7 Steps To Deliver Top Notch Messages

As an ENFP I have the ability to talk for hours.  It doesn’t mean I’m always interesting, but I like to talk.  In order to deliver quality message I needed humility.  I needed to discover that speaking means working hard.

An important part of a youth minister’s job is speaking.  If you do not know how to deliver a message to teenagers you’ll have a hard time influencing and impacting them.   While not all youth ministers are gifted speakers there are several steps that you can take to improve.  Here are 7 that I use:

WRITE OUT A CLEAR PATH

It does not matter if you speak off of notes, an outline or a written script, you need to make sure it’s clear.  If writing a script make sure someone looks over it.  If you are going off of an outline look at developing a message map (To learn about message maps click here).

The clearer your notes the more confident you will be.  Take the time to prepare your material before you work on your delivery.  The hard work will pay off.

PROTECT YOUR PRACTICE TIME

Finding the time and energy to practice after writing a message is challenging.  Most times we just want to be done with it.  Or, we have so many distractions it’s difficult to find the time.  Put in your schedule the hour or so you need to practice.  The more time you practice the more you’ll know the material.

PRACTICE IN FRONT OF A LIVE AUDIENCE

A live audience will give you:

  • A new perspective on a crowd’s reaction.
  • Insight into your delivery.
  • Guidance on what needs improvement.

Not only will they give you the wisdom you need to improve, but it is a great way of getting rid of any jitters.  Find people who love you and are willing to deliver hard truth.  It’s worth it.

MAKE NOTES ON YOUR NOTES

While you rehearse it’s important to take notes on things you learn.  I tend to write down places where I need to slow down and change my tone.  You could mark where you need to pause and breath.  When you make tangible notes on your message you’ll have an easier time remember.

VISUALIZE YOUR DELIVERY

If you have a hard time practicing in an empty room practice visualizing your delivery.  Imagine certain people in the audience.  Paint the scene in your head.  

Imagine people laughing, crying or engaging in your message.  Granted it might not happen that way, but it will help you own the material.

CREATE A PRE-SPEAK RITUAL

One of the largest obstacles to great speaking are our nerves.  Whether it’s stage fright or pumping adrenaline you need a ritual that will help you focus.  For me it’s music.  For you it might be:

  • Watching a movie
  • Grabbing a bite to eat
  • Taking a nap  

Do what it takes to get ready.

RECORD AND LISTEN

One of the best ways to improve your speaking is by watching and listening to yourself speak.  

  • Find someone who could video record your message.  
  • Watch the tape like an athlete does after a big game.  
  • Analyze your movements, inflections and content.

This way you’ll be able to point out any moves or actions that make sense.  You might discover why certain people react in certain ways.  Video clears up a lot on what needs to improve.

GIVE IT OVER TO GOD

As a youth worker you are teaching and preaching to grow disciples.  It’s not about you or your reputation, it’s about God’s word.  Handing over what you want to deliver to God helps you focus on what’s most important.  Instead of willing yourself through, allow God to guide you.

Speaking is a gift; however, it needs attention too.  Sharpen your gift by practicing.  Create a system where you can analyze and improve.  In the end all the hard work will pay off.

Question: What steps do you take to improve your speaking?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.