I clearly recall some of the times when I have been privileged to hear Dr. Billy Graham. What power and authority is released through the preaching of this man! It is a combination of the power of God and the cooperation of man.
He is an example of how wonderfully a human being can become a channel for the wisdom and counsel of God to be brought to men.
Truly, preaching is a high and holy task. A person called to this work must feel honored indeed. Anyone called to fulfill this role should surely dedicate himself wholeheartedly to ensure the highest possible level of effectiveness.
C. VITAL EQUIPMENT
I would like to speak to you now about three things which are vital to effective preaching: VISION, VOCABULARY AND VOICE!
Every preacher needs a vision. By this I mean a concept of what his ministry can achieve in God.
Our vision is that concept of the ultimate achievement towards which we move through life. You could say it is a dream of what you can ultimately be for God and the function you can fulfill to His glory.
Every preacher needs such a vision to motivate him. He needs a definite, ultimate goal to move towards – something to strive for, something to achieve; something for which it is worth sacrificing; a goal which will bring out the best in him.
Most preachers encounter plenty of discouragement one way or another. They need something which will counterbalance this and eventually make everything worthwhile. Unless you have an inner awareness of God’s ultimate purpose for you, you could be overcome with discouragement and fail to achieve your divinely appointed goal.
A preacher’s vocabulary is composed of the number of words he knows and with which he is familiar. Obviously, words are the tools which a preacher employs in the pursuit of his calling. The more words he knows and understands, the more fluent and expressive he can be.
Words are to the preacher what brush and paint are to the artist. A preacher can paint vivid pictures with words. As he describes a scene, his audience can almost see what he describes. Words are so important to an effective communicator. A preacher without words is a tradesman without tools.
As a preacher, you must be interested in words. Try to read widely, for reading good literature will enrich your vocabulary. Whenever you encounter a word you are not familiar with, investigate it. Find out what it means. Add it to your collection. Begin to use it in its right context and application.
Build up your vocabulary; you will become more fluent as you do. People will listen to you with much more interest, if you can adequately communicate your topic.
Surely the voice is a preacher’s greatest natural asset. Therefore, you should endeavor to take good care of it. You should always be aware of your voice and seek to improve your use of it.
D. PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC SPEAKING
Here are a few principles about which a public speaker should be mindful:
Correct breathing is extremely important for a speaker.
- Practice breathing through your nose.
- Breathe deeply right to the bottom of your lungs.
- Practice filling your chest and lungs with air.
- Hold it and then breathe out slowly. Control the expiration.
- Let the air come right up from the bottom of your lungs, through your larynx (voice box) and hit the roof of your mouth. The roof of your mouth should act as a sounding board. When you bounce your voice off your palate, it will gain extra resonance. Learning to do this correctly will strengthen your vocal chords.
Articulation is the art of uttering speech clearly. An articulate person speaks very clearly. He is easy to understand. He pronounces his words well.