Have you ever considered learning public speaking from your pastor? Think about it. Your pastor is charged with preparing messages week after week. His or her command of the information and presentation style impact a number of factors, particularly the flock’s spiritual growth. This article presents several questions to help you evaluate sermons for public speaking. Use them to increase your awareness and sharpen your skills.
- Did the speaker give an introduction?
Every presentation, regardless of the setting, must have a purpose, and it is stated in the introduction. It’s like writing a letter. You don’t bury the reason you’re writing down in the third paragraph. Similarly, a skilled pastor tells you his topic along, rationale, and foundational scripture at the beginning of the sermon. Otherwise, you sit there lost, wondering what’s the point?
- How did the speaker grab attention?
Several techniques are used by speakers to grab the attention of an audience. Some include making a profound statement, citing a statistic, asking a question, displaying an unusual or stimulating visual, fluctuating the voice, etc. On the contrary, a sermon is no different. Pastors do or say things to grab your attention. As a result, you focus sharpens.
- Did the speaker state the significance of the sermon?
For example, why is a sermon on loving your neighbor important? How does it affect you? How will it help you? What will happen if you don’t hear it? Knowing the why makes all the difference.
- What illustrations, handouts, or visual aids were used?
A picture is worth a thousand words. Hence, a good speaker makes use of visual aids to emphasize key points, especially with the explosion of technology. Storytelling is also effective. A skilled speaker will incorporate stories about his or her life into the message.
- Did the body of the sermon support the introduction?
Similar to an essay, a presentation has three parts – an introduction, body, and closing. Within the body of the sermon, information is presented to support the opening statement. If this part is weak, the presentation suffers.
- What points were mentioned in the closing?
Every presentation has an ending. Ask yourself, did the pastor summarize the key points during the closing? If so, you should be able to list them.
- Did the speaker maintain eye contact?
Regardless the speaker’s title, making eye contact with the audience is essential. A speaker who looks away creates an uneasy feeling. Is the person hiding something? Is the person trustworthy? Credible?
- Was the sermon informative?
The pastor is expected to be knowledgeable about the Bible. Hence, a part of his or her role is to teach the Word. Each time he or she stands in the pulpit to deliver a sermon, you should learn something.
- Did the message persuade you to act?
Finally, the pastor’s message should persuade you to act. After an invitation to join the church is given, does anyone join? Are people inspired to read the Bible? Do more people give or actively serve? Is the church experiencing rapid or any growth? Most important, are you making life changes as a result of hearing the sermons?
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