Preaching - Lesson 22

Voice and Gesture

In this lesson, you will gain valuable insights into the critical role of voice and gesture in effective preaching. You will learn various vocal techniques, such as volume control, tone, inflection, and articulation, to deliver impactful sermons that resonate with your audience. Additionally, you will explore the importance of purposeful gestures, facial expressions, posture, and movement in enhancing your message. Finally, the lesson will guide you in developing habits for effective preaching, emphasizing practice, preparation, self-evaluation, and continuous improvement.

Bryan Chapell
Lesson 22
Watching Now
Voice and Gesture

I. Importance of Voice and Gesture in Preaching

A. Effectiveness of Communication

B. Connection with the Audience

II. Mastering Vocal Techniques

A. Volume and Projection

B. Tone and Inflection

C. Clarity and Articulation

III. Gestures and Body Language

A. Purposeful Gestures

B. Facial Expressions

C. Posture and Movement

IV. Developing Effective Preaching Habits

A. Practice and Preparation

B. Feedback and Self-Evaluation

C. Adaptation and Improvement

Class Resources
  • Gain insights into effective preaching principles, covering history, essential components, styles, and techniques, and learn how to prepare and deliver impactful sermons.
  • Gain valuable insights on sermon construction, learn techniques for effective preaching, and understand the importance of continuous improvement for delivering impactful messages.
  • Through this lesson, you gain valuable insights into the process of text selection and interpretation for preaching, as well as learning practical techniques for delivering engaging and relevant sermons.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the process of creating a sermon, from text selection to delivery, emphasizing textual analysis and message relevance.
  • Through this lesson, you gain the skills to craft clear, engaging, and memorable sermons by mastering the principles of effective outlining and arrangement in preaching.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to craft effective propositions and main points, enhancing your preaching clarity and impact.
  • By exploring homiletical outlines, you'll learn to effectively develop and structure sermons, understand various outline types, and apply engaging presentation techniques for impactful preaching.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into crafting engaging introductions for sermons, exploring their importance, characteristics, types, and the process of creating a compelling introduction that effectively connects to the message.
  • Through this lesson, you learn the importance of exposition in preaching, how to develop an expository sermon, and the role of the preacher for effective communication.
  • This lesson teaches you to create captivating sermon introductions using anecdotes, questions, and facts, guiding you through research, structuring, and presentation to maximize audience engagement and improve your overall sermon impact.
  • In order to understand the basic subdivisions of your sermon in expository development, it is important to it is helpful to see what the specific members of your sermon's body looks like in standard development.

  • By completing this lesson, you learn to effectively prepare and deliver sermons while focusing on personal growth, continuous improvement, and dependence on God.
  • Learn to effectively classify and develop sermons into topical, textual, and expository types, enhancing your preaching skills and audience connection.
  • In this lesson, you learn the significance of explanation in preaching and strategies to craft and deliver effective explanatory sermons while evaluating their effectiveness for continuous improvement.
  • By incorporating illustrations into your preaching, you engage listeners, clarify complex ideas, and enhance memory retention while learning effective guidelines to utilize various types of illustrations.
  • Explore this lesson to learn how to effectively use illustrations in sermons by isolating events or experiences, refining principles, and connecting with your audience through human interest accounts.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively use illustrations in preaching to engage listeners, clarify concepts, and draw from various sources, while maintaining relevance, variety, and ethical considerations.
  • Gain insight into the importance of application in preaching, as well as principles and methods for effective application, to create impactful and relevant sermons that resonate with your audience.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively apply biblical teachings to modern life, considering various approaches, overcoming challenges, and utilizing practical tips for context-sensitive and culturally aware application.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insights into crafting effective transitions in preaching and utilizing the dialogical method for increased audience engagement and message clarity.
  • Gain insight into various sermon presentation methods, their advantages and disadvantages, and learn to choose the right method and improve your preaching skills.
  • Through this lesson, you enhance your preaching skills by mastering vocal techniques and purposeful gestures, ensuring a connection with the audience while continually improving your delivery.
  • Learn the significance of dress and style in preaching and how to balance authenticity, appropriateness, and clarity to effectively communicate your message to your audience.
  • You learn to effectively repurpose old sermons, gaining insight into updating them for relevance, enhancing delivery, and managing time efficiently.
  • By studying this lesson, you gain insight into the crucial connection between the Word and Spirit in preaching and learn to balance them for effective and authentic sermons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn how to apply a Christ-centered, redemptive-historical approach to preaching, addressing common criticisms and enhancing your sermons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to compose powerful redemptive messages that highlight Christ's work and connect biblical themes to modern audiences.
  • Through this lesson, you gain an understanding of redemptive principles in preaching, learning to identify them in Scripture and effectively apply them to your sermons while navigating potential challenges.
  • By exploring the importance of genre in biblical interpretation and applying redemptive interpretation to various biblical genres, you will gain knowledge and insight into the historical and literary context, redemptive themes and patterns, and contemporary application of different types of genres in the Bible.


