Every GREAT speaker LISTENS to the audience - NOT before, NOT after, but DURING their presentation. Your audience will tell you how to be dynamic, when to change and how to be better.
So often we take our time preparing, we work hard and like what we see on paper and what we hear when we practice. The problem is that the presentation is NOT FOR US. It is for them.
If you will listen to and watch your audience closely while you present, they will tell you if your message is gripping, dynamic and memorable. They will also tell you where you have become boring or just plain blown it in your presentation.
The first thing you must listen for is noise. Rustling, paper shuffling, feet moving around, shifting in chairs... we've all heard it. If that noise starts it means that somewhere along the way you have lost the attention of the audience, you are no longer captivating.
The second thing is to watch the eyes of the audience. No audience wants to miss a thing that is happening up front, if up front is interesting. If your audience is looking around, distracted and not at you, then your physicality and your voice have become boring. You need to have passion in your movements and your voice to keep their attention on you, because you want them to hear the truth that you believe God has given you for them.
The third thing is taking notes. If no one is writing, then you must realize that you aren't saying anything that they believe is worth remembering. It is not your content. The content of Scripture is the greatest on earth. It is how you are presenting that content. Go back to your study and put the truth in such a way that it will be life changing for your audience, and then they will want to take notes.
If your pride will let you listen, every audience will train you as good as or better than any great preaching coach.
Dr. Vance Hardisty
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