Public Speaking

I really enjoy speaking. I’m not talking about what you do in conversation, I’m talking public speaking. I have a lot of fun getting up in front of a group of people and talking about something important. And not only the talking, but the preparation! It is one of my greatest joys to tweak something to perfection (of course my speaking abilities leave much to be lacking in the delivery of such perfect content). I enjoy the reasoning, the study, the thought that goes into preparing a talk.

Subject Material
I can think of nothing more important than Jesus Christ. Maybe you could say that God is more important, but Jesus is God so that’s a silly thing to say. I am firmly convinced that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for our sins, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Apart from Christ we will face the just wrath of God as the consequence of our sins. Any talk not about God isn’t worth it. I’ll probably need to give a few of those if I continue as an engineer, but Jesus is who I’m living for. Sorry for the aside, I just thought it was important.

The Nonverbal
While a significant part of a talk is the subject material, over half of communication happens outside of the words that are spoken. That means I’m telling you more with my posture, tone of voice, eye contact, etc. than I am with the words that are coming out of my mouth. How crazy is that! One of the memories that sticks with me from college is meeting with Adam to learn about giving a talk. He had me read a Psalm (I think it was Psalm 23) trying to be as expressive as possible. I had so much trouble varying the intensity of my voice (I’m often a soft spoken guy) that I had to do it over and over. It was a great lesson about intentionally conveying thoughts and feelings in a way that both compliments and facilitates the message behind the words.

Spring Retreat
It’s funny to think back to when I did speak at Spring Retreat. I was so freaked out about being completely prepared (thank you Lee for your incredible input) and was almost physically sick with worry. But when I walked onto the stage, all that worry and anxiety went away. I just talked. I had something to say, I said it, and I loved doing it! Probably the most meaningful thing anyone said afterward was “you should do that again”. I hope and pray that I will get the chance.

p.s. I noticed how I referred to public speaking as giving a “talk”. I originally titled this post “Preaching” but then thought better of it. I wonder what it all means…

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