Mistake 5 – Assuming anything about your delivery
Don’t assume. Find out.
You may be more monotonous than you think. We all tend to think our vocal variation is good . . . range of voice, diversity of volume, length and frequency of pauses, etc. The truth is you probably come across as more monotonous than you think you do. There is a lot that goes into the use of voice in preaching. Don’t assume anything. Find out.
You probably smile less than you think. We all tend to assume our facial expressions are more expressive than they actually are. Most people freeze slightly in front of a crowd. As humans, we are all wired to connect on multiple levels at once. People connect or pull back from each other based on a host of factors, but expression, body language and personal warmth are very significant. Don’t assume anything. Find out.
You might have a distracting mannerism only you don’t know about. Perhaps you rock on your heels, maintain a frozen arm, point awkwardly, do an involuntary impersonation of a werewolf, or a T-Rex, or a traffic police officer. Maybe you wave an imaginary pen around, or scratch your ear, or shrug, or whatever. None of these (or the hundreds of other common mannerisms), are a problem in themselves. But they are distracted when repeated. Don’t assume anything. Find out.
You might have verbal pauses only you can’t hear. You know, like, umm, kinda, know what I mean? You can hear other people with verbal pauses (unnecessary filler words), and vocal pauses (unnecessary filler noises). But you probably tune out most of your own. Don’t assume anything. Find out.
How do we find out? Actually, it is quite easy:
1. Listen to yourself preach.
2. Watch yourself preach.
3. Invite honest feedback from trusted listeners, specifically about delivery.