I realize that we pastors are going way beyond motivational speaking in our sermons. We are sharing the gospel and leading people to the cross. But we are still speakers and communicators nonetheless, and our effectiveness and influence depend on our understanding something about the nature of speaking.
Seth Godin, a marketing guru with much to teach the church, wrote about speaking and had this to say:
Speaking in public: two errors that lead to fear…
1. You believe that you are being actively judged
2. You believe that the subject of the talk is you
When you stand up to give a speech, there’s a temptation to believe that the audience is actually interested in you.
This just isn’t true. (Or if it is, it doesn’t benefit you to think that it is).
You are not being judged, the value of what you are bringing to the audience is being judged.
And he goes on to say:
The members of the audience are interested in themselves. The audience wants to know what they can use, what they can learn, or at the very least, how they can be entertained.