Weekly Thought – March 3, 2015
Fred was recognized as an outstanding speaker early in his career. His first major address was in Los Angeles and received coverage by the L.A. Times. This was only his second public speech. But his years of applied thinking along with his God-given communication abilities prepared him for this opportunity. This week we continue with points 5, 6, and 7 of his outstanding article on speaking.
The Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute is making plans for 2016 and 2017. We will be returning to schools in Florida and Kentucky. Please join us as we pray for God’s leading. Thank you for enabling us to continue the work of BWF and BWFLI.
Imperatives in Effective Speaking (Part 3)
A) Be Personal. Television has made our communications focus on the personality of the speaker. This creates the feeling of actually knowing each other. The best are those who make the audience feel like you would want to know them. There should be something in ever communication involving the audience individually. Billy Graham accomplishes this one-on-one by saying, “You are not here by accident. You are here by the will of God. This message is for you.” Zig Ziglar does this by asking questions early in his presentation and getting individuals to raise their hands. I sometimes stop at a controversial point and voice the question I have raised in the minds of the audience. They feel I know how they feel. Eye contact helps in developing the personal relationship. Try to get direct eye contact with as many individuals as possible without seeming obvious. But don’t focus too long on any one person because it feels invasive.
B) Be Enjoyable. Take the message(but not yourself) seriously. Let the people join in the enjoyment with you. No matter how heavy the material, it can be made enjoyable by a master communicator. The information may be new, vital, useful, even humorous at times. When it is profitable to the audience, it is enjoyable. I can’t imagine Christ’s giving the Beatitudes in a monotonous, droning, negative tone, can you? To be enjoyable, both the emotions and the mind must be stimulated. The major point should be illustrated. Unless it can be illustrated, the communicator cannot be really sure that the idea is understandable, useful, and therefore, enjoyable.
C) Be Human. Demagogues and con men sound like Messiahs. They lack the integrity of reality. I suspect the speaker who bellows like someone voting the proxy of an absentee God. Occasionally when I’m sentenced to hear a shouting, stomping, pounding, struggling speaker, I repeat what has been said in a normal tone of voice to myself and realize how little has actually been said. Respect others’ intellectual integrity by speaking person to person. Humor is one of the great tools of humanness. Laugh at yourself, not to show how great you are, but how human you are. Pomposity fears humor. It’s like taking a needle into a balloon factory. My personal test for humanness: “Do my family members believe what I am saying? Am I glad to have them in the audience?” My friend Steve Brown bottom lines is the best: “Truth is, Fred, I believe this stuff.” He does, and when you hear him you feel his humanness containing the divine.
This week think about: 1) How am I applying Fred’s points to my own communication skills? 2) Which one needs the most work? 3) When do I sense I am “in the zone” while speaking?
Words of Wisdom: “Laugh at yourself, not to show how great you are, but how human you are.”
Wisdom from the Word: “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with gladness.” (Job 8:21 NET Bible)