THE POWER OF PASSION
Here’s something ministers know that many people do not.
“You can teach anything you know, but you can only preach what you feel.”
If you want to move people rather than just educate them, you have to engage with passion.
Most ministers have learned this truth through painful experience. They have endured the frustration of giving a sermon that is being listened to by polite, yet clearly bored people. When they do their post-sermon review, they remember that when preparing the sermon, they personally felt unmoved by the material. They understood it well, and it was no doubt solid truth, but they were left feeling indifferent to its content. They “kick themselves” later for taking such personally dull content to their pulpits. Knowledge (to be transformational) has to engage the emotions. Any speaker, who attempts to deliver material of which they have not discovered an emotional hook that will capture his listeners, is ensuring a disengaged audience. Only speakers who have audiences that are required to listen, like college and high school teachers, can indulge in this kind of presentations.
Have you ever listened to a speaker and wondered if she was as bored by her speech as you are? Have you mentally checked out during a speech, while the presenter droned on with seemingly endless points that were unrelated to your business and life? Or, perhaps you have felt yourself captivated by a presenter who caused you to lose track of time as she shared stories of success and personal impact. The difference between these speakers was passion.
Passion is like charisma. It’s hard to define, but it is easy to spot. Speakers that bring passion to their presentations are delightfully captivating and you always leave motivated to make some change in your life.
How can you get passion into your speech?
- Speak only about things that move you personally
- Speak with clarity rather than industry jargon
- Speak with your entire body, not just your words
- Speak with intensity, as if this were the last speech you’ll ever give
- Speak with connection, look at the eyes of your listeners, not your power point
If you are given the opportunity to give a presentation, no matter the size of the audience, refuse to speak until you have found an emotional connection in the material that moves you personally. Then get up and give your speech with passion.
You will be asked back to speak again.
Remember, you can teach anything you know, but you can only preach what you feel.
P.S. Be patient with your minister. He has to give a speech every week! That’s a lot of passion to create.