Dr. Bryan Chapell explores the unifying principle of grace that binds all Scripture together. He outlines and demonstrates the principles and practice of sermon-crafting and delivery to illuminate the message of grace in each passage, and to submit it to God's Spirit for the transformation of lives through preaching.

Dr. Chapell is making these recorded lectures available for you to access at no charge on BiblicalTraining.org. However, there is no personal interaction with Dr. Chapell in this format. The assignments and activities described are for classes that he teaches in person. We left the descriptions in for your benefit, but we do not offer personal or group interaction to participate in these activities. You can, however, sign up for his new preaching classes at BryanChapell.com/courses.

Dr. Chapell is helped in this course by Zachary W. Eswine, Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program (BSW, Ball State University; MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary; PhD, Regent University). Dr. Eswine served as senior pastor of Grace Church of the Western Reserve in Hudson, Ohio, for six years before joining Covenant Seminary's faculty in 2001. He has served as a campus minister with the Navigators, as a church youth director, and as a chaplain-evangelist in retirement facilities. Since arriving at the Seminary, Dr. Eswine has also served as interim pastor for Tates Creek Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, as advisory pastor for the Chinese Gospel Church of St. Louis, and as interim pastor for Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in St. Louis. He has taught New Testament in Ukraine and served as a short-term missionary in the Caribbean. Dr. Eswine is a gifted preacher and has authored the book Kindled Fire: How the Methods of C. H. Spurgeon Can Help Your Preaching and numerous articles on homiletics. In addition, as an accomplished musician and songwriter, he has recorded three collections of original songs.

Philosophy and Goals of the Course

1. "Prep and Del" is an introduction to the basics of sermon construction and delivery. This is not primarily a course on the theology of preaching, but rather is a practical introduction to the tools, structures, and concepts that help preachers learn to put a sermon together. 

2. Because this course is introductory, certain standards of sermon construction are taught that I hope you will consider "foundational" rather than universal. There is not only one "right way" to preach. However, mastering the methods of this course will help you develop the tools needed for many kinds of future sermons. Students from many backgrounds and preaching traditions have found these tools helpful even as they prepare for other styles in the future. Other methods and styles will be taught and encouraged in future semesters.

3. In Dr. Chapell's seminary class, you would be asked to present some short oral assignments to the class in order to: a) begin integrating the information presented in lectures; b) begin honing your preaching skills; c) and, remove some of the intimidation of your first preaching experience next semester.

(At this time, we do not provide personal interaction to evaluate your progress. We included the suggested assignments and activities to give you direction as you apply the principles you are learning to your own sermon preparation and delivery.)

Recommended Books

Christ-Centered Preaching (text only) 2nd(Second) edition by B. Chapell

Christ-Centered Preaching (text only) 2nd(Second) edition by B. Chapell

Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon [Hardcover]Bryan Chapell (Author)

Christ-Centered Preaching (text only) 2nd(Second) edition by B. Chapell
Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching

Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching

Highly regarded preacher and teacher Bryan Chapell shows readers how he has prepared expository sermons according to the principles he developed in his bestselling...

Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching

Dr. Bryan Chapell
Voice and Gesture
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] This recording is provided courtesy of Covenant Theological Seminary. Final exam is December 3rd. In terms of the nature of the final exam, you've basically seen it already, but a quick rehearsal, there will be some true false. It will be mostly multiple choice. There will be some Fill in the blank. There will be a couple of diagrams to make and there will be examples to give examples like show me a proposition in. Conditional form. A formal proposition in conditional form. Show me a proposition. Formal proposition in consequential form. I may say give me some examples of main points in formal structure. I don't want to see my examples. Okay. I want to see your examples. So something you feel is original to you and represents your understanding of what a formal proposition, formal main points are. That's basically it. Three False. Multiple choice. Some fill in the blank. Not much. Some diagrams to make and some examples to give. All right. And it's very much like the nature of the quizzes. You've seen it. Will I forget what it is? It's roughly 50 questions with some diagrams and examples to give an addition. So if you were to answer all the questions that I'd given at the beginning of the lectures, answer all the questions at the ends of chapters, you know, you're going to get most of it, but not all of it, because there's things like the preaching lectures that you're also responsible for. And, and, you know, I'm just not going to guarantee I'm not going to ask anything else but what's in those questions. I'm going, I won't do that. So you need to have read and be familiar with the lecture material, too. But I mean, I try to give you keys, even as we've gone along of, you know, key things.

