A Slip of The Tongue (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

Sometimes it doesn't come out quite right.


I talk for a living.  I've been a decent speaker most of my life, rarely intimidated by speaking in front of a crowd or a camera.  Sometimes though, even with a lot of experience, it doesn't quite come out right.

Monday night on 11 News at 10 we had a story about a tornado caught on camera. It was some pretty amazing video.  I was reading the intro which included the cue for the video to roll and for it to show up on screen. 

I knew it was great video and I was into it so I ad-libbed a little (we do this quite often).  I wanted to say, "Take a look!" 

What I actually said was, "Take a leak!" ....

That's a very different meaning and certainly not something I'd intentionally encourage viewers to do while they're watching the news!

It was right before sports so all four of us were sitting together on the set (Jesse was there to do his "coming up in sports" tease and Brian was in the weather center right next to the news set.) Shannon and Brian and Jesse and I are all pretty good friends, we all know each other pretty well...and I could see some of them glancing my way out of the corner of my eye. 

At this point I couldn't look at anyone. 

I wasn't on camera, the video was still up but I knew if I caught anyone's eye I'd start laughing over the silly mistake I had just made. I knew they were all on the verge of laughing too. I struggled to get through the rest of the script, then we all struggled to get through the part where we ARE all on camera for the sports tease.  Here's a screen shot from that moment.


You don't want to laugh during any story, especially one about a tornado, and none of us did.  The story wasn't remotely funny, but what I accidentally said was.  I was proud of my colleagues and relieved for myself that we made it through.

It's one of those bad moments that didn't happen, but easily could have, because this guy who talks for a living didn't quite get it right!

As soon as we went to a commercial break...we all did laugh - at me - not at the story!  Brian Bledsoe was particularly cruel!

We'll talk again soon.

Don Ward

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