C.S. Lewis as a Public Speaker

C.S. Lewis, public speakingMany of us have read the extremely popular book by C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity. What you may not know is the book was originally several series of talks Lewis gave on the B.B.C. network.

James Welch was the BBC director of religion. Welch was looking for a speaker who could communicate powerfully, clearly and in a contemporary way, the deep truths of the Christian faith. Welch was looking for a speaker who had the following characteristics.

1.  A voice that exuded warmth.

2.  Common sense that spoke to the masses

3.  Inspirational

4.  Humorous

5.  A genuine humanity.

In Lewis, Welch found the communicator he was looking for. In addition, Lewis had many other characteristics that made him an ideal communicator.

6.  He had a careful, rational "argument" for the Christian faith.

7.  He was contextualized and clear for a contemporary audience. Lewis spoke in language that was the faith translated for the ordinary person.

8.  He had a powerful use of the imagination, metaphors, and word choice. Through these venues, Lewis appealed to the affection, desires and imagination of his audience.

9.  A deep commitment to orthodox Christian faith at the broad level. Lewis held to historic  Christian faith. He did this in a time when it was not popular. Liberal theology was triumphant in the seminaries, universities and leading pulpits of England. Which is why Christianity was in decline. Lewis reinvigorated the classic, historic faith, not by ignoring it, but by finding new ways to express the old, old truth.

If you have responsibilities for communicating and influencing others through he spoken word - do some self-assessment as to how well you do on these nine qualities.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International