4 Tips for Better Talks
Baristas deal in coffee beans and froth. Me? I’m a preacher. I deal in words & ideas.
Words fascinate, excite and occasionally bite me. Ideas are my currency.
If you’re a communicator you’re going to want your words and the ideas in your next presentation to move peoples hearts and stir their very souls.
1. Always avoid alliteration
2. Avoid cliches like the plague (they’re just old hat)
3. All communicators should never generalise
4. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement
Sorry. I’ll get my coat…
Maybe asking these FOUR QUESTIONS will more helpful as you prepare your next talk/preach/lecture/sermon/presentation (delete as applicable).
What gets your goat?
What is it about the subject that makes you angry or creates a sense of tension or intrigue in you? Find that and you’ll soon raise the kinds of questions your audience are asking.
What’s your hook?
How can you use the opening few lines to grab & convince the audience to lean-in and continue listening? If you can’t boil down your main point into a tweet then you probably have more work to do.
Can you underline the ‘helpful’ bits?
If you want people to come back for more then your talk needs to actually help people get better at life.
Great communication is less about teaching and more about equipping. It’s less about being impressive and more about being helpful for everyday life. Less information & more application.
Who can help you make it better?
Who can you talk it through with before you deliver it to the crowd. Then listen back to yourself & ask a variety of honest voices for an appraisal. It’s the only way you will ever get better.
There is a lot at stake with your next message.
If you speak to people in words they don’t understand, how will they know what you are saying? You might as well be talking into empty space. (1 Corinthians 14: 9)
So before you finish your preparation and jump on stage consider this rally cry from Andy Stanley…
“How would you communicate this message if your eighteen year old boy had made up his mind to walk away from everything you have taught him morally, ethically and theologically unless he had a compelling reason not to? What would you say this morning if you knew that was a stake? Because for somebody’s son out there today, this may be his last chance. Now, quit worrying about your outline. Go out there and plead your case like your sons future was at stake.”
(From the book ’Communicating for a Change’ by Andy Stanley & Lane Jones)