[00:01:56] My goal is not to surprise you. My goal is to have you very prepared because humility figure is a little different than the other things you're doing. We're going to be doing this for the next three years, most of us. And my goal is to get us all tracking together and going down the road together. So just on that form, again, the beginning of Lecture 18, we have, what are some advantages of preaching from manuscripts? What's the advantage of preaching from a manuscript? There are a couple of advantages. Preaching for a manuscript has what advantages? Precision and preparation? Sure. Precision and preparation. What are the advantages of preaching from outlines? Spontaneity. Naturalness? Sure. Some preparation, but probably not as much always. But we recognize the the the naturalness and we would have to add eye contact. And you already know that it's been an extended outline, barebones outline. The words themselves pretty much. Explain that. What's the pulpit outline? Pulpit outline, remember, is that last variation, what you take into the pulpit with you is probably not the exegetical outline. It's probably not even the homily article outline that form the basis of your manuscript. But is that final form? What's the thing you take into the pulpit marked up whatever however it is, but it's just a key in your brain that what I wrote down on paper may not be the best thing to take into the pulpit. I may need to rework it again for the visual effect of what I'm taking into the pulpit. And that's just a natural thing that preachers do. And it's not it's not wrong. They go through a few permutations before you get to that pulpit outline. In chapel today is Dan Dorion, by the way.

[00:03:36] So this is one of our truly very, very fine preachers. And if you haven't heard Dan Dorion before, I just encourage you to think about chapel today. He's just really extraordinarily good. Let me pray with you. Heavenly Father, we praise you that you have seen the sanctify the face of Jesus in us. And you do that by sanctifying us with him. We pray even this day, Father, that she would not only be sanctifying us, but glorifying Christ in us by having his word made more excellent for your people. Treat us with. We pray. Father, this day as those who are seeking to honor you as those who are seeking to speak your truth, as those who are seeking for souls who are marching toward hell. To find heaven by the trees of your word. We ask for your blessing and care. We talk about this day, things that are practical in some ways fun. But we recognize that much hangs in the balance of doing your work well. Grant your spirit to impress upon our minds that which we should hold for the years to come. We ask your care. And this in Jesus name. Amen. What we're talking about today is understanding what makes Herman delivery effective in terms of voice and gesture. And as I was just praying, I do mean it's some of this is just plain fun to talk about and you can take it I think that way. I'm not going to ask you to kind of get every nuance of what's said today, but rather to get impressions of what helps us communicate well to people and makes our communication interesting and effective for them. Nothing I'm going to say is more important than this key energy and enthusiasm with sincerity equals power.

[00:05:36] There is absolutely nothing more important than being enthusiastic about what you're saying. I really feel this is important, that I want to communicate that to you. There is no rule of delivery. There is no rule of presentation. That is more important than saying, I really am interested in this and I am really interested in you. And when you can communicate that enthusiasm about what you're doing, everything else kind of falls low on the list of importance. When our manner see that, when our manner naturally conforms to our content. And as we go through the next three years together, you'll hear me said over and over again. Does manner reflect content? If you're saying this is important, are you showing it by the way you present it? If you are saying I really care about you, does your manner reflect that content? So the idea is when our manner conforms to our content, naturally it becomes obvious that our message has had an impact upon us. And that's what makes it infectious. Not that I'm just trying to impact you. It's obvious it's impacted me already and my manner is reflecting this has impacted me and that's the infectious nature of delivery. How we speak with naturalness will become much affected by whether or not we can show this has affected me, and natural ness is the key now for this generation. I teased you about it before, but we are way beyond the elocution movement of the early 20th century when there was a right way of saying everything. You remember that this means we are, you know, and we you know, we had to do something that was And by the way, if you've ever seen elocution diagrams, they would tell you for certain words where your feet should be, for certain words, what your hand should show, the open hand versus the clothes.

[00:07:30] You know, they would do all this elaborate detail of just exactly how things were being communicated in the post Victorian era. We are way beyond that and would not accept it. We are very much affected by broadcast styles of delivery. We expect something that is natural and expression, not flat, but naturally having manner reflect content appropriate for the personality that's speaking and recognizing there are vastly different personalities. But in whatever way you say in your personality, this is very important. That's what you're wanting to communicate appropriate through your personality. How do you say it's very important? The difficulty you recognize is we're not used to being in public situations and feeling comfortable, so we stop being natural. My goal is not to train you new delivery techniques. You know, my goal is to say, be natural and find out what does that so that we kind of throw away those things that make us artificial. If you think about the the power of delivery and some of its basic nature, you know, I don't know a better way of saying it, that the way that Benjamin Franklin once responded to George Whitfield some of you know the story. Benjamin Franklin, who was not a believer, encouraged other people to go hear George Whitfield, the great evangelist of the Revolutionary War Times. And somebody once said to Franklin, why do you go and listen to Whitfield and tell others to go, You don't believe him? And Franklin says, No, I don't believe him, but he believes what he says here, that he believes it. And for that reason, I know that I must listen to him and others must as well. What makes it natural as we begin to think about it? I think I've given you this example before, but just a quick reminder.

