Tuesday Teaching Tip 220

5 Lesser-Known Public Speaking Rules Every Young Professional Needs To Know – Part 2


Existing literature on the art of public speaking is extensive: ranging from preparation and confidence to body language and tonality, the list of ‘golden rules’ is abundant — but mechanical. The following five rules are lesser-known approaches to public speaking and will insert dynamism, nuance, and distinction to your communication toolbox.”

Forbes Magasine: Ali Shahbaz
  • Let’s have a look at the second of these ‘lesser-known’ approaches and see if it might help our preaching and teaching of God’s word.

Surprise, not shock

  • “This balance is best demonstrated when speakers focus on innovating the content, not just the delivery, of their engagement.”
  • “A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”…”All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” …Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”” (Luke 18:18–28 NIV11)
  • Jesus
    • Allows the lad to explain himself – a connection is made
    • Focusses on one thing – keeps it simple
    • Interested in helping the young man, not creating a scene
    • “Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”” (Mark 10:21 NIV11)
  • Avoid overwhelming the emotional capacity of your audience
  • Trigger surprise by anticipating the likely response of your audience


  • Surprise is helpful, when used sparingly and for a specific and benevolent purpose

Question: “What surprise can you spring on your audience in that next lesson?”

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John

Music: Purpose by Jonny Easton; https://youtube.com/channel/UCHJVYelCXpsV8P4EVWBgj0A

Creative Commons Attribution license; Free Download / Stream: http://bit.ly/al-purpose; Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/TT2PftKt1P4