When was the last time you were truly effective in front of an audience?
For some of you it is every single week, you have figured out some amazing secret to communication that you need to share with the rest of us. But my guess is the vast majority of us struggle every week to reach an audience.
Recently I have been thinking a lot about the art of asking questions. There is a genius involved in asking a question to which you already know how someone will answer. And further, there is something beautiful that happens when an audience can arrive at a conclusion with limited statements made by the speaker. They feel as though they have discovered something, arrived at their own conclusion.
I am constantly looking for ways to keep my junior high students engaged and not glazed over, and I only have 20 minutes. Donuts make them crazy, my humor doesn’t make sense to them, and their attention span is about as long as my fingernail.
So how are we supposed to make a point to this audience? We have to get them to think critically.
Thoughtful questions that are leading in a predetermined direction will help an audience move with you. Instead of making point after point or telling one story after another, try incorporating some questions.
- Who is someone that you admire?
- What is it about that person that makes you admire them?
- What is the difference between admiring someone and choosing to give your life to them?
- Do you merely admire Jesus or are you following him?
An audience that is thinking throughout your message is not only paying attention, they are challenging what you are saying. Craft your questions, know the spectrum of answers, develop them in a series that builds to a conclusion.
The best speakers out there have figured out a way to engage their audience in a unique way. What are ways that you are trying to improve your communication style?