[00:09:24] What's an example of natural public address so that you think, how do I just go about this thing of natural public address in speaking when I was in high school years being raised in the South, I went through one of those rites of passage that young men go through, which is known as catfish grabbing, and a few of you may have gone through that technique. Catfish Graben is when you do not use a pole and a line and a hook and a sinker. But when you go along the reservoirs where the big dams are in the south and where all the wreck rack, the rock that is put there becomes ideal territory for catfish. And what you do is you actually get about chest high in the water and you get down under the water and you start reaching up into the holes and you start reaching and feeling around. And you know, if there's a catfish in a hole, it kind of slides the hole so you can feel it. And then you go in and now what you do is you go in and you grab him around his gills and you pulling out and you're not looking for the two or three pounder. Of course you're looking for the 15 pounder or the 20 pounder or the 40 pounder. Now, just imagine this. You know, you have now pulled out a 60 pounder and you throw on the back of your pickup and you don't need gas, but you still pull into the gas station because what you want to do is you want to say while you're pumping it, hey, look back there in the back. And you can just imagine, you know, an attendant or somebody else pulls up their car.

[00:10:50] And how did you get that? And you said I was out grabbing and man, it was so great. I could tell just as soon as I got my hand in that hole that I had something. I mean, it was a big hole and there was slime all around it. And as I reached in, man, I felt his whiskers first and every whisker was as big as a pencil. I knew this thing was going to be huge. And I reached in there and first he put his mouth around my hand. He got one of my fingers. He began to twist on my I thought I was going to lose my finger, but I just shoved my hand into his throat and I began to pull and I popped. Now you can recognize what's happening now as you got an audience of growing, right? It's not just one person. Other people said, Hey, look, this guy's got. And so you begin saying, not only he grabbed my and you just got to raise your voice. Two or three people come, you say, Man, when he grabbed, I began, I didn't think I was coming above the surface again. He was so heavy, I wasn't sure he was going to let go of me if I didn't let go of him. So I just kept pull. I thought I was going to drown, but finally came out. I said, Man, I got the biggest fish I've ever even seen much. Well, you know, now what you just do. You were certainly enthusiastic about your catch. But as there were more people without even thinking about it, you naturally enlarge your conversation. You pick up volume, you expand your gestures. You are always filling the room. You're filling the context so that you're speaking more loudly for more people, but you're gesturing more broadly for more people.

[00:12:21] If it's not even something you think about, it just naturally happens. I will tell you, if you are speaking in a Sunday school class and it's a small room and you've got toddlers, what do you naturally do? You narrow your gestures and you drop your voice. But if you're in a large auditorium and there are 300 people, what do you automatically do? The most natural thing to do is you raise your voice and you expand your gestures. If you're in an auditorium with 10,000 people and some of you in life will be in those situations, you recognize, you don't just expand your gestures, the whole stage becomes part of your gesture, and you begin to expand your gestures by even moving your body back and forth. You're trying to fill the context or narrow it naturally, because you would do that in an enlarged conversation. And when we are preaching in the natural era that we are in, the probably the most appropriate way of thinking about things is we are engaged in an enlarged conversation. It's not drama that will put off people in this day and age. It's not oratory. It's an enlarged conversation which keeps it natural. The implications of this natural public address are these. First, you already know how to do it. I really can't teach it to you. You already know how to do it. The idea will only to be to go with what's natural and throw away what is artificial imposed upon you by the by the nervousness of others looking on. I teach you a little bit before about. It's like when you got your varsity letter, when you were in high school and they called you up on the stage to take your varsity letter and you had to kind of pull away from the table where you were eating your chicken dinner and actually walk up on the stage.

[00:14:11] And, you know, you've you've run down the track or run down the field with expertise. But actually walking up those stairs onto the stage seems so difficult because everybody's looking at you. You know, you wouldn't even think about it normally. The idea is to stay natural, even though people are looking at you and know you already know how to do it. Things we talked about, if you were at the lunchroom and I were to videotape you, what would you naturally do? You'd look people in the eye if they were five people to whom you talk about, you'd raise your voice to speak to all five, not just to one. You would scan them. You wouldn't just look at one. You would look at different ones. If you gestured, which you would, you would raise your hands above your sternum and below the eyes, because what you'd be doing is you would be raising your hands, your gestures to normal conversational line of sight. You wouldn't be gesturing down here. You wouldn't be gesturing in front of your face. You would be above the sternum and away from your body. And nobody would teach you to do that. You would naturally do it. Before we go into all the particulars here, I'm just going to say, if you could forget everything else I was saying here is going to be the basic aspects of delivery and posture. And it's not even a place for you on your on your sheets here. Just something to think about. What are you going to do? Stand up straight. Look people in the eye. Speak to those at greatest distance from you. Stand up straight. Look people in the eye and speak to those at greatest distance from you. When you do those things, the rest kind of takes care of itself.

