Influence or Inform

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As a student of public speaking, I’m always watching and analyzing how people communicate. Whether it’s on television, at a play, or just sitting in Starbucks, there are certain key ingredients to effective communication. The list can be rather long: presence, voice, style, word choice, authenticity, structure, content … we could keep going. One distinction I’ve been reflecting on lately has been the difference between communicating in order to influence and communicating simply to inform. As a pastor and preacher, my natural bent is to communicate to influence. That’s not to say we don’t inform. We certainly do. In fact, to truly influence requires solid information otherwise the influence will be short-lived, perhaps even harmful. Here’s a mistake I see many communicators make: they desire to influence but simply inform. Every public speaker has to be clear about the goal of their speech — if it is to influence or…

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How to Get Your Audience to Travel With You

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Malcolm Gladwell has great hair. Beyond that, he is one of my favorite authors. He has written such great books as Blink, Outliers, David and Goliath, and Tipping Point. He’s also a very engaging speaker. He has also given several TedTalks that you can find online — certainly worth listening to. He was recently interviewed on the BBC Radio show, “Desert Islands Discs” and the host asked Gladwell about public speaking. In particular, he asked Gladwell what made a person a great speaker. Here is part of his answer: I like the challenge of standing in front of a group of people and being required to reach them … People have travelled to be there and what an audience wants is to be taken seriously. They will put up with a lot if they have the sense that you have thought about what you are doing with them in some considered…

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scrivenor

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I began using Scrivenor (a writing app) several years ago. It’s a great tool for gathering and organizing information, creating characters or scenes, and then exporting the finished product for e-book or paperback. But here’s the catch: it’s loaded with possibilities and I learned the hard way – by trial and error. If you’re interested in writing, check out Learn Scrivenor Fast by the Scrivenor Coach. It’s been used by Michael Hyatt and others. ———-

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are you an aimless communicator

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In a previous post, I challenged you to consider how you’re living life … aimlessly or on purpose? The challenge was taken from these words of the apostle Paul: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). For those of us who are in the communication business, I’d like to reframe the challenge: are you an aimless communicator? I’m not sure how many sermons, presentations, or classes I’ve sat through in my lifetime. My guess is, I’ve…

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communicating with self-control

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As a church, we’ve been working our way through 1 Corinthians — Paul’s prescription for this new community called the church. On this blog, I’ve taken a part of chapter nine and looked at it through the lens of a communicator. One important lesson we can learn is the principle of communicating with self-control: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). I love Paul’s line: “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.” Communicating with self-control is…

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