We communicate to students through many different methods. The one way that we communicate the most is probably the most obvious. It is through teaching. I go to youth conferences/rally’s/etc, and I see many men gifted in this area, and so often I examine my own teaching, and feel that I have a long way to go.
I do not consider myself to be a great speaker. I am not having to turn down camps and conferences, because I am speaking other places. You should have seen me speak when I first started. It was horrific, and I made everyone in the room nervous. Now, I have embraced God’s call on my life. Therefore, I am trying to become the speaker that He wants me to be. I always feel that I can improve my preaching style. Here are some ways that I have learned, and that you can use in your speaking style:
- Pray over your message – We must pray so much when speaking. It is a great honor and privilege to get up and speak. Therefore, we must make sure that it is from Jesus. There are some really good speakers who are not being effective, because they leave Jesus out of the equation. If He is at the center of your message, it will be effective, because He is the one speaking.
- Speak expositionally – We live in a day where students are quite advanced. They can tell when you have thrown something together from google or another site. They desire some doctrine and teaching in the passage. So, try not to find topics, then, find a Scripture to go along with the topic. Find Scripture and dig deep to find your topics.
- Keep it simple – Sometimes, we try and over complicate things. I think we are moving into a more simplistic culture. Therefore, I try and keep my main thoughts simple as well as my main points. Also, keep your power point simple as well. We encourage note taking, and when a speaker gets on up into the 20s for slides, it makes it extremely difficult for them to keep up. I heard one speaker say, “if you can’t say your message without notes, then don’t use powerpoint.” This challenges me every time that I speak.
- Focus on one main idea – What are you trying to drive home in your message? Some speakers speak about 10 different messages in one, and it complicates things for the hearers. Focus on one main idea. Andy Stanley speaks of this in his books. He is great at keeping the main thing the main thing.
- Use illustrations effectively – Some speakers use illustrations just for the sake of using illustrations. I think that when someone pulls out an illustration, they need to have a purpose behind using the illustration. Do not just use stories to be funny. Make sure that they have a point behind them. I do believe that they are good and effective. I think that they are needed, but they should drive your main points home.