PREACHING & 7 Golden Tips To Make People Engage During Your Presentation

by Paloma Cantero-Gomez, Forbes Magazine, 5/9/19.

“…there are two types of speakers. Those who get nervous and those who are liars.” (Mark Twain).

However, there are also thousands of different tips that can help you to rock it and even enjoy it. 

1. Start with a shocking fact

Such as a personal story from someone you know (or not) or an astonishing data that make everybody open wide their eyes. Beginning your presentation with something sharp and memorable will immediately get everyone’s attention and predispose the audience to believe this will be something worthy to listen to.

2. Introduce your project/product by comparing to other more successful projects/products

… A straightforward and impactful way to make the object or subject of your presentation seems incredibly important is to place it at the end of a list of memorable and successful things or hits. Showing the evolution from a historical perspective and proving your stuff to be the one step forward will may people prone to listen carefully.

3. Make it interactive

Ask your audience to stop you at any point. Make it a two-way experience getting your audience to feel that they are part of the process or the solution…

4. Make the slide visual. Avoid text

Put an important word in the center of every slide. Or even better. Put an icon or image that make your audience think about this word. White text over a dark background is always a catchy combination…

5. Ask for questions. Praise people’s questions. Answer questions

Get audience feedback in real-time… Many different tools can be used for this purpose. DirectPoll let you create quick polls that your audience can access and vote on from their mobile device while showing results in real time. 

Praise people’s questions. This would make them believe they are smart and they got a good point. Everybody likes to feel intelligent.  Answer every question. Even if you do not have a very clear response. ’I am not sure but let me consult it and come back to you’ is always better than making people feel ignored. 

Ask them if it is okay to move on. This will absolutely help all those undecided souls with a shy question in mind to finally formulate it!

6. Take notes of people’s inputs

…Writing down peoples’ comments and inputs provide them with this feeling of belonging. This is a very simple way to make them genuinely think that what they are saying really make a difference and it is taken into consideration as part of the solution.  

 7. Ask the audience for takeaways

Every excellent presentation ends with a neat list of key takeaways. Engaging speakers do not provide them for free but work together with the audience, so actually, it is the audience who came up with the main findings…

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/palomacanterogomez/2019/05/09/the-7-golden-tips-to-make-people-engage-during-your-presentation/#384f86472f65

#CommunicationCoaching

POWER & Tolkien’s guide to contemporary leadership.

by Peter Franklin, Unheard Magazine, 4/12/19.

… Unlike his friend C.S. Lewis, Tolkien was not fond of allegorical fiction. He had no time for the idea that the Ring – extremely dangerous but hard to get rid of – was an allegory of the atomic bomb. Rather, it was exactly what he said it was: an embodiment of power and the corrupting effects of power.

Tolkien shows us that the only people who can be trusted with great power are those who don’t really want it – or who do, but have the moral strength to reject it. Even then, it’s touch-and-go, the burden of responsibility taking a terrible toll on the reluctant bearer.

Numerous commentaries have been written on this aspect of the story – often summed up by the Lord Acton quote: “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Which is true enough. But Tolkien was onto a whole lot more than that…

Let’s begin at the beginning. The Ring was made at great cost to Sauron, its creator. He poured much of his own strength into an external object – one from which he could be separated, which in due course he was. So why take the risk? Sauron, though evil, was possessed of great cunning – why did he expose himself to such a vulnerability? Did old JRR just not think it through? Does the Ring actually represent a massive hole in the plot?

Not a bit of it. When you understand what Tolkien understood about the nature of power, it all makes perfect sense.

In a letter, he once wrote that the Ring was a “mythological way of presenting the truth that potency… if it is to be exercised, and produce results, has to be externalised and so as it were passed, to a greater or less degree, out of one’s direct control.” This is a crucial insight into the way Tolkien understood power to work.

Read more at … https://unherd.com/2019/04/what-tolkien-teaches-us-about-power/

PRAYER & How to mobilize your church to pray for the nations — here and there.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Almost all consultations I conduct include a strategy to energize/expand prayer ministries. Here are some practical ideas.

by Terry Sharp, International Mission Board, 7/23/18.

Here are a few ways your church can pray for the nations right here in North America and around the world.

1. Discover people groups. 
There are many resources available to help you not just learn about people groups, but offer brief overviews and the progress of the gospel among their people. People Groups, People Groups Info, Operation World and the Peoples Next Door N.C. Prayer Map are among the helpful websites that provide information on people groups and prayer points to help you pray specifically for each group.

2. Discern how to pray with focus.
Your whole church can become involved in praying for the nations. Promote a prayer emphasis through small groups, Sunday School classes and members in corporate worship. You can even ask families to become involved by praying at home for people groups.

Here is a list of prayer requests that can be used with any people group.

  • Pray that unreached peoples will hear and accept the gospel.
  • Pray for protection for those who accept Christ.
  • Pray for freedom from persecution.
  • Pray for Scriptures to be translated into their heart language.
  • Pray for their physical and spiritual needs.
  • Pray for new ways to see and hear the gospel .
  • Pray for government leaders involved with your people group...

