Not all speakers are good leaders, but generally speaking, all leaders need to be good speakers. And good speakers need a great speech. So let’s start there.
I recently shared a message at a local church that partners with our ministry. Afterwards, I received this email from someone in the congregation:
“Your passion and leadership are very clear and strong, and your message was clear. May God’s blessings continue through your ministry, and your leadership be a great example to all those who follow after you.”
The point is this – the message you present is a reflection of your leadership. People will naturally equate the caliber of your speech with the quality of your leadership. Of course, both need to flow from the wellspring of your relationship with God—infused with His passion, perspective, and wisdom.
Let’s get cracking on the recipe for your next great speech!
Ingredients for a Great Speech
- The Real You. People want to feel a connection to you and experience you as a real human being. Ask God to bring to mind a personal story or illustration you can open with that creates a level playing field between you and your audience. It can be something heartwarming, funny, or surprising. Tell it in a way that it ties right into the first point of your speech.
- Salient Points. There are many things you could share, and you should avoid doing that! People don’t want a verbal run-through of your ministry brochure. Pause with the Lord and think about the most important ministry goals God is focusing on. If there are five, narrow it to three. Two is even better. The principle “less is more” applies well to speech content.
- Powerful Stories. For each point, select at least one story that illustrates how God is changing lives. Telling stories is an art, and you’ll want to paint a picture with your words. Instead of saying, “The client was really upset,” say, “The client was wringing her hands.” Help your audience to connect with her, to understand the conflict, and to feel the resolution—while keeping it brief. Direct client quotes are great, as are client letters.
- Something for Them. As much as people are inspired to hear what God’s doing in our ministries, they’re also interested in, “What’s in it for me?” Think of how God’s intervention within your ministry is transforming you. Pray about how you can invite your audience to step into that journey of transformation. For instance, if your ministry is learning to closely follow in the Lord’s footsteps, how can your listeners practice that in their own lives?
- Challenging Close. A strong finish is as important as a strong opening, and you’ll want to give your audience a few strategic ways to engage with your ministry. By this point in your speech, people have listened for a while, and they’re ready to move on. So keep your “call to action” short. Your very final words may summarize your main point succinctly, almost as an exhortation. For example, “So as God’s teaching our ministry to walk in love and recklessly love others, let’s all look for opportunities this week to lavish God’s love on the people in our lives.”
Blend these ingredients together, along with a heavy dollop of prayer, and you have the makings of a great speech. Leadership and public speaking go hand-in-hand. Giving speeches that are genuine, compelling, and concise will serve both your audience and your ministry well.
“Leadership and public speaking go hand-in-hand. Giving speeches that are genuine, compelling, and concise will serve both your audience and your ministry well.”
- Lisa Hosler
What’s one key ingredient you include in your speeches? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.