10 Presentation and Communication Tips

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Communicating is harder than ever in our culture.

Communicating the story and Gospel of Christ (that is offensive by the way, when we preach it biblically) needs the greatest resources we can muster as communicators.

It does not matter how powerful and true your ideas are if you are unable to communicate them with clarity, conviction and in a way that mobilizes the listener.

So I am always grateful for the communication insights from Garr Reynold's Presentation Zen. His latest post is:

The Art of Communication

Here is a really good article and video on public speaking. It has 8 things a good communicator MUST NOT DO. Then there are 4 things that good communicators MUST DO.

It is from one of my favorite bloggers - Presentation Zen.

Enjoy and incorporate in the next time you speak.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International


The Preacher as Bard

The God-Hungry ImaginationHere is a great paragraph that inspired me from The God Hungry Imagination by Sarah Arthur.

As Christian preachers and teachers . . . we must always remember that we're not meant to be journalists, merely relaying the facts; we're meant to be bards, speech-weavers, spinning a spell that captures the imagination. Yes, the gospel is the "good news" . . . but it is just as importantly the "good spell," a Word that has the power to capture and transform the human imagination.

Whether it is C.S. Lewis (the quintessential imaginative weaver of stories)
or Walter Bruggemann (the towering preacher, poet, prophet of the Old Testament)
or Garrison Keillor (narrator of the always delightful Lake Wobegon stories)
or Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz - will you ever forget that book title?) 
or Jesus Himself who taught those wondrous parables and had a never-ending reservoir of metaphors . . .

Thomas Carlyle on Speaking Truth

Speak the truth or don't speak at all.
Certainly never conclude a person is a good speaker just because they have mastered the art of oratory, passionate proclamation, or clever communication. We are so often drawn to those who are best at spin doctoring the truth. Or presenting personal opinion as if it is the truth delivered once and for all to the saints! All you have to do is recall so much of the recent conversation on "church" by those who have a grievance against it.

When I read some of the just silly or angry words about the church, the passage that came to mind was simply, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone at the church." For some of the loudest critics (at least the ones I know personally) are also some of the most grievous offenders. 

Four Essentials for Good Communication

Everything is changing. That includes how people learn. The kinds of communication that grabs hold of them. Their attention span. Their interests. All this means that how public speakers communicate has to change.

I ran across this idea as far back as 1986 when I was introduced to the brilliant, provocative, paradigm changing book - Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman. Postman's contention was simple: TV has changed every profession that uses public discourse/speaking as key to its vocation.

Changing Minds, Renewing Minds

I've been in a "mind-changing process" about a number of things. It is a long, hard, slow, difficult process. And I have been relatively OPEN to the change taking place!

Leaders, teachers, mentors and more are in the ministry of influencing people. That often means we want to help them change how they are currently thinking, feeling, and acting.

It is hard to change how people think when they have:

a long term commitment to a particular belief or idea
the idea has a strong emotional component to it
they have spoken publicly about their view.

People are much more likely to change when:

the idea is relatively new,
it does not have strong emotional content with it
the idea has been kept personal and out of the public

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