||Jonathan's Resource Ezine
Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, July 30, 2002
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HIGH IMPACT SPEAKING, PART I: Not Just Speaking to Entertain, but to Make an Impact
By Jonathan McKee
July 30, 2002
It's Wednesday night, a ton of students showed up. Everything is going well. Staff are mingling
with students. New students are meeting others. Everyone seems to be having a good time.
The evening goes on better than normal, without a hitch ... and then it's time to communicate the
truth to everyone. It's time for the speaker, the talk, the lesson, the main course, the sharing
of the WORD ... whatever you call it.
The speaker takes the front, opens his mouth, and words spill out. For 30 seconds the students
look up front. Then an occasional head turns to the side and whispers. Then more heads turn.
Within 8 minutes into the presentation, the speaker has the attention of 20% of the room.
THIS HAPPENS EVERY WEEK ACROSS THE GLOBE. We get students in, we show them a good time, we have an
open door ... and we can't keep their attention for even 10 minutes. What do we do?
Well, we could hire a national speaker to come out every week. Okay ... maybe once a year, but
let's be realistic. How can we develop OUR speaking skills and/or the speaking skills of our
I could just recommend a few books for you to read, but I'm all about giving you FREE resources,
so here you are: THE BASICS we need to know before standing up in front of a group of students.
3 STEPS TO DEVELOPING A BETTER TALK
1. Select Your Point
How many times have you heard a talk, and 5 minutes after it is over ... you couldn't tell your
friend what it was about. The talk might have even had some great illustrations or valid truths.
But you really have no clue what the speaker's point was.
The first thing we need to do when we put a talk together is SELECT OUR POINT! So many of us are
guilty of just standing up and speaking from one point to the next. Even if someone were to ask us
what our talk is about, we couldn't verbalize it. We would have to regurgitate out a bunch of
different points, a passage and a story or two. Well, stories and passages are great- but WHAT IS
When we speak, we need to find ONE MAJOR POINT. If we are speaking on a particular scripture, we
need to discover ONE MAJOR THEME of that passage that we want to share with our audience. Did you
remember those papers you wrote in high school or college? Do you remember your teacher
over-emphasizing "What is your thesis statement?" Well that is what we're talking about. Select
your thesis statement ... select your point!
When selecting our point we can go down two different roads. We can do the CAN talk or the SHOULD
talk. Over 99% of your talks will be one or the other. The CAN talk is simply a talk where we
are convincing the audience that they CAN do something. And what is the question we ask if someone
tells us that we CAN do something? We ask "HOW?" The body of our talk will tell HOW the audience
CAN do something.
The SHOULD talk is simply a talk where we are convincing the audience that they SHOULD do something.
And what is the question we ask if someone tells us that we SHOULD do something? We ask "WHY?" The
body of our talk will tell WHY the audience SHOULD do something.
So when selecting our point. We need to figure out which talk- the CAN or the SHOULD- we are going
If we wanted to talk about ANGER, our point could be "You Should Not Lose Control of Your Anger."
Then we would explain WHY we shouldn't lose control. Possibly because it hurts those around us, or
because it's wrong, or because we have to keep patching sheet-rock in our house!
Or we could choose to make the point "You CAN control your anger." Then we could explain HOW to do
so. By praying for God's help, counting to 10, and cutting down on how much Jerry Springer we
The same is true if we are preaching out of a passage of scripture. For example. Let's look at
I Peter 2:11-12 (NLT).
Dear brothers and sisters, you are foreigners and aliens here. So I warn you to keep away from
evil desires because they fight against your very souls.  Be careful how you live among your
unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable
behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world.
After studying this passage, we find that the context is about living in the light as God's people.
These two verses can bring several points out. Our point might be "Actions Matter." That is a
SHOULD talk. "You SHOULD watch the way you act." Then in the talk we can give reasons "WHY."
Our point could be "Living in the Light." This is a CAN talk. "You CAN Live in the Light." Then our
talk will tell us HOW to live in the light.
