Public speaking and preaching, in general, will produce a significant amount of stress in us, so how do we deal with that?
I'm going to give you just five quick tips on how to deal with that very subject. The first one is probably the most important.
John MacArthur says that he used to read through the Bible just over and over, in fact before he preached on a book of the Bible. He would read that book of the Bible up to 30 times.
Preparation is key. It's been said that if you don't sweat in the study, you will sweat on the pulpit. I don't know about you, but I much rather sweat in the Study then sweat in the pulpit, in front of everyone. And if you're going to be a better Communicator, if you're going to be excellent at what you do, you need to be prepared.
Second, I would say …
Always have a Bottom Line
What is your message about? What are you talking about?
What's your point? When you have a point, the rest of the subject matter flows from that bottom line.
I try to nail my sermons to one sentence, and then nail my sentence to one word that helps me remember what I’m talking about. So, always have a bottom line. Your listeners will appreciate it.
Dominate your content
Be sure that you can dominate the content that you're preaching about. Sometimes we just go in over our heads and then wonder why we're drowning. I'm not going to say don't challenge yourself with new content but preach on subjects you're familiar with. We need to know our limitations. This doesn't mean, you shouldn't stretch yourself, it just means you need to know your content well enough to preach it comfortably.
Fourth, Practice your sermon
When I say practice, I don't mean to go over it in your head, I mean speak it out loud. I know a preacher that preaches huge conferences all over the world today. I remember visiting his house when no one knew his name (or just a few of us). In his home, he showed us a room that he set up with a microphone and tape recorder. In that room, he'd practice every one of his messages. The more you practice your message, the easier it'll come to you as you're preaching it.
Last, Preach it
When it's time to preach the message, just be bold and go for it. You did all the hard work in the background, not enjoy the ride of preaching it to an audience. Don't worry about missing points or not saying something you thought about saying, just give it everything you've got.
What other tips do you have for overcoming preaching anxiety?
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