3. Determine to begin now.
… Begin teaching your church how to pray specifically for your chosen people group this Sunday. Here are some suggestions to get started.

  • Prepare a PowerPoint slide with your people group information and a specific prayer request. Explain to the congregation that you will be praying for specific requests on a weekly basis. Slides can be utilized before your worship service begins, during the offertory music or as the last thing you do to encourage the congregation to leave with the nations on their hearts.
  • Ask church members to add your chosen people groups and requests to their current prayer lists.
  • Distribute small dot stickers in bright colors and ask students and adults to put them on the faces of their watches or phones. Ask them to say a prayer for their people group each time they check their devices.

Read more at … https://ncbaptist.org/how-to-mobilize-your-church-to-pray-for-the-nations-here-and-there/

PRAYER & How Speaking to a Group of Nigerian Pastors Taught Me Not to Forget the Current Nigerian Genocide

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Commentary by Bob Whitesel: When I taught a group of Nigerian bishops and pastors about leadership, they in return taught me about the ongoing massacre of Christians in Nigeria.  One pastor carried a photo album. And, the carnage of innocent children and women literally made me sick. Read this article about the largely unnoticed killing of Christians taking place in Nigeria and together let us ask the Lord to show us how to help.

2 Islamic Groups Target Nigerian Christians – 300 Killed While 72 Others Supernaturally Saved from Firing Squad

by Steve Warren, CBN, 3/20/19.

The news out of Nigeria is getting progressively worse as it is being reported that more than 300 people were killed in at least seven predominantly Christian villages across Nigeria in February and March this year, according to multiple sources that monitor persecution of Christians.

“Since February 10, there have been at least 270 people killed in Kaduna State alone,” International Christian Concern confirms. “It has been reported that at least 70 Christians have been killed during a 10-week span at the beginning of 2019 across the other Middle Belt states.”

In one early morning attack on the village of Karamai on Feb. 14, sources said 41 people died after 300 gunmen swarmed the village shouting “Allahu Akbar!” as they fired their weapons and ransacked people’s homes, according to Barnabas Fund. It was reported almost all of those killed were women and children along with a few senior residents who were unable to run away.

Fulani Terrorists

Another 71 people were killed and 28 injured in an attack on the Dogon Noma village by an Islamic group known as the Fulani militia on March 11. The 2018 Global Terrorism Index compiled by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) lists the Fulani among the top terrorist groups in the world. “In Nigeria in 2018, there has been a dramatic increase in violence involving Fulani extremists,” the report states. Those attacks are clearly not letting up in 2019.

In the recent attack on the Dogon Noma village, the terrorists were “torching houses, shooting and hacking down anything that moved,” according to eyewitnesses. Some estimated that 100 homes were destroyed in the early morning raid.

Another nine people were reportedly killed and 30 houses destroyed in the village of Nandu Gbok on March 16.

Church leaders in Nigeria have repeatedly called on President Buhari, who is a Fulani Muslim, to take action against the Fulani herdsmen who have been repeatedly attacking Christian farming villages.

Read more at … http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/cwn/2019/march/2-islamic-groups-target-nigerian-christians-300-killed-while-72-others-supernaturally-saved-from-firing-squad

PARENTING & Bending without breaking: What new research is saying about effective religious parenting strategies = balance + faith. #ARDA

by David Briggs, The Association of Religious Data Archives, 3/12/19.

“…Religious firmness integrated with religious flexibility is more likely to result in a balanced, healthy style of religious parenting,” concluded scholars analyzing more than 8,000 pages of in-depth interviews with 198 Christian, Jewish and Muslim couples from 17 states.

A great deal of research has shown parents’ faith can have a positive impact on their children in areas from mental health to developing healthy relationships to being less likely to smoke, take illegal drugs or abuse alcohol.

Some examples from the new research include:

Secrets and lies: Researchers analyzing data from the second wave of the National Study of Youth and Religion found that adolescents who attend religious services more often are less likely to keep secrets from parents. Further, youth who believe that religion is important are both less likely to lie to parents and keep secrets from parents. Key reasons: More religious adolescents were less likely to use alcohol, to have peers who use drugs or drink heavily and to have lower standards of morality – all factors in the likelihood of lying and keeping secrets.

Sex, faith and college students: A study of undergrads at a large public university in the mid-Atlantic suggested that students from families that were likely to pray and talk about their faith together were less likely to have had sex. Greater parental oversight was associated with a decreased likelihood of ever having unprotected sex. And students who were more religious had a lower likelihood of engaging in any sexual activity, and a higher likelihood of condom use when they did. 

Daddy’s home: A study analyzing data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study found evidence suggesting that taking paternity leave, and longer periods of leave, is linked to more frequent father involvement and lower parental conflict among fathers who attend religious services frequently. Fathers who take leave and attend religious services weekly engage with their child about one-half day per week more frequently than fathers who do not take leave.

