Simple techniques can help you draw emphasis to the important points of your message.
When you construct the main points, repeat a common word or words in all of them. For example: “Leaders Grow Inwardly, Leaders Grow Outwardly, Leaders Grow Upwardly.” This repetition will help people remember what the three main points are. When you are introducing a new point, repeat all previous points in order.
2. Slow Down
Speaking expert Doug Stevenson advises, “Give your audience a moment to feel and interpret what you’re saying. . . . Feel free to walk from one side of the room to the other in silence at the end of a section or after making a point. . . . During the silence, your audience is . . . processing what you just said and deciding whether it applies to their life.”1
Suddenly lowering your voice can be just as effective as shouting an important point. You can change pitch in the middle of a sentence to emphasize the important word or phrase. For example: “We must not lord it over people, because God has called us to be (quietly) the servants of all.”
You can highlight a key word with a short pause the moment before saying it. For example: “The heart of a leader must be . . . humble.”
When communicating a crucial point, step down from the platform and stand within four feet of one person in the audience. Speak directly to her, making complete eye contact. You will notice that the other listeners automatically lean forward in their seats and are drawn into this focused and personal moment.
Do you tend to speak quickly or slowly?
Does your pitch tend to be monotonous or varied?
What other methods can make main points more emphatic and memorable?
1From “19 Surefire Ways to Connect with Your Audience” by Doug Stevenson. Copyright 2003. www.dougstevenson.com
2From The Encore Effect: How to Achieve Remarkable Performance in Anything You Do, by Mark Sanborn (WaterBrook Press, 2008).
3From “Communicating So People Will Listen,” Advanced Speak Up Seminar. Presented by Carol Kent on August 11, 2008 in Springfield Missouri. Copyright 2000 Carol Kent. www.carolkent.org
4Adapted from Program Plans for Successful Women’s Events, produced by National Women’s Department. No longer in print.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®. COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984 BY INTERNATIONAL BIBLE SOCIETY®.
“Engaging Your Audience” is published by the National Women’s Department at www.women.ag.org, 2020. Permission to reproduce is limited to personal use or within a teaching setting. All other forms of use are prohibited.