[00:15:52] So as we think of these basic features of delivery, I'm going to go very fast here. So we get to the fun stuff. What are the basic features of delivery we usually think of to the A in the be voice and gesture. Voice and gesture are the basic features of delivery. We usually break gesture down into a few more things. Number one, eye contact. Second hand motion. Hand motion. Third body motion and posture. Body motion and posture. And four going to sound strange, but you'll understand it readily. Facial animation. Facial animation. Now we break these things down, hopefully not. Again, to go back to the elocution movement and think about how do I do all these things correctly. Again, the goal is to say, how do I keep from becoming artificial? Ralph Lewis, in an important book called Speech four Persuasive Preaching, began to identify those things that actually put off the modern audience. What actually makes people get out of my face? Get away from me? Listen to some of these and you'll immediately recognize how they put you off as well. What actually creates this trust of speakers? He said. Obvious skills, artifice. Cleverness. Loud haranguing. Persistent aggressiveness. I will tell you that one is very common among young people, particularly angry young men, which we can often be in the pulpit. Persistent aggressiveness or neatness. Everything is hearts and trumpets and flowers. To evident use of technical skills. High flown language or again, a very difficult one. Glib tongues. You know, the preachers who just everything is funny just absolutely everything is funny. We love to laugh. We do not trust them. It's an interesting dynamic. What does it reflect on you? Now, granted, humor can be a great gift and use very powerfully.

[00:18:12] But if everything is just seeming to put you on stage, we will enjoy it. But we won't trust you. So what do we do? What are key terms about? All of these things are voice and gesture. If we're not to create this trust, then our basic terms kind of the wash over us, voice and gesture. This is the Roman numeral three. Just some ideas. Whether it's voice or gestures, we want to be appropriate, varied and purposeful, appropriate, varied and purposeful. Now that he thought there of purposeful, I want to tell you again, though, I will tell you in this particular lecture, what are things to be aware of that may create barriers you don't intend. Nonetheless, there is absolutely nothing you can do wrong if it has an appropriate purpose. Well, maybe not nothing. Almost nothing. Now, the reason I say that is I've even as we begun talked about things like grabbing the horns of the pulpit. Right. And the reason we don't want to do that usually is it locks us down and our hands are no longer free. It's actually just kind of a nervous reaction of grabbing things to hang on. At the same time, you can begin to say, oh, no, I touch the horns of the pulpit, you know, and create kind of this buzzer effect either in you or other people you know of, you know, of that sort of thing. Instead of recognizing it can actually say, I really mean this. I want you listen to me now. What did I just do? I grabbed the horns of the pulpit, but I did it for a purpose. I want to say I'm really coming at you now, and I really do mean this. And there can be a purpose for virtually everything.

[00:19:54] I will talk about things like not swearing, and I will talk about things like not creating, chopping motions and all that kind of thing. If you don't have a purpose for it, it actually creates distraction. But there can be a purpose for virtually every one of those things. So if it has purpose, we can't really do much that's wrong. Let's think of some of the relative importance of these things. Roman for the relat Why we talk about delivery. Even a famous study done by Albert Moradian at Yale in the 1940s said this 55% of the message is communicated by facial and physical cues. Say, what are people actually picking up from you? 55% of the communication is facial and physical cues, 38% vocal cues. That is how it is said. I really love you. That's why I'm saying this. Or I really love you. That's why I'm saying this. You know the same words. What message is communicated? 50. He says 38% is communicate by the vocal cues. Only 7% by the verbal content. What is said. In other words, he's continuing that 93% of the message is in delivery. Do you believe it? I wouldn't. There's a lot powerfully being said here. And but Moravian study has been not only quoted many times, but question many times. I think actually Robinson Head Robinson his book on biblical preaching says it the best. Rather than just saying it's always this way. Think of it in these terms. Research and experience agree that if non-verbal messages contradict the verbal, which will be believed, if the nonverbal contradicts the verbal, what will be believed? The nonverbal. Now that I do agree with. Okay, if the non-verbal, if manner does not reflect content, I will believe your manner.

