Engage People and Build Trust with These Three 3 Preaching Ideas

There is a relationship that exists between a speaker / teacher / preacher and his or her audience. The entire experience is built on three pillars and whether people remember what you say and act on it depends on these three factors: ethos, logos, and pathos.

Ethos refers to the speakers life off-stage. Your audience needs to know that your life supports your message. While you may not need to be fully transparent about all of the details of your life when you speak, you do need to be authentic.

Logos refers to the content of your message. Obviously, for pastors, this means accurately representing the intent of the biblical author and applying ancient principles to the context of the audience.

Pathos has to do with the suffering and agony of the speaker’s heart – the intense desire that the audience take the message and live it out. It involved emotion, passion, and the conversation between the speaker and the hearers.

All three are vital to communicating well.

Speaking, teaching, and preaching carry an enormous and weighty responsibility. People will make decisions based on what you’ve said. So watch your ethos, your logos, and your pathos carefully.

> Read more from Brandon.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brandon Cox

Brandon Cox has been a Pastor for fifteen years and is currently planting a church in northwest Arkansas, a Saddleback-sponsored church. He also serves as Editor of Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastors' Toolbox, and authors a top 100 blog for church leaders (brandonacox.com). He's also the author of Rewired: Using Technology to Share God's Love.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

7 Communication Landmines to Sidestep

The first time I watched a video of myself “preaching” a Sunday morning message, I went into shock. I thought: “That is not what I look like, that is not what I sound like, and asked myself, ‘What was I trying to say?”’

I considered becoming a monk. I could still serve God, but no one would have to listen to me speak.

My communication coach was tough on me, and that was good. Thankfully, I’ve improved. But I learned an important lesson. If I don’t face reality, I can’t get better.

Three things are needed to improve your skill as a communicator:

1) A Communication Coach
Your coach can be anyone who is a better communicator than you are. But they must be honest with you and have the ability to show you how to improve.

2) Watch Your Game Film
It might be uncomfortable, but it’s necessary. You don’t have to get sophisticated. An iPhone will work just fine.

3) A Willingness To Practice
You will never get better if you just do the same thing over and over again.

It doesn’t matter if you speak to a room of fifty people or three thousand people, the foundational elements of good communication are the same.

I don’t preach much, but I teach a ton. That doesn’t let me off the hook. There are boring teachers just like there are boring preachers.

Here are 7 of the most common mistakes, avoid them, and you’ll get better!

1) Speaking too long.

A great rule of thumb is to keep your talk shorter if it’s not your primary gift. Even if you are good, set a time limit and stick to it. People respond better when they know what they can count on. Simply stated, when you get to the end of your notes, stop.

I’m not a TED talk kind of presenter, but I’ve learned a lot from the book Talk Like TED, by Carmine Gallo. If you “need” to communicate longer in a teaching environment, there are several things you can do to break it up and help keep it more interactive.

2) Not knowing how to close.

How many times have you listened to a speaker who circled the runway seemingly forever? You wanted to call out, “Land the plane!” Patti, my wife, used to have a hand signal that instructed me to land the plane!

When you write your talk, know where you are going. Have a singular purpose in mind and answer these two questions. What do you want them to know? What do you want them to do? End with precision and clarity in your spiritual encouragement or challenge.

3) Seeking approval, rather than change.

Like good leadership, good communication begins with self-awareness. People pleasing and insecurity are big stumbling blocks to good communication. You become too worried about what people think of you to focus on them.

Communicators that are secure in themselves stay away from things like exaggeration, forcing humor just to get a laugh, and softening the truth.

The ultimate goal of any communicator in the local church is to move people toward change for their good, according to Biblical values and Christ-like living.

4) Too much content, too little application.

We all like to let our secret Bible geek out from time to time, and it’s obviously good to be passionate about scripture. But the point of our communication isn’t information; it’s transformation. That makes application incredibly important.

I remind myself that the epistles are basically half content, half application. Less is more. Candidly, it’s more work to net down the content. As the communicator, we should do the work, not make the listeners work to understand what we are saying.

Remember, what do you want them to know, and what do you want them to do?

5) Intellectual integrity over spiritual intensity.

Your preparation in study is a required discipline; you can’t communicate a sermon or leadership talk without it. The truth is that we can communicate a message without prayer. That is scary, and makes the talk nearly worthless in terms of eternity.

One of the attributes I most respect, and have learned from our senior pastor Kevin Myers, is deep commitment and passion for prayer. Prayer is a profoundly integral part of his preparation to communicate anything. The results are obvious.

6) Failing to connect.

Your ability to be real and connect at a heart level creates the most noticeable improvement in your communication.

Stories are one of the best ways to connect, and you can increase your connection by improving your ability to tell a story. Authenticity gains you great trust in the room.

Reading the room is also key to you understanding how well you connect. A “public speaker” talks at the people, a communicator has a conversation with the people. He or she sees and senses the emotional temperature of the room and adjusts the tone of the talk as they go.

7) Underestimating the significance of encouragement.

When change, true transformation is the goal (Romans 12:2Ephesians 4:11-16), you simply can’t over encourage those you speak to.

A good communicator always gives hope. Help the people believe they can do it, and God will help them with the part they can’t do on their own.

It’s not about fluff, Christianity light, or cheap grace. Encouragement is needed to inspire people to first, want to change, and second, elevate self-confidence enough to try.

Read more from Dan.


 

Connect with an Auxano Navigator to learn more about improving your communication skills.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Reiland

Dan Reiland

Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together. Dan is best known as a leader with a pastor's heart, but is often described as one of the nations most innovative church thinkers. His passion is developing leaders for the local church so that the Great Commission is advanced.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Speak Like Yoda, You Must

Despite being famously grammar-challenged, Master Yoda has a thing or two to teach us about being a powerful presenter. No, it’s not sharing profound thoughts like: “Always in motion is the future….” (You don’t say!) Yoda’s secret is his role as a mentor.

