Over my vacation a few weeks ago, I finished reading How To Deliver A TED Talk: Secrets Of The World’s Most Inspiring Presentations by Jeremey Donovan. It’s a short eBook to help speakers with strategies on selecting topics, crafting their message and delivering their talk. If you are a business leader or teaching pastor that has to speak in front of a crowd, I think you will find this to be a helpful, practical resource.
After reviewing my reading highlights, I pulled ten of my favorite quotes to create this list of strategies to help you become a more effective communicator. Here are…
10 Mistakes Teaching Pastors Need to Avoid
- Sharing the facts without sharing the stories. “Your stories can inspire others; you just need to learn to share them with full emotional force.” That emotional force comes from sharing stories from your own personal experience.
- Challenging people to change without explaining why it’s riskier to stay the same. “To captivate your audience, help them make an enemy of the status quo and see the positive promise of tomorrow that is just out of reach and worth the effort.” As I’ve heard Bill Hybels say, you can’t help people get “there” without explaining why we can’t stay “here.”
- Failing to offer actionable next steps. “Inspire your audience with a single idea that either changes the way people think about their world or persuades them to take action.” The best messages do both. Don’t give people knowledge without a plan to apply that new knowledge to their daily lives.
- Ignoring felt needs. “Connect with people’s deep rooted needs for belonging, self interest, self-actualization, or hope in the future.” If you don’t connect with where people are, you can’t move them to where God wants them to be.
- Sharing too many ideas. “Make your idea viral by encapsulating it in an unforgettable catchphrase that is between three and twelve words… Repeat your catchphrase at least three times during your presentation.” What’s your main message? Create a mantra. Say it. Repeat it. Repeat it again.
- Losing focus in your message. “Tell the audience what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.” The less focus you have, the less likely your audience will remember what you said.
- Avoiding the questions people need to ask themselves. “You should frequently ask questions to get the audience to reflect on their own lives.” Questions help to make the message personal. Without questions, people assume you are speaking to “someone else.”
- Neglecting the call-to-action. “The conclusion is your final opportunity to inspire your audience to change their perspective or to call them to action. You must create a sense of urgency… Resist all temptation to introduce new material at the end.” Don’t tag a salvation invitation on to a message that had nothing to do with that topic. When you do that, you’re letting people who need to act on your message off the hook.
- Missing the mark on transparency. “You need your emotions to shine through and that can only be achieved if you express your most strongly held beliefs.” What do you believe at your core? That’s what people need to hear. But tell us how it’s impacted your life and why it addresses a core need in my life.
- Distracting us from your message. “The best choice you can make in a presentation is to have no slides at all.” I used to be a PowerPoint guy, but it just got in the way. If you have a focused message with a memorable mantra and a specific call to action, you can ditch the slides so people are free to engage your message.
The Lord is at work redeeming and sanctifying a people for Himself.