[00:22:02] But now what if they conform? What if manner and content conform? Now what will I believe? I'll believe the content to not just 7%. I'll hear lots more of what you say. When Manu reflects content, a pastor's words may insist, says Hand Robinson. This is important. But if his voice sounds flat and expressionless and his body stands limp, the congregation will not believe him. When we talk about delivery, it's not going to be as important as the content, but if it contradicts the content, we undercut what we're trying to say. So what are some basic features of delivery invoice? You ought to know the basic rubric here. We're trying to fill the room By speaking to whom? You're saying those are the back or in rhetorical terms of those at greatest distance from you? You try to speak to those at greatest distance from you conversationally. And that's a different thing. It's not blasting, right? You're trying to speak to those at greatest distance from you conversationally. So the old line of purging was fill the room, but speak to one. That's kind of like the I like that. Fill the room, but speak to one. It was actually said of SPURGEON. He spoke to a thousand as though he was speaking to one person. He spoke to a thousand as though he were speaking to one person. So you try to fill the room with volume, but still speak conversationally. Some aspects of volume we want to avoid what's too soft. That's pretty obvious, right? You don't want to drop your voice so people can't hear you. Why? Because that would not be natural. It would not be natural to speak where people could not hear you. You want to avoid being too loud.

[00:24:00] Sometimes people get the sense. And what's that voice I hear in my head when I think of preaching? They had a preacher in their youth who was very loud and bombastic, and it may have been great for that generation. It may have been very appropriate for that generation. It typically does not work well in this generation. Now, there are all kinds of cultural variables we need to be aware of. But typically, it does not work to blast away at people, particularly early in a message. For most of us in this room who are young men in this culture, your greatest danger will be drop offs. Drop offs at the ends of sentences. Which somewhat get the notion that I need to speak to those at greatest distance to me and I raise my voice. But then for emphasis, I will say I really mean it. Hear me swallow and drop at the end. I really mean it. And I drop and swallow the ends of sentences. It is something that we need to learn as preachers to be natural in an in large conversation. I push out the ends of sentences. I really mean this to keep pushing it out instead of dropping it off. Because in ways we don't even know that we are acculturated as young people in this culture. We try not to offend in conversation. And so in order to really mean something, we either raise our voice in frequency or we drop it in volume so as not to offend, I really mean it. We go up or we just drop it off. I really mean it and we drop off. Instead of keeping the volume up so people can hear. I do it to this day and people will come up to me after services and say, I couldn't hear the end of your sentences.

[00:25:48] And I think I know better than that. I just have to keep thinking about it and reminding myself so that people can hear. Variety is another essential feature of voice. Three basic types of monotone. What are they? One is low end. Slow. Low and slow is one form of monotone. This was your physics teacher after lunch, but the other and more typical of young men. And this culture is high and fast. It is the machine gun that just never stops. I've got so much to say. I want to get all of my systematic score into this 130 minute message. So we go, you know, and we are just off to the races from the very beginning. There are no pauses. What ultimately happens is there is no variation in delivery. Content is great, but there is just so much so fast that it is just this blur coming at people. No variation and with no variation. It is boring. It is coming hard, aggressive and fast. And that is more typical of us as young men in this culture. Hard and fast, but without variation, it is really just another form of monotone. Not for many of you, but for a few is what's called rhythmic stuff. It's the third type of monotone. That is when I get in the habit of saying everything in a rhythm and you will find people who do that. They get in a rhythm and they can't break it. So it is another form of monotone for most of us. But high and fast is the thing to be aware of. We don't know how to take a breath. We don't know how to take a pause. We can't. We're scared of the we're scared of the silence. So we won't just say I really mean it.

[00:27:33] Stop. Take a breath. And that's why I'm talking to you. PAWS is very effective and adds to variety. So types of monotone. We've said low and slow, high and fast and rhythmic. I do want to just emphasize early on for you the importance of pause when it comes to variety, the importance of pausing. There are two ways that we underline what we are saying in oral address. One is by changing the volume. And the other is by silence. If you want to underline something. Stop talking. What will everyone do? What you just did, John. They will look up. What? What? Why did you stop? You know, if you want to really emphasize something, be courageous enough just to come to a full stop. And people will know you are about to say something very important or you just did. If we don't pause, actually the Blur says none of it's very important. So variation is by volume and by pause. Recognize the great speakers when you listen in. Even just one particular sermon will typically do everything to go from a whisper to a shout and everything in between. But it will be appropriate for the content. It won't just be drama because that will put us off. But if they are saying things appropriate for the content, great variation is warranted and usually very powerful. We want to speak with volume, variety and number three, there is intensity. Intensity, intensity reflects the seriousness of what you're saying, reflects the seriousness of what you're saying. But it also reflects concern for the listener. When I'm trying to be intense about something, particularly in preaching, I recognize I'm not creating attention. I want to show great seriousness for the subject. So that's intensity. But I also want to show compassion for the listener.