As a mentor, he has vast knowledge – after all he has trained Jedi knights for 800 years – but he’s not constantly spouting off about his own achievements or skills. Despite being the expert, his focus is not on himself but on helping young Luke Skywalker to become a better hero. These roles of hero and mentor are ancient archetypes that occur in almost every story across millennia and speak to us on a deep level. The hero is the central figure who performs the heroic deeds that drive the story. The mentor plays an important but secondary role as trusted advisor and guide.

Become the Mentor

After evaluating hundreds of presentations, the most common mistake I see is presenters who are self-absorbed and self-promoting in their content. They (understandably) assume they’re the star of the show since they’re in the spotlight.

Let’s clear something up: you, as the presenter or speaker, are not the most important guy/girl in the room. Just because you’re on a stage or in front of a crowd does not make you the savior everyone has been waiting for. (This applies whether you are addressing a conference of ten thousand or holding a team meeting with three people.) Recognize that you are Yoda, not Luke. The most important people in the room are your audience: make them the heroes of your story. Defer to them, because if they don’t engage and believe in your message, you are the one who loses. Without their help, your idea will fail. Become the mentor in their story and whisper guidance in their ear, empowering them to be the agents of change and achieve greatness.

Change Your Perspective

Me. Me. Me. This is what most presentations tend to be about. Somewhere in the front of the slide deck is the dreaded “About Us” slide that typically lists company info, history, and accomplishments. Sure, it is important that the audience knows something about you and your company, but there are other ways to communicate this information, like in a handout.

Sales people know that customers only care about product features when they are directly linked to clear and compelling benefits. The same is true for presentations, so focus the conversation on the audience. Acknowledge the struggles they are facing and make the solution about them. Become audience-centric and focus on your listeners to resonate at their frequency instead of yours. Remember that your audience is all you’ve got. They are the ones who have to go out and put your ideas into practice. Embody the servant leader model and empower your champions to go higher by standing on your shoulders.

Give a Magical Gift

Mentors often give heroes a magical or valuable gift, usually a tool, talisman, or weapon to help them on their quest. Think of ways to deliberately enrich your audience in some meaningful way. The best mentors’ gifts have a special significance to the hero, so make it something useful, preferably out-of the-ordinary and memorable. Perhaps you can offer genuinely helpful charts, checklists, sample budgets, industry stats and benchmarks, plans, white papers, diagrams, a PDF of a chapter in your book or a good app. Is there a physical gift you can give, that’s not the obvious logo-on-a-mug? What about offering a unique experience, a special tour of a restricted facility, meeting an industry celebrity, or a test drive of a cool new product no one else has seen? Be intentional about giving your audiencesomething of tangible value to them. Make sure they don’t go away empty-handed but have a gift from you, their mentor, when they leave.

Teach a Special Skill

Mentors, by definition, have specialized expertise which they unselfishly share. They were once heroes themselves and have learned hard-won lessons while on their own quests. As a presenter, don’t just stay in the realm of theory or generalities but share your personal trials and victories in a way your audience can learn from. Try to impart a new skill to your heroes and show them how to put it to use. Give practical examples of how your solutions can be applied or share innovative techniques being used in the field. This new ability enables them to reach their (and your) objective. As the mentor, you have much to offer in the name of helping your hero achieve great feats.

Help the Hero Get Unstuck

Heroes can sometimes get discouraged, lose their way, or run into obstacles. As a Mentor, your wisdom can help them see past the “slimy mud hole” they’re in. Perhaps your audience is trapped by an inefficient process and you can reveal the escape hatch through your presentation. Or the management team is losing momentum, and you can kick-start them again with a creative idea. Sometimes all it takes is a kind word of encouragement to get your heroes back on the right path.

Expand Their View of the World and Themselves

Like all good mentors, Yoda expands Luke’s horizons by helping him to make sense of the world and discover his destiny. As a presenter, you can remind your audience of the bigger picture that often gets lost in the day-to-day grind of operational details. Inspire them to look deeper, find their calling, and make a meaningful contribution to the world as heroes.

When you step up to give your presentation, you might be the most knowledgeable person in the room, but will you wield that knowledge with wisdom and humility? Presentations are not to be viewed as an opportunity to prove how brilliant you are. Instead, the audience should leave saying, “Wow, it was a real gift to spend time in that presentation with (insert your name here). I’m now armed with insights and tools to help me succeed.” People will receive your message and be transformed by it — and you won’t even need the Force. Master Yoda would be proud.

> Read more from Nancy.


 Would you like to learn how to become a “mentor” in your role as a speaker? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte is a communication expert who has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Wired, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, LA Times and on CNN. Her firm, Duarte, Inc., is the global leader behind some of the most influential visual messages in business and culture and has created more than a quarter of a million presentations. As a persuasion specialist, she cracked the code for effectively incorporating story patterns into business communications. Resonate, her second book, spent nearly a year on Amazon’s top 100 business book bestsellers list. Nancy has 20 years of experience working with global companies and thought leaders, and she has influenced how the world perceives some of the most important brands and entities, including Apple, Cisco, Facebook, GE, Google, HP, TED, Twitter, and the World Bank. She is the author of two award-winning books. Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences identifies the hidden story structures inherent in great communication, and it spent more than 300 days on Amazon’s top 100 business book bestsellers list. Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations teaches readers to think visually and has been translated into eight languages. Her third book, released in the fall of 2012, is titled HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, which gives readers the tools and confidence they need to master public speaking.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.