Get Better at What You Say #OC14

Jeff Henderson hit a home run with his talk at the 2014 Orange Conference on the topic of public speaking and delivering a strong presentation. 

Many of the talks I attended at #oc14 offered so much insight into Family Ministry in general. I learned much, and I am still processing through the insights that I gleaned from presenters and other attendees. But I appreciated Henderson's topic because it hit at the heart of a very specific, necessary subject for leaders in ministry (or any field for that matter): the art of public speaking. 

Read my notes below from the session, and as you do, think about this QUESTION: What are your strong abilities in public speaking, and where are you weak?

This will be my final post containing my notes from the 2014 Orange Conference. As a blogger for the organization, you will no doubt hear about upcoming events and resources as they arise, but do not hesitate to contact me with further questions and thoughts. I'd love to hear what you think about the content of these sessions, as well as how you use Orange at your church. 

Check out my notes below:

At some point, leadership requires communicating. Rather than feeling pressure about communicating, focus on the next presentation and prepare for it ahead of time!

Never take the opportunity for granted to speak in public when sharing the Gospel of Christ.

When you stand up unprepared to talk about Jesus, you disrespect the people. 

48 hours is too short of a window. Doing so only microwaves a sermon and cheats the Spirit form doing his work. What would a sermon look like for you if you put it in a crockpot?

2 Questions to Ask of Every Talk:
1. What made the talk soar?
2. What made the talk fall flat?

The better you prepare, the better you preach. 

No one will ever complain when you preach shorter messages. 

Great sermons and presentations start with EMPATHY.

We need to care more about the audience than how we care about our own presentation and nerves.

The way that you overcome your nerves is by caring more about the audience than you care for yourself. Therefore, you need to be prayed up for that group of people, which means you need to prepare in advance! 

The first thing that great communicators do is shrink the emotional distance between us and the audience. Thus, your sermon does not need to start the Bible in the first 5 minutes. Instead, connect with the people in the first 5 minutes on a heart, emotional, and real life level. 

4 Questions to Ask during Preparation:
1. What does my audience currently think?

2. What do I want my audience to think?

- The goal is not to fill the time, the goal is to leverage the time. Always plan for less and plan to release early. This always wins!

3. What is my single most persuasive idea?
- Don’t think about points, think about emotion. People only remember 1-2 points, along with the emotion of the experience. If your talk was a tweet, then what would it be? What’s the tweet worthy moment of the talk? That moment is the portable moment of the talk that people will remember. Then, if people get that, then they will carry the words and spread it. During your talk, say that moment over and over and over and over again. And if it rhymes, then all the better! :) All of this creates a memorable and portable bottom line... all of which requires an enormous amount of time!
- Before Jeff Henderson stands up to preach, he gives his talk to no one 7 times. He does this so that it becomes internalized. 
- Don’t ever take this act for granted because someone needs to hear about Jesus through you. 

4. What do I want them to do? 
Every talk should result in an action outline with very clear, unpacked steps. 
- Say something like: "So, having said all of that - as a result of our time today - here’s what I want you to do… And this is what it looks like…"
*****How many great sermons can I preach - and be fully prepared for - in a year? That’s how many times you should preach a year.*****

Memorize and internalize your talk. Ultimately, this needs to come from your heart, which means that it must come from you, on your own, fully prepared, and internalized. 

Folks love when you are authentic and honest about your scars, failures, and work in progress situations - because they can identify with you and connect to the redemptive power of the Spirit through you! 

LAND the plane strong!

Here is a sample sermon outline:

Put your talk in 3 boxes:
Box 1 - What does my audience currently think?
Transition statement
Box 2 - What do I want my audience to think?
- Introduce the single most persuasive idea. 
Transition statement
Box 3 - Here’s what I want you to do. 

QUESTION: What are your strong abilities in public speaking, and where are you weak?