Teaching Tip 357 | “Plain Speaking – Speak Conversationally” | Malcolm Cox

Here is your 2-minute tip based on the book, “Plain speaking: How to preach and teach effectively” by David Bercot.

In the previous episode we explored being ourselves when speaking. As Bercot says, ’The ultimate expression of being yourself is speaking conversationally.’ Why does this matter, and how do we do it?

  1. Domination is deadly. Have you ever been at a party where you’ve been cornered by a bore? You know the kind of person. The one who speaks at you, does not recognise social cues, tells you everything they want you to hear, but shows no interest in you or your interests. Perhaps you’ve even been that person! No one enjoys that experience. Inconsiderate preaching can be like that – but it doesn’t have to be and should not be. Congregations that are talked at switch off. What a tragedy!
  2. Conversation is connection. Good conversation connects people. ‘We’ are talking, not one person. Most blocks of Jesus’ teaching look short, and allowed for interaction with the person or persons present. His model is helpful for us. If God desires connection with us — and he does — then our speaking about him is best when it reflects this connection.

How do we develop the art of conversational preaching? Bercot says, ‘The secret to speaking conversational in public is to focus on ideas, not on words.’ 70 He suggests that our lesson outline should remind us of the ideas we want to convey, and not the precise words we want to use. We can trust the words will come if the ideas are clear. This is what happens in conversation.

What are your thoughts on speaking conversationally when we teach and preach? Do you see it as important?

Next time, we will go on to explore the importance of eye contact.

Has today’s tip been worth two minutes of your time? I hope so.

Remember to keep calm and carry on teaching.

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Remember to keep calm, and carry on teaching.

God bless, Malcolm