After more than 25 years of standing in front of people and speaking to them, I’ve become a bit more comfortable doing so — and hopefully a bit better at it, too.
Recently I was reflecting on two characteristics that seem contradictory but actually complement each other well when it comes to public speaking: less inhibition and more discipline.
Less Inhibition. Don’t be so uptight that you make every else uptight, too. Be yourself. Be real. Express yourself with emotion and vividness. When I am “in the flow” in front of a crowd, the right words seem to show up at the right time. This typically means I am less focused on myself and more focused on the audience.
More Discipline. I can’t say everything. During my preparation, I usually generate three or four good sermons but can only preach one of them. The more disciplined I am about paring down to the essentials, the more effective my message will be. This also allows me to be less inhibited because I have greater confidence and clarity in my words.
Less inhibition, more discipline, better speaking.