I just finished The Exceptional Presenter by Timothy Koegel.
Since much of what I do is public speaking in some form or another, I am always looking for good books about the subject to keep me fresh and to always be learning.
Although this book comes from a business setting, there is much application to the preaching world.
One of the quotes from Dr. Albert Mehrabian, UCLA states that:
7% of our impact is determined by the words we use.
38% of our impact is determined by our voice: how confident and comfortable we sound.
55% of our impact is determined non-verbally: our appearance, posture, gestures, and movement, eye contact and facial expressions.
Presentation is important. Now although for the preacher there is ultimate power in the Word of God and that can't be negated, a preacher's presentation style and skill is just as important as well. Koegel gets to a point about clarity and simplicity when delivering a message that can't be overstated. He says that there are three basic sections in a presentation:
Tell them what you're going to tell them (opening)Sounds simple enough, I just wish more speakers did this. You got to be clear, clear and clear. Your audience is asking themselves, "why should I listen?" or "how is this relevant to me?". They shouldn't have to guess what your main points are and where you plan on taking them.
Tell them (body)
Tell them what you just told them (close)
Koegel has good, fundamental stuff about posture, gesture, eye contact, audience analysis and vocal variation. He covers all the basics of good presentation.
I was able to get a couple good new nuggets out of this book but mostly is reminded me of much I already knew. I don't say that to brag on myself, but rather I am bragging on the excellent training that I received one summer at the Communication Center in Ft. Collins, CO. For a whole summer, Campus Crusade for Christ trained my wife and I on communication. We learned and we practiced, practiced, and practiced. We were video taped, evaluated and personally coached. We learned everything from researching a talk, to structuring a presentation and how to deliver a talk with power and effectiveness. This was the best training that I ever received, and the lessons learned that summer have shaped me and helped me until now.
But many people have never been through a communications boot camp like that, and therefore I would say, that the Exceptional Presenter is an excellent resource. It is some of the best stuff on paper, but just like the author states, nothing replaces becoming an exceptional presenter other than practice, practice and more practice.
Below are some "money quotes" from the book that I pulled from Brand Autopsy.