In our last two newsletters we gave you steps of how to develop a better
IF YOU MISSED PART I or PART II OF HIGH IMPACT SPEAKING, USE
THESE LINK TO CATCH UP TO SPEED:
For those who are caught up, lets go on to the icing on the
FOUR ESSENTIALS OF EFFECTIVE TALKS
~~ESSENTIAL #1: Realize You Ain?t Nuthin!
The world might think it sounds crazy to squash our self esteem
before taking on a huge task like speaking in front of a large audience, but I
assure you, we?re not killing our self esteem. We?re just realizing where it
Psalm 127:1 reads, ?Unless the Lord builds the house, its
builders labor in vain.? This is true with anything we do, including speaking.
God?s got to be the foundation of it.
Something detrimental can happen when we speak in front of an
audience. Pride can kick in. When people are laughing at our stories,
responding to our insights . . . we need to realize something. ?Without Him, we
In the beginning of the book of Acts, Peter had a REALLY good
day. He just finished preaching a sermon, A GREAT SERMON apparently, because
3,000 people gave their lives to Christ. Then he and John were walking along
the road and he did an amazing miracle, he healed a crippled beggar. The people
respond in amazement, but Peter did something really cool . . . check it out:
Acts 3:11-12 (NIV)
. . . all the people were astonished and came running to them in
the place called Solomon's Colonnade.  When Peter saw this, he said to
them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if
by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?? All the people were
looking at Peter like he was the next Messiah. He had just preached a killer
sermon and now he was healing people like it was nothing. Everyone stared in
AWE! Everyone was like, ?Peter, you are really something!? It would have been
really easy for Peter to think, ?I am something, huh!?
But instead Peter basically says, ?Stop looking at me as if I did
something. I didn?t do something!? (I can picture him pointing up to heaven)
?HE did something!?
We need to do just as Peter did. We need to realize that we are
nothing without Him. And when people see us- we should be pointing to Him.
Corrie ten Boom once said this about people coming up to her
after she spoke. ?People thank me so much and it used to worry me because I
didn't want to get a big head. So I began to collect those compliments like
flowers. 'Thank you,' I'd say. 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.' Then at the
end of the day I'd kneel down and I'd say, 'Here You are Jesus, they're all
~~ESSENTIAL #2: Master the Story
I?ll never forget the feeling I had years ago as a youth worker
when I first stood on the school?s gym floor on a Wednesday night in front of a
couple hundred jr. high students. We were running an on-campus ministry
reaching unchurched jr. highers, and this was our opportunity to share Christ
with them. We had already done a bunch of fun activities, the students were
bouncing off the walls, and we somehow got them all to sit down . . . and I was
next! I remember thinking that there was no way I could ever grab their
attention. Almost every one of them was fidgeting, talking with the person next
to them, and wondering when they could just get up and leave!
After a quick prayer that went something like this, ?HELP!? I
walked out in front of them and started telling them a story. ?About 2,000
years ago in the city of Jericho there was this short guy named Zach. Zach
wasn?t very popular for one reason . . . he ripped people off all the time . .
Here I was sharing a story I had learned as a child on a flannel
graph board from my 1st grade Sunday school teacher- and now over 200 noisy,
restless little pubescents were quiet and listening! WHY? Because I was telling
I learned from the best. Jesus used stories as teaching tools in
a variety of different situations. He used them as a teaching tool to large
crowds: Luke 8:4-5 (NIV) While a large crowd was gathering and people were
coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable:  "A farmer went
out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed . . .? He used them to
Luke 7:39-41 (NIV)
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to
himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and
what kind of woman she is--that she is a sinner."
 Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.  "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender.
One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty . . .
He used them to answer questions:
Luke 10:29-30 (NIV)
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is
 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to
Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers . . .?
He used them to explain himself:
Luke 15:2-4 (NIV)
But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man
welcomes sinners and eats with them."
 Then Jesus told them this parable:
 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of
them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the
lost sheep until he finds it?
Our speaking needs to include stories, analogies, quotes, and/or
examples. These are essential. Really great speakers are master storytellers.
Where do we get these stories. Glad you asked . . . and that
brings us to our third essential.
~~ESSENTIAL #3: Become a
In order for us to be story tellers, we need stories to tell!
Where do we get stories? There are three main resources we can use to find
stories and illustrations.
The first place is by far the best:
1) Stories from your own life. I have a place in
my daily planner where I write down quotes or story ideas right after they
happen. In the last 5 years I have become a mad story collector! I am now
constantly on the look-out for the next funny example, the next analogy I can
use to illustrate a point. If my children say something funny, I write it down.
Become a collector of your own stories- because your own stories are the most
2) Other people?s stories. When you?re reading a
book, watching a movie, or browsing the internet, write down stories as you
come upon them. If you were to turn to the front page of any of my dad?s books
you would see a list of illustrations scribbled on that page. He writes the
topic, a word or two of description and the page # of that particular
illustration. He eventually developed a catalogue of all those references from
all his books so he could easily find them later.
