Sunday, October 26, 2008

Guy Kawasaki on Public Speaking

In his chapter on How to Get a Standing Ovation,

Guy gives the following pointers:

  • *Have something interesting to say
  • *Remove the sales pitch
  • *Customize
  • *Focus on entertaining
  • *Overdress
  • *Don't denigrate the competition
  • *Tell stories
  • *Precirculate with the audience
  • *speak at the start of an event
  • *ask for a small room
  • *pratice and speak all the time

Example of a good presentation, watch Majora Carter's here

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Blogger Kansas Bob said...

While some preachers may disagree.. I agree with this one Alex..

"Focus on entertaining" is important to be able to keep folk's attention.. not that it is all about entertaining :)

1:54 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Interesting and actually some helpful tips ... overdress? hmmm.... I am still working on becoming well dressed! :-)

2:00 PM  
Blogger blogpastor said...

I agree with Kawasaki's tips on PUBLIC SPEAKING. Do you think they all apply to preaching as well?

6:29 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Bob,

I agree with you too. Being entertaining is not necessary bad. During preaching, we need to engage our audience's attention. A dry lecture will not benefit anyone.

Of course, one extreme is a sermon consisting of jokes after jokes with no interconnecting theme. I have sat through one such sermon and felt that I have attended a stand up comedy show.

Communications is more complete than Edward Jonathan's times when he can preach for three hours at a time. Now we exist in a different era and our communication must necessarily change.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Paul,

When Guy use the term 'overdress', he meant it in relationship to his audience. He meant it that the speaker must be better dressed than the audience.

This shows that the speaker respect the audience enough to dress up for them. I think it makes sense in this age of casually dressing. Call me conservative but I still am not used to pastors preaching on the Sunday service and offering Holy Communion in their T-shirts.

1:22 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Blogpastor,

yes, I think his chapter on public speaking can be used for preaching too.
-having something interesting to say
-remove the sales pitch. Present the gospel, not market it
-customise to your audience
-overdress or dress to show respect to your congregation
-don't denigrate other religions and cuture (may I add denominations and other pastors)
-know your audience
-speak early
-practice your preaching

1:27 AM  
Blogger Paul said...


Thanks for the clarification. In that sense I do agree. it is amazing the kind of postive response I get even in NZ (causal dress is the norm even for preachers) when I dress up well for preaching - coat, tie, shiny shoes ...!!

5:45 AM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

Agree with you about the jokes Alex.

Here in the states I think that pastors generally set the tone for the congregation with regard to dress.. if they wear a suit then people tend to dress up a bit more. For me I like casual.. I used to wear a suit.. glad that I don't any more.. I like being comfortable.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Bob and Paul,

Bob, I am curious to wear what you wear when you preach and offer the Eucharist.

I guess this is a cultural thing. In Asia, we dress appropriately as a sign of respect. I have a Korean church member who wears a suit to attend Sunday church service. He feels that to enter the house of the Lord, he must be properly dressed.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Paul said...


In NZ, I found out that most (ie if they are not required to wear the dog collar etc) just wear a short (no tie) and some (in colder weather) wear a coat / jacket, some a sweater. Seldom preachers wear ties

After a few months of causal, I decided to wear a coat and tie and especially among the older people, they loved it and told me repeatedly. Took me by surprise. Now many of the younger adults and those my age appreciate my dressing up and tell me so.

In hotter weather when I preach or offer the eucharist, I still dress better than most (if not all). At least a nice shirt ... often long sleeves. Or even ethnic style clothes. Malaysian / Indonesian Batik, Cambodian formal, Indian style "shirt". ...

* I worship in an international church where more than half are of Asian descent *

4:01 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

Interesting question about clothing Alex.. I wonder if it is indicative of some who require their leaders to act the part.. if they don't wear a collar then maybe a suit will give them a bit of credibility?

Scripturally, I don't see that Jesus or the disciples dressed differently when they preached or shared communion.

But if you really want to know what I wear :)

9:14 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Bob,

What a cool red shirt! And of course the cool guy wearing it. No Hawaiian shirt?

11:08 PM  
Blogger stlouismillers said...

Public Speaking is most people's greatest fear.

Here is a site with some very useful information:

Check out the information about Mind Mapping.

It's a great tool for developing, practicing and delivering a speech.

12:47 AM  

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