More things to think about when you are a visiting speaker. The few minutes between arriving and the service starting can be quite busy!
Program awareness both pre and post message – What will go on before you step up to speak? It’s no good having an icebreaker moment of hilarity if they’ve had heart stirring worship for twenty minutes. However, sometimes you can tell that after what is coming before they will need some help to settle and focus. Also, what comes after you? Should you close in prayer, announce a song, simply sit down? It’s best to know! And there may be ways to make subtle connections to what comes before and after, thereby helping the whole service to sit together well.
Personal introduction, by whom? – Will they be introducing you so that people know who you are (and what will they say – see previous post Speaker Introductions!) Or do they expect a brief personal intro at the start of the message? (Or do they like an informal interview intro – I would not suggest this idea, but some places seem to choose it!)
Final audience analysis – As a visitor I always use the last few minutes before the service to get to know the people, either by observation or by probing a local about the kind of people present. It’s amazing what you can learn in just a couple of minutes that can help to tailor the message.
(If you didn’t see it then, also check out the post from December 9th – The Time Before You Speak)