The main point I like to take out of this passage is, "Watch out for Evil Desires!" What kind of
talk is that, a CAN or a SHOULD? You're right if you said a SHOULD talk. "You SHOULD watch out for
evil desires!" That raises the question "WHY?" We can examine how to answer this later, in step
Selecting your point is the most tedious and even painful part of preparing a talk. But it's worth
it. Once your point is clear, everything else flows together. Everything in your talk now must
support your point. This keeps us from wandering down tangents that distract from the main point we
want to communicate.
FOR FURTHER READING ABOUT SPEAKING:
The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages
by Haddon W. Robinson
How to Speak to
Youth And Keep Them Awake at the Same Time: A Step-By-Step Guide for Improving Your Talks
by Ken Davis
Make 'em Laugh!:
The Speaker's Guide to Communicating with Humor (Video)
by Ken Davis
DYNAMIC COMMUNICATORS WORKSHOP: Sharpen Your Skills at the YS Convention
If you really want to develop your skills as a speaker, you should seriously consider some training
from a professional source. The Dynamic Communicator Workshop is a great place for ministers,
youth workers, or any speakers to learn and practice the basics, with the help of a professional
Dynamic Communicators was started by Ken Davis, an incredible speaker who had the vision to equip
others to develop their speaking gifts. Ken and Jay Laffoon now teach this workshop several times
a year, at several locations, including the YS conventions across the U.S.
THIS WORKSHOP MIGHT BE ONE MORE REASON TO GO TO THE YS NATIONAL YOUTH WORKERS CONVENTION
Youth Leaders: Free Training!
Host a Dynamic Communicators Workshop in your town and you may qualify to send you and your staff
for FREE. Jay Laffoon is a certified instructor of Ken Davis'' fabulous SCORRE method of
Ken Davis'' Dynamic Communicators Workshop ...
Prepare with FOCUS deliver with CLARITY and speak with POWER!
PASTORS / YOUTH PASTORS / SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS / VOLUNTEERS / STUDENT LEADERS / YOUR ENTIRE
For more information on the details of this FREE training offer contact Diane at Celebrate
Ministries at 989.466.5574 or email
- Learn how to prepare powerful messages for any occasion.
- Take home a valuable resource manual.
- Discover new resources for preparation.
- Develop new confidence by learning the power of focus.
- Learn new delivery skills, and much, much more.
TWO OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU AS A PAID SPEAKER: Do You Want To Do Some Extra Speaking Engagements
Do you have the gift of speaking? Do you love communicating truth to students? I consistently
get e-mails from youth workers looking for good speakers in their area. Well, here are two
opportunities for you if you'd like to do more speaking, and earn a little extra income on the
THE SOURCE SPEAKERS' NETWORK
That's right. We at THE SOURCE want to provide a database of proven speakers as a resource for
youth workers across the globe. These speakers will be available for booking on THE SOURCE FOR
YOUTH MINISTRY's web site, which currently is receiving about 3/4 of a million hits a month.
IF YOU'D LIKE TO BE ONE OF THESE SPEAKERS USE THIS LINK OR VISIT
MY SPEAKERS PAGE:
PHIL CHALMERS MUSIC SEMINARS NATIONAL MEDIA TEAM
National Media Speaker Phil Chalmers is looking to hire 50 speakers across the United States, one
per state, to speak on the entertainment industry. He is organizing a team, and he will equip his
speakers with all they need to do this ministry, including a Powerpoint show, product, promotion,
and a very supportive network. He will also have a team of interns to do constant research.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED log on to
www.PhilChalmers.com or call Phil at
THE TOP 12 RESOURCES YOUTH WORKERS WANT. Check Out What People Are Saying About Jonathan's Book Coming Sept. 3rd
That's right, the guy who's been bringing you FREE resources since the late 90's, will have his
book on the shelves of your neighborhood Christian book store this September 3rd.
Check out what people are already saying about this book
C O M I N G I N O U R
N E X T N E W S L E T T E R
HIGH IMPACT SPEAKING, PART II
by Jonathan McKee
JAY LAFFOON HELPS US OUT
Jay Laffoon, Dynamic Communicator Workshop Instructor,
gives us FREE tips we can use in our ministry this Fall!
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
If you have any other youth ministry ideas you want to share, please email me at
Jonathan R. McKee