“I’ve been set up!” That was my first thought as I listened to the conference speaker right before me present his message. The more I listened to this very skilled and experienced minister speak the more I prayed for the Holy Spirit to intervene.
Not only did I need to hold the audience’s attention right after lunch when their bellies were full and their eyelids heavy, but I had to follow an awesome presentation on public speaking. Dr. Don Struble did a magnificent job of presenting how to engage an audience as well as what not to do when speaking in public.
How we as ministers present is important. No one enjoys listening to a boring or monotone speaker. Things like voice inflection, using props like PowerPoint and body language is important. Not only would I encourage everyone to follow Dr. Don’s advice and join Toastmasters to learn public speaking skills, but I may join myself to increase my skills.
However, just having good public speaking skills does not mean that we will be effective when we preach and teach. Our delivery must be coupled with the following three things if we want to be effective at communicating.
- What is God’s message? This seems basic, but we cannot overlook the depth and importance of seeking the Lord about what He wants to convey. This requires us to be open to what the Holy Spirit wants to convey and how He wants to communicate it.
- The message must connect to people’s everyday experience. It is easy for preachers, counselors and would be theologians to speak a language that the average person cannot understand or relate with.
- What action needs to be taken? Wrapping up a good message with a clear call to action is critical. I always think of John the Baptist when he instructed his listeners to produce fruit in keeping with repentance, or Peter when he told people to repent and be baptized at the end of his message.
We will be discussing how to apply these things in our preaching, teaching and counseling on our monthly conference call. If you have an experience like mine that you would like to share feel free to post it below.
If you have a specific question you would like discussed in the conference call or in the blog post it below.
Chat with you soon,
Dr. David M. Smuin