I have a folder on my hard drive labeled ?Illustrations.? This
folder is where I put every story I collect from the web, the paper, books I
read . . . you name it. (Next week I?m giving away a new ?Speaker?s Resource
CD? that contains this illustration database and a four week series called
Jesus: Face to Face. I?m giving this CD to everyone that pre-orders my book!
You?ll hear more about that next week.)
3) Stories specifically from messages you hear.
Anytime I listen to a speaker at a conference I take three or four pages of
notes. I write down every example, and the highlights of every story I hear.
When I get home, I enter these into my computer database for ready reference.
When we use someone else?s stories, we need to be sure to credit
them. Sometimes we don?t know the originator, and that?s okay. We just don?t
need to claim them as our own. There?s nothing worse than a preacher who stands
up and says, ?Last week I was playing baseball with my son and . . .? and then
he tells a story out of Swindal?s new book as if it was his. There is a word
for that. It?s called LYING! The effectiveness of the story doesn?t diminish
when we say, ?I just read a story about . . .? or ?Swindal writes in his new
book about a time when he went to play baseball with his son . . .?
There is a certain story that I frequently tell to audiences
across the nation about something I did when I was in high school. I can count
on one hand the amount of times a student HASN?T come up to me and asked, ?Was
that story really true?? or ?That didn?t really happen to you, did it?? What
would I say if the story wasn?t true? Would I tell the truth and say, ?No, I
was just using the story.? Then the kid walks away thinking, ?I wonder what
else he said that WASN?T TRUE!? It?s a wonderful thing to be believed by
people. Credit your sources.
So be quick with your pen and paper because your next great
illustration might stumble across your eyeballs, ears or fingertips today!
~~ESSENTIAL #4: Master Your Bookends
The most important two minutes of our talk are our first minute
and our last minute. If you just glazed over that last sentence, read it again.
The most important two minutes of our talk are our bookends- our beginning and
our end. People (students especially) decide whether or not to listen to us in
the first minute of our talk. Jr. Highers . . . 30 seconds! We?ve got anywhere
from 30 seconds to a minute to answer the following question in any audience?s
mind, ?Why should I listen to this person?? Don?t blow it.
When we stand up to address an audience, we need to hook ?em.
Then real ?em in for the rest of the talk. A story is a strong way to begin,
simply because people like to hear the end of a story. ?I was standing at the
convenient store counter on a snowy night last February when a guy walks in,
pulls out a gun and puts it in my face!? If our story doesn?t have an exciting
beginning, start with the action, then go back to the beginning to give the
back story. ?I heard my daughter scream. By the time I got to her I saw her
lying on the ground unconscious. It all started on this family vacation to
Arizona. We all piled in the car and . . .? Regardless of how we do it, grab
them in the beginning.
If our beginning was great and our entire talk was fabulous, but
we end on a weak note . . . they might just remember the whole talk being weak!
Do you remember James Cameron?s movie THE ABYSS? What a great film . . . with a
lousy ending. Most people will tell you that it is a lame film. And they? re
right- because it had a lame ending. A disappointing ending also makes a
Don?t end a talk with, ?and . . . I guess that?s it . . . I mean
. . . yeah . . . so . . . that?s all! Let?s pray!? We need to practice our
ending over and over again. Get a story that wraps up the entire talk. Find a
quote that is powerful. Say the quote, and close the talk with a ?let?s pray.?
Most of the time it?s better to just end with the quote and don?t explain it.
So many speakers make the mistake of assuming that their audience is compiled
of a bunch of morons. They end with a magnificent quote or story, then they go
and redundantly explain it. ?You see, sometimes we all feel like we?re on that
beach and those are OUR footprints. We might endure tough times, and it?s as if
Jesus is just saying ?hop on!? Wouldn?t you like to just hop on Jesus?? Don?t
ruin the cool poem with a dumb explanation. The poem?s point is clear.
Our entire talk is important. We want to develop a talk that will
keep their attention throughout. But we need to rehearse our beginning and our
ending more than any other part of the talk. That?s where they decide to
listen, and where they decide if they liked what they heard.
Well . . . I guess that?s it. I mean . . . yeah! Good luck with
your talks . . . and all.
FOR FURTHER READING ABOUT SPEAKING:
Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository
by Haddon W. Robinson
How to Speak to Youth --And Keep Them Awake at the Same
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
TWO OPPORTUNITIES FOR MORE. TRAINING AS A SPEAKER.
1. 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.
2. HOST A DYNAMIC COMMUNICATOR WORKSHOP IN YOUR AREA
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
communication. 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 MINISTRY TEAM
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.
For more information on the details of this FREE training
offer contact Diane at Celebrate Ministries at 989.466.5574 or email
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 side:
THE SOURCE SPEAKER?S 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.
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
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED
log on to
or call Phil at (800) 974-7938
PRE-ORDER JONATHAN?S NEW BOOK STARTING NEXT MONDAY. 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, ?The Top 12 Resources Youth Workers
Want? on the shelves of your neighborhood Christian book store this September
3rd. But you can PRE-ORDER this book next week on our web site. (And wait to
see what Jonathan?s giving away!)
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
If you have any other youth ministry ideas you want to share,
please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan R. McKee
Do you have a speaker for your next camp or retreat?
Check out Jonathan's speaker page and who's recommending him!