[00:29:49] And that's a different kind of intensity. If I'm only showing seriousness for the subject, ultimately I'll come across as harsh. So I have it with as much concern for the subject. So care for the listener. And that's something attitudinal in us that is going to be reflected in the intensity of our words, Richard Baxter said. What? Remember the famous line? I want to speak as a dying man to dying men. I'm that concerned about it. But that was great because we recognized that phrase last year because it showed the concern for the subject. But for the listeners to. Physical preparation. Just going to three quick rubrics here. Fitness, food and nerves. How do we get prepared to speak in a way that helps us? Fitness? You know, sometimes I would think. Two weeks ago, I spoke eight times in one week. And I will tell you, I just get tired. I just get tired. When that happens, I recognize it takes more and more energy for me just to keep speaking with the energy I think is required. But not sleeping much at night can be a problem. Our voice stops working, we lose the ability to speak with great variety just because our throat, our vocal mechanism is itself tired. So just being physically fit and rested are part of good delivery. Food. Now, this is the fun and funny part. What does milk do to you if you drink milk or eat milk products just before you speak? It creates phlegm, you know, just does. And that, you know, you end up doing that over and over again, clearing your throat. What does caffeine do to you just before you speak? It dries you out, dries you out, gives you cottonmouth, as do a lot of antihistamine, project products and so forth.

[00:31:45] You know, the old thing about tea and honey, you know, is is a little bit silly because the tea is actually contradicting what the honey is supposed to be accomplishing. But the notion that people get something warm and lubricated and there's people trying to, you know, get where they can talk. We're not talking about creating atomizer, you know, getting all that ready. But we are saying if you have a lot of caffeine or milk products before you speak, that may very well cause problems for most of you. And it's just something to be aware of if you hadn't thought about it. Other food product things, Aaron. Yeah, I heard some people say that. They try not to eat anything. Yeah. It's actually next on my note here again, we have different personalities and different physiques and so forth. I usually find food is a problem, has too much or too little before you speak. I mean, we just know enough about the way the body functions now to know if you're low protein and low sugar before you speak, you know you're you're going to have problems. So having some protein and some cards before you speak. On the other hand, if you fill up, you know, your system slows down. So not too much or too little. I usually don't like to eat much before I speak. And people are, you know, often trying to feed you before you speak. And, you know, I usually try to take a bite or two or something like that, but I want to regulate more. You know what I'm not want to be silly about, you know, I don't want to create, you know, like I want to preach Well, so I keep this rabbit's foot in my pocket, you know, or something.

[00:33:18] You know, it's not creating superstitions about what you eat. It's just kind of basic science, right? A biology, some protein, some carbs, some sugar. You want to have some liquid in you, you know, or else you're going to get Cottonmouth and you'll slow down because you don't have enough protein to keep you going. You don't have enough water to keep you going. So too much or too little salt products you recognize again can dry you out. And the silly one. But just to be honest here, soda, you typically don't want to drink a lot of soda before you speak because what will you do? You'll burp, Right? So it's you know, our generation drinks a lot of soda, but we're not used to public speaking. So you drink a lot of soda before you public speak and you will be uncomfortable or you will or you'll lose your discomfort in an embarrassing way. Yeah, well, do they have to get. Yeah, I think this culture is very accustomed to people having a little cup of water with them almost. You know, many, many places they put a cup of water up. Personally, I rarely use it unless I've got a cold or something going on. But it's very nice, you know, if you've got a cold or something to be able to do that. And I think most people just kind of excuse it when you pause for a minute and take a little sip, that will help. We did fitness and we did food when everybody is afraid of is their nerves. Right. How do I how do I deal with nervousness? Now, this may sound strange. You actually want to be nervous? You actually want to be nervous now? You don't want to be incapacitated in your nervousness.

[00:35:00] But the best speakers actually turn their nerves into energy. They actually want that little sense of the heart thumping. They want the sense of the palms a little sweaty. What happens to people who are not accustomed to public speaking is they let their nerves throw them. They say, Oh, no, my palms are sweaty. Oh, no. I feel my heart thumping something. Know, And you begin to think, Is something wrong? Now, wait a second. You know there's going to be 50 or 100 people listening to me. Why wouldn't I be nervous? It's the most natural thing in the world. You know, it's natural to be nervous. And if it actually gets me a little wired, gets me a little energetic here, why wouldn't I want that? There are times I will tell you, and it's not where most of you are in life. But, you know, I do a lot of public speaking, a lot of different places. And at times I'll be sitting on a stage in front of a couple of hundred people or something. I'll go, You know what? You're not nervous. This is a problem, or you have taken this too for granted or you're too tired. You know, one of those two things. And I actually begin, you know, if I'm not got a few butterflies, I actually feel like I'm not feeling the importance of this right now. I need to pray about this in my heart right now because because I've become too tired to lackadaisical. I actually want some nerves. Professional speakers do a process of what they call lifting where they actually it's not meant to be new age, but just listen for it, where they actually kind of pull away from themselves objectively and get in the habit of saying, Where are you? Are you nervous? How nervous are you? Is it controllable now or is it not? If I'm too nervous and there are people like this, I mean, some of the best preachers I know still throw up every Sunday morning, you know, because they're nervous and they've got butterflies in their stomachs.

