I was grateful to receive your reply to my last letter and am happy to hear of your strides to grow. It dawned on me that you are probably not used to receiving written correspondents. Typically, we would use text, email, or social media, so I want to explain why I’m favoring this “outdated form” with you. There is something personal about writing that has yet to be achieved through our modern technology. I hope that this ink conveys the importance I’m placing on the things I write to you.
But enough about this, we have more pressing things to discuss. There is an epidemic spreading among those in positions of influence that we ourselves are not immune to. Those who are supposed to be the faces of companies, teams, and movements cannot speak. Pastors cannot preach, teachers cannot teach, and CEO’s cannot present, while many others like them flounder through a basic conversation. There is no persuasion or passion in their words, leaving their audiences confused or asleep. Since they cannot carry conversations or convey communications, they fail in their efforts.
Leader, if you ever hope to move people’s hearts, really change lives, let alone, actually be heard, then you must know the reason for these failures. Many in authority do to reach their audience because they do not read, they do not write, and they do not listen. Yes, these are elementary tasks and that it probably exactly why they are ignored, which leads to the defeat of every authority to communicate well.
When you engage in all three of these areas on a regular basis you exercise the mind, which in turn produces meaningful and effective speech. Reading expands your vocabulary and keeps you informed on current events. Pick up a newspaper or a journal and take time to read. This empowers you to converse with confidence and knowledge. Rather than just knowing the headlines or hearing opinions of people far removed from the events, you become better informed on what is actually going on in your world. Pick up a book, it doesn’t matter what kind, but something that will expose you to the diversity of thoughts, perspectives, and backgrounds this world holds. The more you learn from others, the more you’ll have to offer others and the more powerful your communication becomes.
Writing likewise develops the mind and improves effective speaking tenfold. It doesn’t have to be handwritten, typing works too. In pursuing this, you unleash creativity in how you present what you wish to convey. As I’ve mentioned, writing compels one to put time and thought into what is being said. Thus, the first thing that comes to mind, is never the final draft (and it never should be). Time allows for revision and for your best to be presented and heard by others. Practice writing on a regular basis and you will watch your speech evolve into a captivating instrument.
Finally, Leader, listen. Do not just hear what others say and allow it to escape, but truly listen. Listen well to how others speak. Find motivational speakers, business experts, pastors, and other good speakers and listen to how they speak. Good speakers don’t use words such as ‘um’ and ‘like’ as fillers. Good speakers know the power of a pause. Good speakers use their words and tone with intentionality. Listen for these and discover the traits that draw you into their presentation. The more you listen to strong speakers, the more you will imitate their good habits.
If you wish to be heard, if you wish to impact lives, then you must to rise to the call of the position. Any position with followers, demands that they be effective speakers. You can be that commanding communicator. Read, write, and listen, these will transform your abilities to capture the masses. May your words find the power to pierce hearts and tenderness to wrap them in love.