Speaking Tips

Know your audience
Age
Size – small group, entire congregation, several congregations meeting together
Knowledge of missions, Free Methodist World Missions, and the country where you serve (expect that most people in a large group setting will have little knowledge of any of these topics)
Connection point – point of commonality to lead into your presentation
Expectations of pastor or contact person for the meeting

Know the speaking conditions
Size of the room
Seating arrangement – around tables, in a circle, in rows of chairs, spread across large auditorium
Availability of sound system, types of media equipment
Available assistance with lighting, sound, media equipment
Time frame – order of service, expected length of presentation, other speakers on program

Know your purpose and expected outcomes
Write out the purpose for each meeting
Clarify the response you (and the pastor) want from audience
Determine who will make the appeal for response (discuss in advance with pastor or leader of the service)
Expect results

Organize your presentation
Brainstorm and make random notes
Choose the best ideas to expand and research
Eliminate any ideas that do not fit the written purpose
Arrange ideas in an order to best communicate your message (this becomes your outline)
Choose stories of how God has worked in people’s lives to illustrate your points
Decide if any media will be used to support the presentation (See Media Handbook for helps in preparing media presentations)

Write the presentation
Write out entire presentation by expanding the outline points and the stories you have chosen to illustrate the points
Begin with an attention-getting item
Use a variety of presentation methods
Add transitions to move from one idea to another
Make sure material is age-appropriate
Plan the pace – several short segments are better than one long presentation
Include a challenge to involvement
Keep in mind these suggestions:
     1. Be realistic, yet positive
     2. Avoid missions jargon and clichés
     3. Use soft sell, not hard sell
     4. Emphasize “how to” rather than “ought to”
     5. Give personal examples; relate true experiences
     6. Be transparent
     7. Use humor
     8. Say it in an interesting way
     9. Paint word pictures
     10. Offer hope
Edit and revise the presentation – remember, if it isn’t interesting to you, it won’t be interesting to your audience

Practice the presentation
Practice with supporting visuals
Practice from outline until it (or whole presentation) is memorized
Practice until you are comfortable and confident

Choose to make a good impression
Dress for your audience
     1. Choose stylish clothing and hair styles – it’s important to convey that missions is not “outdated”
     2. Colors such as blue or red are considered power colors
Arrive on time
Be careful about personal hygiene

Deliver your presentation with good communications skills
Establish eye contact
Remember to smile
Speak clearly – don’t race through your words; make each word count
Speak conversationally
Eliminate distracting words (such as “uh,” “um,” and “ya know”) and mannerisms
Watch your posture and avoid shifting your weight back and forth when standing
Be enthusiastic
Include audience interaction
Use only the time allowed
Be flexible – be ready to change your presentation if something does not go as planned