Getting your message across is like an artist starting with a blank canvas. There are many tools available; it’s choosing the right one at the appropriate time that determines the success of the result. Communicating your message can be done with 2-components: Verbal and non-verbal. To communicate best, both need to be used together.
Verbal communication involves the choice of words, and words have great power. Examples of the use of words to carry power can be seen in powerful orators and writers, such as Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, Martin Luther King Jr, William Shakespeare, Nelson Mandela and Mohandas Gandhi. We do not usually speak of these people together, because we like the message of some, but not that of others. But I’m referring to their capacity, in their own time and context, to persuade and motivate others.
Verbal communication is what you do say. Non-verbal communication is what you don’t say. The first involves the choice of words and the way they are put together to produce an impact on an individual or audience. Churchill and Jesus were very good at this, as was William Shakespeare. The second (no words) adds emphasis, emotion, conviction and depth to the words used. It can make something quite ordinary into something very special and highly emotional, like a mothers love, or the value to many of warplanes destroying an enemy ( as in Churchill’s, “Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few”).
Vocabulary can win or lose your audience. Expanded vocabulary can set you apart and draw in an audience, impressing them with your understanding. However, with less educated groups a more basic vocabulary is much more effective. The late Bryn Jones is quoted as saying, “I try to make my preaching understandable to 14 year-olds”.
Lots of colour, in your examples, and tone variation in your voice will make what you say more appealing and engaging to listeners. Jesus was very good at choosing examples that engaged people. The quicker pace of your delivery will indicate excitement, the slower impart thoughtfulness and weightiness for increased impact. How you use volume can take your listeners on a roller-coaster ride, drawing them emotionally into the verbal picture you are painting. This can work whether you are speaking to an audience or in a one-on-one conversation.
The emotion of making people laugh, thus lightening the tone of the conversation, or cry, indicating passion or compassion, shows a more tender side to the speakers disposition and feelings. It can tone down the speaker’s intensity and indicate they do not take themselves too seriously.
You must take care with enunciation, pronouncing your words clearly; it’s the opposite of mumbling. There is a balance between sounding natural and allowing your words to run together.
Remember that practice makes perfect. Some people have the charisma to carry their listeners into and along with their stories and recollections. But it’s not an exclusive art, it can be improved with practice. You can be a colourful and effective communicator, but you may just need to work at it a little.
Being practical, we have discussed only half of the requirements for good communication and conversation. The remaining part is non-verbal; that which is not spoken. For example, the use of your facial expression and body movement. Have you ever taken a video of yourself to see what you do with your hands, arms and eyes whilst you are speaking?
Hands can be very demonstrative, lending emphasis to what you are saying. However, if you over-do-it, whose listening/watching are going to be wondering what your hands are going to do next, rather than being captivated by what you are saying. Your arms can “close-off” the person talking to you. If you fold your arms whilst they are speaking, it indicates closure, even fear or opposition.
Your eyes are very important. They are the window of your soul. When you look into someone’s eyes, it can seem like nothing is hidden. Eye contact can be very winsome and quite disarming. Don’t be looking around at other things whilst listening or conversing, it communicates lack of interest. When you are speaking to someone, even an audience, look at them. Listen and speak to them with your eyes: Eye contact gives them importance.
If you are giving a presentation, your position is important. Even when you are speaking from behind a podium or lectern, pausing and focusing on the audience will engage their attention. Moving away from the podium towards the audience, especially accompanied by a change in tone of voice, even to a whisper, will draw them into what could be a secret (this is easier to do whilst using a microphone because you can make your whisper heard more easily). Sitting usually communicates casualness, so you can share between sitting and standing to facilitate a change of mood. Variety, used carefully, can help to keep audience attention and interest.
Even in a presentation, facial expression and what you do with your eyes, both raises and lowers intimacy and audience engagement. Your subject is important. It must be something you live, or that captivates you. But the way you present it, whether to an individual in private conversation or to an audience of hundreds will make all the difference as to whether it lives for them.
Finally, even the most interesting subject and person presenting it should be very careful about time. How long can you hold your listener or audience? It’s important not to keep them too long. Try to ensure that you finish on a high, when they are still engaged and interested. That way they may want to come back for more.
You too can become a seasoned speaker if you actually want to? Even with limited gifting,practice and following basic guidelines will get you there.
