Just about everyone has experienced that Thanksgiving moment when the head of the household pauses right before everyone digs into the feast, with the question “Who’d like to say grace?”

And just like that, a switch is thrown in your gut from tummy hunger to mental nervousness. Perhaps you have a brother, sister, or uncle who’ll always throw their hand up and save you from the uncomfortable moment of having to assume the delivery of the brief but important words. This holiday season, throw them a curveball. Volunteer to say grace. Don’t panic – you got this – here’s how:

Big reveal: grace is really just another brief talk. And like many of you whom I network with and coach, you know the basics of delivering a great talk. Grace is just a mini-version of a talk. So here’s your quick, easy guide to a grace they’ll remember.

Goal:

What’s the goal of grace? Giving thanks, right? So this holiday season, give 5 minutes – just 5 quick minutes to review the year and think about what you are thankful for. Chances are, if you do, you’ll come up with a very specific thank you that will be meaningful to you and others.

Audience:

Just like with any talk…who’s your audience and what matters to them? Your family and relatives are just another audience. What would they really identify with? Imagine if you gave thanks for your sister’s or your aunt’s good fortune of a new job, improved health, or similar “gifts”.

Wrapping it up:

What’s your “big finish”? Like the best talks, after a few specifics have been mentioned, it’s time to wrap it up for the big finish. Here’s again, just 5 little minutes of thought should give you a sentiment that works for everyone at the table. Get that settled in your mind, and bring it home.

Like the food on the table, grace is a critical component to any Thanksgiving gathering. Go ahead, do a little prep, take a breath, and give them the gift of you. I guarantee it’ll spark lively dinner table after talk, and appreciation. Fair warning though: you’ll likely be asked to do it again in the future…and you should.

PS: Final tip for head of households: you might want to consider pre-assigning grace, just so the giver can prepare. And of course, there’s always the popular once-around-the-table asking everyone to say something they’re thankful for. Hopefully after reading this, you’ll have a heartfelt sentiment all ready to go.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Ganon Group to all our colleagues and friends.