Allyson Felix – An Athlete Worth Admiring

Two minutes of your time spent watching this clip will be worth it. Finally, an athlete who actually volunteers to take more than the required drug tests just to prove she is legit.

I took this from the guys over at Pyromaniacs; you can get a fuller story there.


Introducing With Pictures Says More in Less Time

Pastors (some anyway) have one significant difference from public speakers in that our content is dictated by a particular passage of biblical text. A typical Sunday finds us examining a section (paragraph, chapter, story, etc.) of scripture along with our audience while using speaking skills to guide the listeners to an appropriate conclusion about the subject at hand.

Today, I chose to engage the people of Grace with James 1:19-25. It essentially speaks to the necessity of making spiritual preparations to hear or read the Bible. Without such preparations being made, the hearer/reader will encounter the Bible but leave unchanged. This is the opposite of what should happen.

Here is how I introduced the topic:

I displayed this picture of a frying pan while quickly telling the audience about the invention of the slippery substance known to us as Teflon. Then I mentioned how often we encounter the scriptures, yet walk away without any of it sticking to us. We were Teflon… This used an image, which surfaced a need, which led to the question that needed to be answered: “What must happen in my life in order for the Truth of God’s word to stick?”

While using the scripture to explain the spiritual preparations required for God’s word to stick I displayed this picture of a house desperately in need of paint. It illustrated the necessity of preparation before painting.

Simply painting this structure would accomplish nothing. First, it must be prepared; then it is able to receive the paint.

Don’t Memorize Speeches

Unless you are a student competing in a division that requires such, there is no need to memorize your speech. You simply need to internalize it. This means you think through the flow and main idea enough that it becomes natural to recall. Memorizing and manuscripting are both unnecessary in my book. They take a colossal amount of time and, with rare exception, come off stilted and unfeeling.

Here is a tactic from the ancients that might help you internalize your next speech:

I think through all my speeches in terms of taking people on a tour of my house.

  1. The Front Door: This is my introduction
  2. The Living Room: My first point
  3. The Dining Room: My second point
  4. The Play Room: My conclusion

At any time I need only remember what room I am in and am then able to recall easily where the speech is headed. Try it and see.

Great Book That Will Polish Your Presentations

Without question this is the best book I’ve read on incorporpating multimedia into presentations. It is loaded with examples and useful information for non-artist types like me. Any businessman, professor, pastor or student will serve their audience better having benefitted from the writings of Garr Reynolds.

Studying Other Speakers

If you study other speakers in order to learn best how to imitate them you will end up frustrated. If you study them in order to learn how to improve yourself you will end up successful and satisfied.

The Dead Zone of Slick

Seth Godin has a phenomenal post by this title on his blog today. He uses this chart to provide some insight into marketing gone wrong.

Public Speakers get in this jam with video clips and illustrations all the time. Try these thoughts for improving your use of video and project materials.

  1. If you can’t make it look great, then deliberately make it look quasi-elementary. You still get the point across, show you can laugh at yourself and you don’t lose credibility.
  2. Don’t make your materials much ‘slicker’ than the culture to whom you are speaking is used to seeing. If they aren’t used to teleconferences, holograms and high wire acts then you are just going to lose them with the fx.

Look at it this way: If you can successfully illustrate your point by using a steering wheel then you don’t need the whole car on stage.

An Innovative Idea That Improves Your Speaking Skills

You finished reading my last post and likely had a couple of thoughts. Hopefully, the first was, “Good idea, I never thought of that.” The second was, “Great but I’m not a speaker. How am I supposed to put together a great 20 minute presentation and deliver it well?”

The traditional response to your objection would be to direct you to take speech class in community college or join your local Toastmasters club. Both of these are viable but both cost money and they don’t help you with your specific project. Here is a FREE solution that I guarantee you have never considered.

  1. Search the Yellow Pages, internet or here for local churches in your area. You’ll want to stick with churches that are called xxxxx Community Church, or xxxxx Bible Church or xxxxx Fellowship because their speakers usually have a style that is conversational, dynamic and appropriate for business presentations. Churches contain some of the best, most innovative communicators in the world. They create fresh material every week and draw hundreds or thousands of people!
  2. Check out the church’s website. If they don’t have one or it’s hideous then find another church. I assure you they are not good communicators.
  3. Email one of the pastors; explaining to them exactly what you are trying to do and ask them to help you develop your skills. These guys love helping people and it’s FREE. You need not be a Christian or religious in any way to ask them for help. In fact, you can tell them you think it’s all crap but you would still like their help developing your skills. Any pastor worth his salt will still gladly help you. I am so convinced this will work that I will personally help you locate a pastor to help you no matter where you live on planet earth.

Imagine yourself delivering those presentations now that you have received first rate help, for FREE and in your own city. You now can help others with your presentation and increase your income!