Speak to Express not Impress
This Sunday was Women’s Sunday at our church and mine was the task of delivering the sermon. I had prepped for about three weeks and had jotted down notes primarily in a devotional I had been reading. I also did much of my research from the New Living Translation of the Bible.
However, on Sunday, I forgot my Bible and the notes.
When I realized this, I felt fear rising, then I said to myself, “Fearless 40.” I will not let fear control me.
I will do my best and let God do the rest.
In the end, things turned out well. I found some notes on my cellphone and I used those to guide my sermon delivery.
The fear of public speaking is one of the top fears in the world and it took me a while to overcome it.
As a teenager, I was always a reserved, shy and timid person. I remember a couple of school report cards with the comments “reserved, reserved, reserved,” by several teachers. I hardly spoke to anyone. However, God did not want me to remain in that state.
When I was 17 years old, a friend invited me to his church and there I received a series of prophetic words that continue to guide my life almost two decades later.
God used these ministers in a powerful way. They told me God was about to remove my timidity and launch me into something new. They spoke of an international ministry and travel beyond the shores of Jamaica.
Four years later, I entered a preaching competition and won second place. By age 23, I started traveling overseas to speak and to this day I continue to speak publicly month after month to hundreds.
I often look back and I am shocked by my transformation.
TIPS TO SLAY THE FEAR PUBLIC SPEAKING
Over the years, I found several keys to slay the fear of public speaking. Today I will share four of them to help you slay the fear of public speaking.
1. Assurance of Being Called to Speak: When I was leaving Seminary in 2003, God gave me Jeremiah 23: 28 as my personal call to speak his word faithfully. When you’re assured that you’re doing something you’re called to do, it gives you confidence. Every time I go to speak as a woman, I remember this because many male leaders in the church do not believe women should preach, and especially not to other men.
This verse and how it was revealed to me, gives me assurance of my call to speak. When I get nervous, I repeat it and am able to deliver confidently because I am walking in my divine purpose and calling.
2. Speak to Express not Impress: I got this one from the late motivational speaker and author, Jim Rohn. It is not about you. Do not try to impress anybody although you want to deliver creatively and effectively. Speak to convey useful ideas and inspire people to change. Speak to express, not to impress. Your message is important. Know your content and deliver it well.
3. Dress Comfortably and Appropriately: When I’m going to speak I dress comfortably so that I don’t have to worry about how I look. It’s one less thing to worry about. When you look at your best, you feel good.
How you dress will affect your mood and how your audience receives the message. How you dress can cause the audience to be dismissive of your message or aid in their receptivity.
4. The Results are Not Up to You: As a Christian preacher and motivational speaker, I depend on God to effect changes in the lives of the hearers. This takes the pressure off me. All I need to do is to make sure I prepare and deliver well. If you are a Christian speaker, speak as the mouthpiece of God and let Him take care of the results. Even if you are not a Christian, your job is to deliver. Do not worry about the results.
I trust these four tricks and tips will help you to speak with confidence. Use them to slay fear, the next time you are called upon to speak.