Weekly Thought – March 31, 2015
Fred outlined his Imperatives for Effective Speaking. This week we summarize the series. This Weekly Thought is longer than normal, but definitely a “keeper.”
Thank you for your feedback and the practical applications of his work. And as always, thank you for your faithful encouragement and support.
Imperatives in Effective Speaking (Summary)
Speaking to an audience is an awesome responsibility. The following points are touchstones for me.
1) Ready Your Attitude – Attitude colors every word, every gesture, and body movement. Anyone who feels the audience is fortunate in having them speak is prostituting the opportunity.
2) Your Material – A speaker’s self-respect and sense of responsibility should start with content. If there is no content, there is no reason to speak. Preparation is the price we pay for the privilege of speaking.
3) Be believable – If the audience believes the messenger, it is easier to believe the message. 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.
4) Focus on the Audience – Always speak to the audience about a subject, not about a subject to an audience. The audience is the focal point. Know their felt needs and desires before you lead them to their real needs.
5) Create a personal touch – Personal communication is like a conversation eyeball to eyeball. This creates the feeling that I know you and you know me. Good communication is more than a function; it is a relationship. To be effective, it must be personal.
6) Create an enjoyable atmosphere – Take your subject seriously, but not yourself. Let people join in the enjoyment with you. Make sure it is more than entertaining – make it profitable. To be enjoyable, both the emotions and the mind must be stimulated.
7) Maintain human quality – Demagogues and con men sound like messiahs. They lack the reality of integrity. Respect others’ intellectual integrity by speaking person to person. Humor is a humanizer.
8) Utilize basic presentation skills: a) fire in the voice; b) develop good rhythm and cadence; c) adjust the pace of ideas and words; d) use a sincere tone; e) enunciate clearly; f) avoid affectations; g) use appropriate volumes for subject matter and size of the audience; h) practice natural gestures; i) choose words suitable for the subject; j) maintain continuity between words and subject.
9) Communicate with purpose – Before you try to communicate, determine what you want to happen at the close. I want to change or solidify attitudes into convictions and positively affect behavior.
10) Speak with power – When we speak for God, we should speak or communicate God’s message for God’s glory, not our own. The Spirit must convince; we can only be present. When we desire to be empowered we must have as pure a motive as humanly possible.
11) Pray before speaking – Prayer should be an ingredient of the preparation, not a sauce poured over it. If you have prayed adequately before speaking you won’t need to ask the audience to pray for you while you speak. They should be listening. Prayer helps me to exclude the extraneous – the ego licks, the hidden agenda items, and the subtle kicks.
12) Learn the sacredness of brevity – “Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and nudge me when I’ve said enough.” Never go beyond the allotted time. Don’t satisfy them so much they’ll never want to hear you again.
This week think about: 1) Which point jumps off the page? 2) How am I going to implement these imperatives? 3) When am I going to email BWF and tell them how I am using this material?
Words of Wisdom: “Speaking to an audience is an awesome responsibility.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The speech of the righteous bears the fruit of wisdom.” (Proverbs 10:31a – NET Bible)