I wanted to ask for your input and guidance, if you don’t mind sharing. I am speaking at a women’s event and am working on preparing for that. This is my first teaching opportunity, so it’s new territory for me. When you are preparing a new talk, what are your practices? I’m unsure where to start.
Sherry G., Tennessee
I always try to know a lot more about a topic than I actually share. What I mean is I research, think, meditate and feel like I really grasp something before I teach it. I like to say I carry it around in my head and heart a long time before it ever escapes my lips. The temptation then is to teach all you learned!
An audience needs to know less than you prepared.
So, the procedure is to “select” not “compress.” My temptation is to compress all 40 hours of research and thought into 40 minutes of presentation-bad idea. Rather, it’s better to select out the main principles for the audience. Once selected, you then “show” before you “tell.”
Just like Jesus taught by story, if we do the same, people can see the picture which will remind them of the truth. Once you show, you can then tell by expounding or deepening the concept. If you compress info, you can’t show them; there would be no time and they wouldn’t remember due to information overload.
I learned a long time ago to really ask myself, “What is the one thing I want them to take away from this message?” When I discover that “one thing,” it makes the selecting process easier. It’s better to hit one nail three times than to hit three nails one time. Most audiences are “one nail” listeners.
So, find out what your one nail take away is and select your points based on that, so you can hit them three times from different angles! It is also important to give your listeners a “value statement.” Give them something they can do, remember or implement based on your teaching. Inspiration will fade, but equipping them with something they can do to walk out their inspiration will give legs to your message. That way it will spread far beyond your immediate audience and give life to many.
And my last thought is this. Care about your audience as much as, if not more than, your message.
A brilliant message presented with little regard for the listener falls flat. An audience will scoop up every piece of your flawed presentation if they know you empathize and love them.
Hope this helps! Now, if you get in His Word and on your knees, you will stand before women with something to say.
With love, Jennifer
What advice would you share with this new teacher/speaker? Leave a comment here.