’s work, you rob yourself of learning and growing.


2) Plan To Be Present
One of the biggest lessons I learned the hard way as a DJ was Programming. Programming is setting up your songs ahead of time so that it all flows and makes sense. It’s like setting the table for a Dinner Party…it’s something you want to do before everyone shows up. By doing this, if I sense in the moment that I need to deviate from the plan…I KNOW the plan that I’m deviating from! This is why I Manuscript all of my sermons. I write them all out word for word. This helps me do a couple of things:
  1. Learn the content better – I’m writing, reading it, and saying it out loud. By the time I get up to do it, I’ve internalized it.
  2. Feel the flow out – I can see what works best where. I get a sense of how it all works together and have a sense of how long it’s going to go.
  3. Have more freedom to move in the moment – I can take shortcuts or camp out wherever I need to as I sense I need to. This is MUCH harder to do and more risky of rambling when you’re working off of Bullet Points.


3) Transitions Matter
I’m sure you’ve been at a party where someone is DJing…you’re loving the track…feeling the vibe…and then SCREEEETCH, they drop the next track at a completely different BPM or Key, or they just do it clumsily. I bet you’ve heard someone Preaching or giving a Presentation do the same thing. She’s making a great point…and then…the random story or the ever dreaded “For my next point…”. Transitions matter. Think them through. Write them out. Do this right, and no one will even know you’re doing it.


These are Three Things that I’ve learned about Public Speaking from DJing. What I want to know is…What have You learned about Public Speaking (other than “imagine them in their underwear”)? How did you learn it?

Or…what ELSE are you learning…and from WHAT? What are you learning about God, Yourself, Creativity, etc from everyday ordinary things? How do you connect the dots…?

I’d love to hear.