Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Golden rules

Yesterday I led a session on how to prepare and give a devotional talk to a group of students. In preparation myself I wondered what golden rules about communication in general I might begin with. I came up with four.  I know many of my readers also speak publicly.  Would you agree with this selection?

1. All communicators can improve.  I know there are inspiring exceptions but most of us need to keep learning how to do it better.  It's a matter of fact that those attending conferences on communication are the better communicators; others say they do not need any help because they've got it down pat are not the better communicators!
2. Christians are promised the help of the Holy Spirit (and that's the biggest deal) but it does not allow us to flout basic communication rules. 
3. Feedback is essential for the effective communicator.  To receive honest, loving, critique is the greatest gift for any communicator - and that's the way to learn.
4. Your God-given personality means you have a personal speaking style.  You will not sound like anyone else.  You are not like anyone else. Some are serious, others more humourous; formal/informal, teacher-oriented/story-telling, logical/emotional, slow-paced/ fast paced. We need to develop our unique speaking voice.

I asked the group which of these is the most difficult to follow. Immediately 3. was flagged up. Said a student 'When I've done, I'm done.  I don't want to hear myself, see myself or think about it!'  Others agreed.  Yes, this is probably the most difficult of all, though someone else highlighted 4 because of the need genuinely to find your own style.  And to be willing to be adaptable to many other listening styles!

Would you agree?  Add? Change?

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