Most pastors have turned out to be public speakers as a way of helping their congregation. With vast knowledge of life and religion, public speaking is an ideal choice for a pastor. However, public speaking is different from preaching because they are two different things that require different approaches to meet set objectives. Here are 5 public speaking tips that every pastor should know:
1. Prepare well
If you are a public speaker, you need to spend time to prepare on what you are going to deliver. Spend time researching, reading and rehearsing to avoid having problems in front of your audience. Although public speakers have different means and styles, you should also prepare the materials you are going to use for instance slides, notes, videos, scripture, and outlines. Make sure you communicate with the person responsible to avoid having any problems before or during the presentation. Besides preparing content and materials, you should also have a back-up just in case one fails. You can have your materials in a computer, a DVD and an external disk to avoid having problems in case one fails to work.
2. Know your audience
It is very important to know your audience because that will determine the topic you might discuss among other things. The type of audience will also determine how you are going to prepare, what you are going to prepare and for how long. Therefore, if you don’t know your audience already, you should ask before you start preparing. After you have known your audience, do a thorough research on what is relevant to them having in mind that people are different. Tailor your application depending on whom you are speaking to. The way you speak to Inmates is different from how you will do it to teenagers, senior citizens and students. In case you are given a topic/text or series to follow, please stick to the topic even though you don’t like it. It is up to you to take your time and research about it to help your target audience.
3. Arrive early
As a public speaker, interacting with your audience is very important because it helps you relax and know your audience. On the other hand, it gives you plenty of time to know people you will be working with for example the sound guys, projectionist and other volunteers before you take the stage. You should also arrive early to ascertain that everything is working well to avoid having problems just before you start your public speaking session.
4. Respect time limit
As a public speaker, time management is of essence because there are other speakers who need to use the same stage. You should consider this when preparing to know the content to use, presentation method and how to use the time allocated optimally. It is important to understand that, you will not only bore your audience if you overstay but also mess up the program because each activity has allocated time. On the other hand, if you take much less time than required, you will seem unprepared and this might not be good. Therefore, you can incorporate as much techniques as possible if at all you will stick to allocated time. Giving examples, brief stories, using videos and other illustrations are some of the things you can do during your presentation.
5. Stay late
After you are through, you should not be in a rush even though you have limited time. It is advisable you stay late to get opinions from your audience as well as other speakers about your presentation. This time is opportune to get comments, encouragement and opinions from other people about the topic you were talking about. Since you are a pastor, you can also use this time to pray for your audience as well as providing spiritual and moral support to those who might need it.
Finally, you are supposed to know stage transitions to avoid having confusions or doing it wrong. Understand that how you start your presentation may determine its success. Therefore, by arriving early you can learn when you are supposed to walk on stage, how it will be done, how you are supposed to hand it off, whether you are supposed to pray etc. Even if you are an experienced public speaker, you need to know stage transition to avoid confusions while on the stage. When you are done, thank the speaker, staff, your audience and other people who helped you throughout. It is important to show gratitude.