Have you ever spoken to a group and felt that they just weren’t getting it? Maybe your enthusiastic message is met by an expressionless sea of faces wondering what in the world you are talking about. The connection has just not been established.
The Bible says “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). When I speak from the overflow of what is in my heart, I always connect with my audiences. When I fail to prepare enough, pray enough, study enough, immerse myself in the Word enough, what I hear myself say is shallow and has little meaning to my audience.
When I first became a speaker, it was success enough to complete the message without losing my notes, fainting from fright, or having the audience exit from boredom en masse. But it didn’t take me long to realize that my method of communication was mouth to ear communication. The audience was hearing what I was saying but I was not communicating in a way that made them take it to heart. Unless our audience is internalizing our message, the words are forgotten the minute they walk out the door.
Mouth to ear communication is good but heart to heart communication is so much better. As a speaker I need to intentionally fill my mind and heart with God’s Word, pray for God to prepare and open the hearts of those to whom I will speak, and then allow Him to take the message deep into their hearts.
The keys to this type communication are the three P’s.
The first one is preparation. Know your material. Have a great outline, include your point, scripture, example, and instruction, and put it in a format you can remember.
The second is prayerparation. Bathe every part of your speaking engagements with prayer. Pray for the attendees, the event planner, the church or conference center where you are going, your message to be received as God intends.
The third is participation. Arrive ready to pour yourself out to those you have been called to serve.
Be ready to overflow into the lives of those in your audiences. When God’s Word becomes a part of our lives, the natural result is that it will overflow in everything we do. Communicating heart to heart shares His message wherever we go.
St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times, when necessary use words.”