Friday, January 04, 2008


Several public speakers read this blog. Several who are public speaker fans read this as well. Help those of us who are up front with an intriguing area: connective communication. What is it about one who has a solid outline, but no message? What’s missing? Too, what is it about the one who seems to strike at the listener’s heart? Is it the Holy Spirit? Is it “good-ol’-boyism? Is it a gift that can’t be learned? Is it a gift which can be trained? Is it depth of study or length of experience?

Help us who preach to do a better job. I want to know. I study those like Oprah, Larry King, politicians, public speakers, and television evangelists. To me, smooth doesn’t necessarily equal effective. Yet, I do think skilled speakers are smart in their delivery whether they are of high intelligence.

Share what it is you see which might enhance our delivery in ’08. The church is deserving of our efforts to improve. God’s tool for saving the world is to have His message preached.


Dale Sheehy said...

What follows is entirely my opinion. It seems to me that there is a trend to softball tough issues. We dance around the issues that people need to hear about from time to time, like sin. There's nothing wrong with talking about God's love and desire to bless his children but I know that sometimes toes need to be stepped on to keep us from getting comfortable and even complacent!

Truth Seeker said...

Terry Rush,

I have read your book, The Holy Spirit Makes No Earthly Sense. Portion fit, good or bad, my personal study of the Trinity. I need to bounce some question off you. Is this the appropriate venue to do so. Or do you have time for personal questions.

My questions concern John 1:18 and John 5:37; who was seen and heard then in the OT?; and the Messiah.

My e-mail is



donna said...

I think when the message strikes the listener's heart it can be nothing but the Holy Spirit...I have at times been so moved only to have others stare blankly and by the same token when my mind is wandering aimelessly someone else will speak of how the message moved them. I don't think the speaker himself has a lot of control over that.

But for me I think I am more apt to hear what a speaker wants me to when he/she makes it personal. From stories to confessions of their own struggles. The audience must feel a connection with the speaker on some level.

As for Oprah and Larry King, you will have to have audience participation or someone else on stage to emulate their style...don't you think?

Anonymous said...

A true passion for what is being spoken and a depth of knowledge beyond what could be read from the outline.

I am not a gifted speaker but the few times I have spoken the comments I get are about how my passion for my topic is evident.

Personally I get more out of a speaker that KNOWS his/her topic. If I can read the outline or summary and know the same things I would after hearing the speaker then why listen. I listen to get something more than what is on the page. That something more can be passion, experience, knowledge, or definitely the Holy Spirit.

Wes said...

I respond best to speakers who are passionate and knowledgeable about the subject matter, articulate, and also bold in their delivery (i.e. unafraid to speak the truth IN LOVE while addressing tough issues).

A clearly articulated message delivery that exhibits characteristics of passion, knowledge, and boldness where love is absent is NOT from the Spirit.

All of Hitler's public messages were knowledgeable, extremely passionate, and very bold, but no one in their right mind would claim that Hitler spoke by the inspiration of the Spirit.

When the Spirit speaks love is present regardless of the subject matter! Even in rebuke, if controlled by the Spirit, love is the motivator and the fuel that powers the preparation and whose voice is heard in the end.


I've enjoyed reading through the comments and learning.

Personally, I like speakers that will challenge me and encourage me.


Theresa said...

I have a couple of thoughts, though they feel small and inadequate.

1.) Public speakers are like musicians. Some people like country music. Some people like rock 'n roll. But both are music, and you have to listen to both sides before you decide which you enjoy more. Not everyone is going to like every public speaker, but every public speaker has something to offer someone.

2.) I don't think the Spirit always speaks through the voice of the speaker, but often, instead, He communicates through the ears of the hearer. How often I've heard one thing, gone home and discussed it only to discover Dan heard something completely different. Which of us is right? Both of us.

3.) We are told in the Bible not to judge. But we do it anyway. We look at people and we decide if they are intelligent or innocent or wise, and based on those assumptions we listen or don't listen. A public speaker has to portray these things without compromising the message. It's scary to see words twisted and know that's what's been done. But it's exhilarating to hear the truth and know that God is working there.

I doubt that was helpful at all. But those were my thoughts as I read this blog. I think speakers and teachers have a great burden to carry. I don't envy it. And I pray for the more visible evangelists in this world... because the pressure is enormous.

Love you!

Jon Owen said...

You need to get Andy Stanley's book, "Communicating for a Change." It will change the way you approach teaching/preaching. Before I finished the book, I shared a message and regular listeners told me it was the best I'd ever given them. It's crafting the message a journey. Very practical, and if you listen to Stanley enough, you'll see him put his own words into practice.

Secondly, I think too many preachers, preach without any education. The Bible says so much at surface level, but to really understand Jesus teaching in his culture takes things to an entirely different level. Read, listen, learn...then preach.

You don't know me, Terry. But I've heard you and known of you for years. I've actually "stolen" some of you material. And the very fact that someone of your experience and ability asks for insight and direction says that you have the humble heart that will be blessed. You're a great example. Thanks, and I hope you preach better in 08 than ever before.

Darin L. Hamm said...

Made to Stick is a good book on the topic of communication.

Kevin Skidmore said...

A couple ideas: I love the statement I heard recently by a motivational speaker - "Better is ignorance on fire than knowledge on ice!" True passion communicates.
Examples and stories reach the heart.