I recently asked a member of the millennial generation to give me some honest feedback and advice on speaking. Specifically, on a recent message I had preached. Not just any millennial, this is my favorite millennial… my son, Andrew. While he doesn’t pretend to speak for all in his generation, he does bring with him a perspective gathered from his diverse background (from the Bluegrass of Kentucky to the eclectic universe of So Cal) and experience (student, guitarist, academic advisor, worship leader, student ministries pastor, foreign missions and world travel)…
Here were his top three critiques and action points…
1 – Cut down on (or just cut out) alliterations. In other words, don’t use wordplay and/or other “gimmicky” sounding techniques. Trust the audience and the Holy Spirit to connect on and remember what only they know they need to.
2 – Ask questions. Don’t just dispense insight. Use the power of questions to prompt people to dig deeper for themselves, question the obvious and apply truth for living in the real world. Don’t assume or “add” to the text (Scripture or other sources) what isn’t there. Do follow Jesus’ example and ask better questions.
3 – Less is more. Not in depth, mind you… in length. There is nothing wrong with speaking over 20-30 minutes. However, you better make sure your content is valuable and speaking practically into the lives of your target audience. Especially when it comes to young people, they simply don’t and won’t have time to waste on anything else.
Admittedly, part of me said, “Ouch!” The rest of me is grateful to have someone speak into my life so that I can be better at sharing the most important information ever communicated to humanity, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Communicating well is a class that is always in session. Thanks, Andrew, for schooling me with a fresh perspective on the art of speaking.