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6 Ways to Abuse Your Freedom of Speech and 6 Ways to Respect It

I believe in free speech. I'm glad it's the very first thing we added to the United States Constitution. I'm all for the freedom of the press, and I think blogging, social media, and even email (as a mass distribution weapon) are all great ways to exercise this freedom. These new technologies level the playing field and allow the huddled masses to become citizen journalists. This is all good. The only problem with freedom is our tendency to abuse it. I manage …

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How to Tell Stories Like Scott Simon

Scott Simon is a journalist with National Public Radio. He's been telling huge stories for most of his career and he's an expert when it comes to phraseology and keeping a conversational tone. Whether you're telling a story in a speech or sermon, or shooting a short video for a Youtube marketing campaign, Scott's advice will take you a long way. Here's the video, then my takeaways... Can't view it? Here's the Youtube Link Pointers for Telling Stories These …

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What Sets Preaching Apart from Other Public Speaking?

My favorite classes at Western Kentucky University weren't the Religious Studies courses (my major), or even the History courses (my minor). My favorite classes were in the area of speech and professional communication (what I wish had been my major). I grew up super-shy like almost every other Pastor I know, but have grown to love speaking to crowds of people. I'm a student of public speaking, in fact. But when I enter the pulpit to preach on Sundays, something is …

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Obama’s Speech to School Children

Today, President Barak Obama addressed public school kids across America. The video... …

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Boring Preaching Is A Crime

No, this is not a post about the loss of our religious freedom - it's a reflection on a quote I've looked at many times since I first wrote it down about nine years ago at a conference on preaching... If you think the gathering of biblical facts and standing up with a Bible in your hand will automatically equip you to communicate well, you are desperately mistaken. It will not. You must work at being interesting. Boredom is a gross violation, being dull is a grave offense, …

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Pastors: Don’t Forget to Sharpen Your Public Speaking Skills

Pastors have a bad habit of forgetting that we are ultimately communicators. We fall into the pattern of preaching and presenting God's Word the way we always have, or the way other preachers always have. That's why we get made fun of! That's also one of the reasons people don't listen to us. In addition to studying God's Word deeply and serving people all week, we also need to become students of the arts of persuasion, communication, and public speaking. If you can't …

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Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

The title of this post is attention-getting for an obvious reason - most people fear the thought of standing before a group of people and speaking... out loud. I was too, and still am to some degree. When I was a kid, I was painfully and awkwardly shy. In the fifth grade, I had to give an oral report on the life of Will Rogers. I handled it by self-interviewing. I sat in the teacher's chair and rolled left and right, pretending to be Will Rogers on one side, and something of …

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Can You Share Your Vision in An Elevator Speech?

I often peruse websites about web design and last night noticed this article about giving an elevator speech. I thought about how it applies to Pastors. There are often crucial moments when we have an opportunity to be vision-casters with people, one-on-one. It may be a car ride making a visit, coffee with a fellow member, or a staff meeting with five extra minutes at the end. It begs the question, could I state my vision for my church if I only had a few floors to travel in …

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