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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How to Deliver a Rockem' Sockem' Speech! Pt.3

You've made it to the final day of the seminar!
You speak with confidence, you are organized and ready to conquer the world.
Or are you?

My persuasion is that you could have all the best techniques in the world, and still be more scared of standing up to deliver a speech than going hang gliding blindfolded.  This is what day 3 is all about. It is about the tricks. The secrets that nobody ever really tells you. Thankfully, I am not interested in going to the grave while hoarding the best speaking methods.  Below is what will help your speech go from a single to a Grand Slam.

Grand Slam secret #1: It's what you say AND how you say It!
You are not a robot,  you are a living being. And so are the people in your audience. Think about the best speeches that you have heard in your lifetime and you will remember a speaker that utilized oration masterfully.  Long pauses, brief silences, vocal highs and lows, speeding up and the slowing down, Etc.  If you are having trouble conjuring up this idea, I'd suggest you go back to memory lane to when you where a kid.  Do you recall how your grandparents or parents would read to you? They'd use all kinds of different noises, in effect, they'd get into character and you would love it!  Practice reading a children's book, maybe even volunteer reading at an elementary school.  If  you can hook those kids bouncing off the walls, then I am betting you will do just fine in front of any audience.

Grand Slam secret #2: Getting Physical! 
I hope you have picked up on the number of times that I brought up the term "audience" in the last 3 days. Never, ever forget the fact that your speech is being evaluated by the group of people that you will be addressing.  This means putting yourself in their seat so to consider their perspective.  You have to really contemplate things like:
Q: What do I look like?  Do I need to shave? What will I be wearing? What will they be wearing? Where will I be standing? What do I need to successfully deliver my talk? Are there obstacles between myself and the congregation? Am I smiling or frowning? What is my body language expressing?  Etc. 
My rule of thumb for any speaking occasion is (1) dress 1 level above the group that I will be addressing and (2) arrive early.  This allows me to look over the room, remove anything undesirable, and practice.

Grand Slam secret #3: Practice!
As mentioned above, I always get to the physical location beforehand so to go over my presentation.  To this day, you can find me up front at Northminster going over my sermon.  In fact, there have been times that congregants have waltzed by staring at me and  then glancing into the pews only to see NOBODY there.  This allows me to get a "feel" for my sermon and it will most definitely do the same for you.  All those techniques mentioned above in number one will start coming alive during your practice run.  Finally, nothing, and I mean nothing helps cool your jets like being at the place that you will eventually deliver your speech.   

Grand Slam secret #4: Elegant Visuals!
The general rule here is less is more.  There are a variety of methods that I really love, however, I find myself utilizing one in particular every time I preach.  Storyboarding.  This approach is really easy and extremely effective when communicating.  The basic idea is that when you are completely finished with your speech, you find images that fit with your main points.  Each image should fill the entire screen and be simple.  For instance, a few months ago I preached a sermon on justice and during my point that "justice should be blind" I had behind me Lady Justice.  It was an effective way to connect with my visually included audience as well as the auditory learners. 
NOTE:  Since we just talked about visuals, then by default we just talked about technology.  Plainly put, technology can be your best friend or despised enemy. Do everything you can in your power to ensure that the tec stuff goes well. I advise getting to the place early and running through not only your speech, but also the audio and visual. 

Grand Slam secret #5: A Blazing Heart!
Let's get down to it. You can have the greatest methods known to man but if your talk does not flow right out of a convicted heart, you might as well sit down.  I will never forget when my R.A. in college stopped me in my tracks right before I was to deliver a sermon and he said these words. "Anthony, the secret to every great speech is that it comes from your heart." Those words have been branded into my mind & heart ever since.  The Greek word for passion is pathos and your audience will always be able to discern if you've got a fire in your belly.  I always say that, you must first deliver your talk to yourself before you go public and deliver it to anyone else. This is what the weeping prophet Jeremiah was alluding to when he said, "If I say, 'I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,' there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot."  For Jeremiah, his heart was set ablaze with a fire for God.  And I'd bet the family farm that his audience could tell...
Passion is what will ooze out of you and into the audience's spirit.  Passion is what will cause your point to become their conviction.  Passion is what will lift your congregation to idleness to action. When it comes to preaching, forget being a Candle Keeper  instead be a Fire Starter! 

There you have it.
If you would like to inquire more about speeking effectively feel free to call me.

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