Creative Leadership

Speakers: Edit Yourself and Leave Us Asking for More.

I went to a fundraising banquet recently.  It was a nice affair as far as banquets go.  The music was good, and the keynote speaker was excellent.  Everything was going well until the ministry leader stood up to cast the vision for the project.  An hour and a half later I wanted to shoot him.  Looking around the room people were in agony.  After all, they had already sat through dinner, a couple of songs, and an unending keynote address.

All the ministry leader needed to do was spend 10 minutes showing the need, and then ask for donations. But by the time the long winded leader was through, the last thing the audience was interested in was donating.  They wanted to run from the room.

If you’re a pastor, executive, leader, or speaker of any kind – learn to edit yourself!  Always leave people wanting more – not wondering when you’ll quit.

Put yourself in their seat.  The tougher you are on yourself – filtering your content, judging what’s important, and refining your talk – the better off you’ll be, and the more the audience will enjoy it and benefit from it.

Anyone else experience this?

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8 Comments

  1. I was watching a service over the net the other night where a Christian artist performed at a church and afterwards got up to ask the congregation for an offering. Just before the plates were passed the pastor got up and told the people he would also be asking for an offering for the church. How would you know who to give to and why do people do this? When I see things like this I want to scream.

  2. This past Sunday our Senior pastor tried to communicate the story of a major biblical character, but ended up giving too much info. I was left wondering what the main point was (and I knew what it was supposed to be).
    I will be thinking through this each time I prepare to speak! Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Oh, and by the way, if you can’t convey a message in its entirety in 25 minutes please don’t preach or go back to school and figure out how to get it done. Think about how long it takes to read the sermon on the mount, what Jesus accomplished in that short time and then measure your next message against that. Should be a decent comparison.

  4. It happened just today when Bill Hybels did a webcast to talk about the 2009 Leadership Conference speakers.  He spent 15 minutes talking about the history and evolution of the conference before even mentioning the first speakers name.

    Phil had a great post on online streaming viewing habits that said we lose 50% of the audience after the first minute.  By the time I dropped of 15 minutes into the webcast, I was probably one of the last one listening.

  5. Recently I was given a valuable box of audio cassettes from the early 1990s of my late Dad preaching. Back then he was filling in as interim pastor for a small church in our home town. Each morning I like to listen to one of Dad’s old messages as inspiration. It’s a real treat to hear him speak more than 15 years after he passed away.

    Near the end of his ministry I’ve noticed as I’ve listened to his sermons that Dad rarely preached for more than 25 minutes. He always interwove his sermon with interesting, practical, colourful illustrations & stories that highlighted sound biblical truths. The Word was his inspiration and road map, not motivational speaking. He stuck to the Bible, and gave his parishioners something to build their spiritual life on, brick by scriptural brick.

    Despite nearly 50 years and 1000s of times preaching…

    HE LEARNED TO KEEP IT SHORT!!!!!

  6. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  7. I understand your point and in most cases I would agree but we’re talking about peoples lives and afterlives here and I believe that with important issues such as these some further explanation can be necessary. I offer in example the 24 hr news channels. I mean aren’t there times when you get frustrated watching the news because they don’t give enough detail or even both sides of an issue? They shoot you a headline with a brief synopsis that most times is very misleading and in many cases full of bias. If you are watching a bad movie you’ll want to switch it off quickly but on the other hand I can sit a watch a quality movie for hours and still want more. I guess I’m trying to say that if you’re a good speaker with a quality message you should be afforded the opportunity to take your time. Maybe the editing should take place earlier…like by the administrators in Bible school or whoever ordains these guys entering the ministry.

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