When it comes to sharing with others about your mission, calling, or passion for a particular cause, your main objective should be to connect with your audience. Get them engaged emotionally and intellectually so that they are ready to receive what you have to say. Whether you are one-on-one or speaking to a group, considering in advance how best to accomplish this goal is important for a successful presentation. Here are some points to keep in mind:
1. Be Authentic
This is probably the single most important element in relating to others. People will hear your heart before they hear your message. We are each unique and have our own communication style; trust yours as the Holy Spirit leads. Be yourself: express your enthusiasm and motivation in a genuine way, and others will respond.
First, pray. It is easy to become focused on what you will need to do in the presentation, but ultimately, God will give the result. Ask the Holy Spirit to prepare the hearts of your listeners and to guide you in what and how to share. Then start planning. Assess your audience; what are their overall personality and interests? Grab their attention by using things like letters, pictures, and videos; and engage them by inviting them into the conversation and encouraging them to share their own experiences. However, on the other hand, be prepared to modify the presentation on the fly when necessary.
3. Share Your Story
People like stories. We are moved and inspired by them, and the experiences of others often help us to see ourselves in a different light. In thinking about sharing your story ask yourself the What and Why. What touched you and motivated you to become involved in your mission? Why is it important for you to share this with others? When you have clear answers to these questions, and convey them with passion and conviction, you will be able to communicate your story effectively.
They say “practice makes perfect,” but perfection isn’t necessary so don’t stress about it. However, it is wise to rehearse what you will present. It’s possible that in the midst of a good conversation you might forget a key point that you wanted to make, or an unexpected question might sidetrack you. If you have rehearsed (and made notes or a good outline) you’re less likely to be thrown off script. Practice also builds confidence, and your level of confidence will often speak louder than the words you use.
5. Close Concisely and Clearly
When the end of your presentation is nearing, remember these points:
- Be mindful of the time. If you have set an end time in advance (a good idea), stick to it; you want to respect everyone’s schedule. This also allows more time for personal interaction and questions afterward.
- As you close, be sure to reinforce your presentation by restating the main points; you want people to leave with a clear understanding and vision of your message.
- Finish with a call to action. Give your audience concrete ways that they can join in on your mission, and hopefully, make it theirs.
Are you ready to present your mission?
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