“Lord, I agreed to go wherever you lead me but public speaking?”
I took a breath, and I leaned against my bed pillows. My “chicken” thoughts tried to reason a solution. Maybe, I should pull the sheets over my head, pretend I was praying in my sleep and start again after a quick snooze.
Have you ever had God lead you into something unnatural? Well, at least unnatural for you. Sharing our faith is part of being a Christian, but wait a minute, public speaking? Sometimes, giving your testimony, leading a Bible study, or speaking to a group can be intimidating.
Public speaking may seem unnatural and scary, but fear cannot silence the voice of the redeemed.
My Spiritual Selfie
God likes to start my mornings with questions. I struggle to answer them because they often expose my weaknesses and fears. Often, another familiar voice chimes in—me. Maybe, it’s just my weird thoughts and not God. I know, I’ve gone crazy, and I have a split personality.
After a cup of tea, I realize what is true and false. God’s voice is never fear-driven. God’s voice is loving and full of hope and possibilities. God helps me face my spiritual “selfie” that compels me to marvel at His loving patience and grace.
God asks hard questions, not to just expose a need, but to fill it. He wants to unlock hidden gifts. He desires to give us spiritual and tangible increase for His Kingdom purposes.
Jesus was a Public Speaker
Throughout the Bible, we find a legacy of inspirational speakers: Jeremiah, Joshua, Peter, Steven, Paul, and more.
Jesus was a public speaker. He connected with people. He was conversational, wise, succinct and a great storyteller. He amazed the skeptics, comforted the broken, and gave hope to the lost.
Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he left us with this Great Commission:
We can’t “proclaim” if we’re afraid to speak! (I’m just saying.)
The Mission Field of Public Speaking
In 2007, I joined an organization called Toastmasters International. The thought of memorizing a speech terrified me. How could I remember an entire speech when I couldn’t remember to stop by the store and get bananas on my way home!
However, God didn’t ask me to memorize a speech, He asked me take the next step. The funny thing about repeated steps, eventually they take you to new places. For me, it was a women’s groups, breakout sessions, conference workshops and event speaker.
This year, I competed in Toastmasters’ annual speech contest. The competition has various levels beginning with club level, then area, division, and district. I made it to the District Conference, and after my speech, I waited for the judge’s results.
So many thoughts went through my head while I waited for the announcement. Did I go over my allotted time? Was I disqualified?
My concern wasn’t about winning or losing, but about disappointing God. I wanted to represent Him well and offer a message of inspiration with excellence.
“…and our first place winner, who will continue to represent District 33 at this year’s Toastmasters International Conference is…Marisa Shadrick.”
I stood holding the District’s 1st Place trophy, and I remembered God’s direction. I remembered He had called me to God-size living. All I had to do was take the next step.
7 Public Speaking Tips
Is God leading you to public speaking? Perhaps you’re the voice for a radio program, podcast, or conference. Are you ready to take the next step? Here are 7 Public Speaking Tips to help you get started.
1. Make your message about the audience.
2. Share advice that is exemplary of Godly character.
3. Your audience is your mission field, so pray for them before you speak.
4. Don’t focus on the result; focus on your next step of obedience.
5. Maintain a grateful heart because God is your life coach and mentor.
6. Ask for prayer support and keep a praise journal.
7. Enjoy the journey, and don’t take yourself too seriously.
You are the Voice of the Redeemed
Are you ready for some God-size living? God gives us assignments that are bigger than ourselves because it creates a deeper dependency on Him. You are the voice of the redeemed. How is God leading you to share His message of hope? Share your calling in the comments below.
I used a COMPEL Enhancement/Tips: subconscious narrative and sticky statements.