[I acknowledge reference to an article entitled, “8-ways to master the art of communication”, by Jim Rohn, Success Magazine, 24 July 2016]
|Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials.||Smith Wigglesworth|
|In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.||Eric Hoffer|
|Take what bothers you most as an invitation by God to work at solving that problem.||Lance Wallnau|
|Without grace, life is filled with struggle, it is not a life we enjoy; but with his grace, we can enter the rest (peace) of the Lord and experience joy unspeakable and full of glory.||Joyce Meyer|
|You never lose; you win or you learn.||Nelson Mandela|
|Your behaviour won't change until your thoughts change. As long as you think, "I can't do this", you are never going to be able to do it!||Joyce Meyer|
|I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe.||Smith Wigglesworth|
|Leadership is not about titles, positions or flow charts. It's about one life influencing another.||John Maxwell|
|If God is enthroned on my praise, who is enthroned on my complaining? If I enter his gates with praise, who's gates am I entering when I complain?||Bill Johnson|
|When we believe in God's sovereignty, and not our own understanding, we'll see how our problems will never outweigh what God has promised us (Prov. 3:5 NIV)||T D Jakes|
|Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.||Jim Rhon|
|If I give up my right to understand, He will give me the peace that passes understanding.||Bill Johnson|
|Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.||Winston Churchill|
|You can't change your life, but if you change your mind, God will transform your life.||Kris Vallotton|
|In prayer we bring our spiritual enemies into the presence of God.||Jarrod Cooper|
|Once in a while we manage to stumble on the truth, but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.||Winston Churchill|
|The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.||Winston Churchill|
|When the Lord says, "Do something", the favour needed to do it is already attached to the command.||David Forster|
|Being powerful is like being a lady, if you have to tell people you are, then you aren't.||Margaret Thatcher|
|The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but God will make us good because he loves us.||C S Lewis|
|Fear is misplaced faith.||Kris Vallotton|
|God has already seen every mistake, every failure and every weakness, and the good news is he's already forgiven you. He is not holding it against you.||Joel Osteen|
|God is not nearly so interested in changing your circumstances as he is in changing you.||Joyce Meyer|
|Pray, and let God worry||Martin Luther|
|Those who never change their mind never change anything.||Winston Churchill|
|What you do (for a living) is not who you are.||Celia Apeagyei-Collins|
|People who write you off when you fail know nothing about history and even less about life. No person ever fully succeeds until they fully fail.||Lance Wallnau|
|There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite. Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael.||C S Lewis|
|He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.||Jim Elliot|
|You never know how much you really believe anything until it's truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life or death to you.||C S Lewis|
|If you know you are loved, faith is easy. It's easy to trust someone you know loves you.||David Forster|
|Every moment that you spend upset, despaired, anguished, angry, afraid or hurt, because of the behaviour of someone else in your life, is a moment in which you have given up control of your life.||Unknown|
|Remember, you do not have to live today by how you feel, nor by what you think about yourself, nor by what someone else thinks about you. The person who created you thinks you are wonderful, and he waits with open arms for you to agree with him.||David Forster|
|Shift gears from doing something in God's presence to simply being in God's presence.||Lance Wallnau|
|Your future doesn't depend on what is in front of you, it depends on who is in you.||Lance Wallnau|
|Did you know that you are utterly and completely loved by God, without doing a single thing, good or bad.||David Forster|
|no one knows how bad they are until they have tried very hard to be good..||C S Lewis|
|If we are living daily by faith, we will be constantly over our head; Beyond our ability to do this our that. We should all be in that place in some area of our life. If we are not, we will be like an old wineskin; too rigid and inflexible to receive the Lord's new wine.||Rick Joyner|
|For a believer intimacy with God is not an option, it's a necessity. Guidance and direction depend on this intimacy and sensitivity to Holy Spirit. There is no substitute for the latter.||Graham Cooke|
|Jesus reveals the Father to us. He gives us peace and rest. He is not a hard taskmaster.||David Forster|
|The God who creates everything, pursues you. Don't let anyone tell you you're are worth less than that.||Louie Giglio|
|In the kingdom, physical obedience brings spiritual release.||Bill Johnson|
|Don't be surprised if you pray for nearness to God and he sends a trial. Nearness always requires dependence.||Desiringgod.org|
|Our corporate worship doesn't meet a need in God, it meets a need in us.||Sam Storms|
|How you feel is not who you are. Feelings are great servants and terrible masters.||Kris Vallotton|
|There is a lot that is good in your life. Don't take it for granted. Don't get so focused on the struggle that you mis the gift of today.||Joel Osteen|
|The enemy commits identity theft when you believe you must earn what God freely gives.||Alison Brown|
|If you agree with your creator and receive what he freely gives, you will have serenity in your identity and confidence in your countenance.||David Forster|
|If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.||David Forster|
|A satisfying and exciting life organises around an identity focused on Jesus, not the church..||Graham Cooke|
|Satan cannot impose his will on anyone, he has to have our agreement.||Graham Cooke|
|Every day adjust yourself to where God is taking you, that is, toward the prophetic vision he has given you.||Lance Wallnau|
|Real faith is not faith in an outcome (of a particular situation or circumstance), it's faith in a person.||David Forster|
|Be in no doubt that God will redeem the losses and mistakes of your past life.||David Forster|
|God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself, because there is simply no such thing.||C S Lewis|
|Wealth, women and status; these are the major temptations that can draw a man away from God. Each is morally neutral; yet given the appropriate significance, each can control us.||David Forster|
|The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he doesn't exist.||Anon|
|Fear is the enemy of love. The two cannot exist together. We have to choose daily: Fear or Love.||David Forster|
|You are not saved because of the quality of your faith. You are saved because of the object of your faith; The Redeemer!||Tim Keller|
|Revival goes from the bottom up; Reformation goes from the top down. Therefore reformation is institutional and revival is personal.||Lance Wallnau|
|Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.||Albert Einstein|
|Inner peace is key to experiencing God's presence. Rest is a weapon against the enemy||Graham Cooke|
|Fairy tales don't tell children that dragons exist. Children know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.||G K Chesterton|
|When you are at peace with God, you will be at peace with yourself and with other people.||David Forster|
|You can believe in Christianity in the same way you believe that the sun has risen; Firstly, because you see it and secondly because by it you see everything else.||C S Lewis|
|A little while ago I became old enough to start believing in fairy tales again. This means there are far better things ahead of me then what I have left behind.||C S Lewis|
|Your unfinished destiny is your most potent argument with death.||Graham Cooke|
|I am not focused on what I am not, I am focused on what he is for me.||David Forster|