Teaching Tip 364 | “Plain Speaking – how to handle speaker’s fright” | Malcolm Cox

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

An old survey claimed that people fear speaking in public more than they fear death. That claim has been debunked, but it resonates because talking in front of other people is one of the very most exposed places to be. We are vulnerable. What do we do when our insecurities take hold? In short, we do not attempt to overcome it, but to use it to our advantage. Bercot offers five steps.

  1. Pray about it. Talk to God about you feelings, ask him to be with you experientially in this next lesson, and trust his strength will be available (Nehemiah 2:4-5).
  2. Focus on your listeners. Do not follow the terrible advice to imagine your audience naked! That’s distracting in the extreme. Instead, remember they are your brothers and sisters, and they have turned up because they want to hear from you (at least—most of them!).
  3. Prepare Thoroughly. If you know that you know your topic, you can know you have something meaningful to say. “Thorough preparation and the confidence that derives from it squelches fear.” 103
  4. Speak Extemporaneously. You can use notes without being chained to them. Look up, engage with the people present, and see your notes as a support, not the substance of your lesson. You will speak with greater freedom and joy.
  5. Use Speaker’s Fright. Use the increased adrenaline to sharpen your thinking and delivery.

There is a sixth step, but we will go on that in the next episode.

What are your thoughts on the five techniques Bercot raises?

Next time, we will learn the secret to handling bloopers and memory lapses.

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