Weekly Thought – February 24, 2015
Fred was a lifelong learner. He believed in preparation. The words of Paul to Timothy to “study to show yourself approved…” were burned into his value system. He was unable to further his formal education after high school but never allowed that to be a limitation to his studies.
This Weekly Thought is part two of the Speaking series.
We want you to know how grateful we are for your continued words of encouragement and support.
Imperatives in Effective Speaking (Part 2)
A) Be Believable. Believe the messenger and it’s easier to believe the message. Christ was believable because He spoke with authority, “not as the scribes,” who were professional quoters. Christ personified His message. I cannot teach effectively anything I don’t personify (or at least am trying to personify).
A truth that is not believed is useless. Ask yourself, “Can I make this truth believable?” If not, then wait to express it until you can. When Father Hesberg became President of Notre Dame, his predecessor Father Cavanaugh gave him this injunction: “Be right. Be humble. Be human.” This is the heart of believability.
Simplicity lends itself to credibility. General Colin Powell said, “Great leaders are simplifiers.” Cleverness, on the other hand, creates doubt.
B) Be Audience Oriented. A Broadway actor was asked how he could sincerely portray a part so many successive nights. “It is for the audience, not for me.” The great communicators have the attitude of servant, not master. They are there to contribute to the audience and grateful for the opportunity.
It is imperative to speak TO the audience about a subject, not ABOUT a subject to an audience. May I repeat that? Speak TO the audience about a subject, not ABOUT a subject to the audience. The audience is the focal point. Know their felt needs and desires before you lead them to their real needs.
Unfortunately, some talented speakers become seduced by the audience’s appreciation of having their felt needs satisfied and fail to lead them into their real needs.
The audience should be getting the message from the speaker, “This is something profitable you need to hear, not something I need to say.”
Review: Prepare your attitude; Prepare your content; Next week: Be personal; Be enjoyable; Be human.
This week think about: 1) How do I make certain I am believable? 2) What gives me credibility? 3) Who are my audiences?
Words of Wisdom: “A truth that is not believed is useless.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and so that they will always believe in you.’ And Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.” (Exodus 19:9 NET Bible)