But not all the outcomes are positive.

Read more at … http://blogs.thearda.com/trend/uncategorized/bending-without-breaking-what-new-research-is-saying-about-effective-religious-parenting-strategies/

PHYSICAL CHALLENGES & 3 Ways to Engage the Homebound in Church Life #HeatherHagstrom,

by Heather Hagstrom, LifeWay, 12/7/18.

Before I was diagnosed with cancer, I enjoyed actively participating in my church and thrived in a young adult weekly Bible study. It was a blessing to worship God and fellowship with other believers regularly.

After I was diagnosed with cancer, I couldn’t attend church or Bible study consistently for seven months while going through a major surgery and cancer treatments. Throughout my cancer journey, the church included me even when I couldn’t attend consistently.

This inclusion gave me hope and perseverance to view my trial from God’s perspective so as to bring Him glory through my suffering.

With the number of people forced to stay home because of physical or mental illness, how can churches include these isolated and hurting people in their congregations?

1. PRAYER

“Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18 (CSB)

Throughout my cancer journey, I was humbled and thankful my church and other churches throughout my hometown—and even other places in the U.S.—were praying for me.

A pastor and his intern met me in the hospital at 5:30 a.m. to pray with me before and after my cancer surgery. My 28 days of radiation promoted prayer as a pastor prayed for me daily at my scheduled times for radiation. Sunday school classes also kept me on their prayer chains throughout all my treatments.

All these prayers helped to ease my fears, encouraged me to persevere, and prompted me to keep my focus on God, knowing He had a good plan for me even in the midst of my pain and heartache…

2. DISPLAYS OF COMPASSION

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (CSB)

When I was isolated at home, my pastor took the time out of his busy schedule to personally write a note of encouragement to me. This helped me feel included as part of my church.

I also felt included in my church when I was able to attend online through livestream and people applauded to welcome all those who were attending online.

When I couldn’t physically attend church, my parents, who were my caregivers, stayed home with me to watch the church service online. They graciously served me communion at home while we watched communion being served at our church service.

God changed my attitude to see my cancer journey not as a crisis but as an opportunity to share His love and compassion with those in difficult situations...

3. ABOVE-AND-BEYOND OUTREACH

“Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts.” Romans 12:4-6a (CSB)

As people from different churches volunteered their time and talents to help me throughout my health crisis, their skills were increased to help others. Many cooked and provided delicious meals for me and my parents through a meal train after my surgery. Others wrote encouraging cards, offered rides to my treatments, and provided thoughtful care packages.

Including me in my weekly Bible study through the use of technologies such as FaceTime and Skype when I couldn’t physically attend has provided skills and resources to include others. All these people were utilizing the gifts and skills God had given them to provide outreach to others.

As I was included through creative approaches, I received encouragement, which motivated me to promote the gospel in my cancer center. Each time I went to my cancer center to have blood drawn, receive treatments, or attend a follow-up appointment, God led me to bring in cancer devotionals…

Read more at … https://factsandtrends.net/2018/12/06/3-ways-to-engage-the-homebound-in-church-life/

PREACHING & Research confirms we usually talk too long. What does this means for sermon length?

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: In almost 30 years of consulting hundreds of churches, the one weakness that recurs most often is that the sermon is slightly too long (I’ve estimated by about 20%). Subsequently, in my own life I’ve kept my sermons shorter than people anticipate (and usually people seem to appreciate this – but this of course could be because of the speaker 😉

Therefore I found it interesting that a Harvard study found that most people spend too long in a conversation. Here is some key takeaways from the article.

“Want to be a master conversationalist? Harvard Research says you have to fix this first”

by Wanda Thibodeaux, Harvard Business Review 12/5/18.

In a study by Adam Mastroianni and Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University, 133 participants were paired up and given a simple job–just talk to each other for any amount of time up to 45 minutes. They could decide for themselves when to stop, and when the conversations were over, the researchers hit them with a few questions.

The results showed that just 15 percent of people in the study left the conversation when they actually wanted to. About half of the participants wanted the conversation to end sooner, and about half wanted it to keep going longer. On average, the desired length of the conversation differed from what actually happened by 46 percent. Lastly, when participants had to guess whether their partner wanted to leave, they were right only 63 percent of the time. They thought it was only six minutes from when they wanted to leave to when their partner wanted to call it quits, when in reality it was 13 minutes.

The conclusion from the study was that, even while we might have a grasp of how much conversation we want, we’re not very good at all about judging how much others want. We also tend not to know that we’re off the mark.

So what does all this mean for you as a communicator?

Simply put, you probably don’t really know when to stop talking, and your conversation partner probably doesn’t, either. … This, of course, means you have to understand what some of those cues even are. Signals that a person might want to politely head for the door are:

  • fidgeting…
  • acting distracted (e.g., looking at their watch, checking their phone)…
  • lack of eye contact.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/wanda-thibodeaux/want-to-be-a-master-conversationalist-harvard-research-says-you-have-to-fix-this-first.html