[00:36:42] That may sound bad, but but they're kind of accustomed to knowing that that's my personality. It's my system. It's how I'm wired. And they actually concerned if, you know, there was just nothing going on in their system. Now, what if you say I'm too nervous? You know, I actually feel I may be incapacitated, I may mess up my words. I'm so nervous I can't get my thoughts going straight. Some quick ideas for you. Number one, just walk around one way to get you know, just know the biology of it, right? There's adrenaline going in your system. So just get rid of some of it. Get up and walk around. Walk around the church a time or two. For a lot of us, when we get very nervous, it means just go out and talk to people, okay? Just go out and interact a little bit and get some of the, you know, the adrenaline out of your system by just being in conversation with people. It's not being afraid of the nerves, okay? It's recognizing who you are. Nervousness is regular and natural and just using it accordingly. Talk to people, walk around, talk to the Holy Spirit. Say, Lord. Suddenly down and pray that God will give you the quietness of heart and the quickness of mind to do the task you now cause you to. So prayer is also one of the ways to settle yourself. What I want you to do is not be scared that you're nervous. It is natural and actually quite helpful for the best speakers if it doesn't throw you just because you are nervous. It's natural to be nervous. Some features of gesture. Then, though it's not on your page. The basic rubric is this We want to gesture concepts, not words.

[00:38:26] We want to gesture concepts, not words. If I begin to gesture words, I create all the chopping motions. And I want you to hear what I'm saying. Okay. You begin to gesture every word. That's not really what we're doing. We are gesturing whole sentences and we are gesturing whole sentences. What I just did, I was showing you the concept of completeness and wholeness with my hands. I wasn't trying to say. We are gesturing complete sentences, getting on every syllable or word. Once you say that, it becomes a very natural. It's what you would do naturally. If you were haranguing people, you would do this. But if you were speaking naturally, you should have seen the size of that fish. Okay. Whole sentence comes out in one gesture. So if you can think of it that way, it's not I do it right or I do it wrong, but I'm just trying to communicate a whole concept together. Gestures will naturally take over. How do we do it? Naturally. Number one, remember, the primary tool of gesture is the eyes. The primary tool of gesture is the eyes. Now there's two reasons for this. One, if we do not look at people, they will assume certain things. They will assume we don't know what we're going to say and therefore we're unprepared. They will assume that we are too focused on what we're saying and therefore we do not care about them. We are disengaged from them. Or finally, we are arrogant. If you do not look at people, they will assume you are arrogant. Now, it is important that we say look at people, not just toward them. You actually engage eyes. Now it makes us uncomfortable because I now sell it and I look in your eyes, Oh, he's doing what he said.

[00:40:15] But it is actually looking at people, not looking at their eyes. Tony, you're all the way at the back. Now, I'm going to ask you if you can tell me where I'm looking. Am I looking in your eyes right now? Just looking right there now. What am I looking at your eyes now? Now. I'm not. If we're all looking at people's foreheads and lots of people do that because they're nervous, they look at their foreheads are just off to the side, they will not engage. It communicates fear or arrogance. You look at people in the eye. Now, there's another reason that you do that just so that you will be better than a public speaker. What are you gauging when you speak? If you're not thinking, I got to say exactly what's on my paper. Why are you looking at people when you talk? What are you doing? You're you're getting response. It is your thermostat, your thermometer. How are things happening? How is not how Not only are they speaking to me, how is the Holy Spirit informing me as I speak? As much as we will go into preparing a message, you cannot fully prepare for the speaking event of preaching. It is a redemptive event in itself. And one of the reasons that we want to be looking at people is I want to be gauging what is the spirit doing in you right now? Are you being torn apart? Are you calloused? Are you hardened up? Are you comforted? Dare I say something disquieting that I need to reflect on right now? Because I didn't mean to be disquieting to you. What did I say that upset you that way? The event. You cannot plan on paper for everything that will happen in the preaching event itself.

[00:42:02] And if I'm thinking the spirit is here. Christ, in my words. And there are the people of God receiving the bread of life. What are they communicating to me about what's going on? And even as I am speaking, I am turning up the volume, turning down the intensity, increasing the love, repeating what I said in a better way. All kinds of dynamics by which I am responding to what the spirit is now doing in this place. And that's part of why I'm looking at people, Christine. Oh, that's a great question. What do you do if you look at and get mixed readings? Pay attention to those you trust. I think that's part of knowing the people. And, you know, there are people that, you know, that is not a good barometer person. That's a very good barometer person. Sometimes, by the way, the very bad barometers, you become aware something is happening in the service to that person. And I want to pay attention because they don't normally react. Something's happening and I want to be aware of that. Michael. Yeah. Correct. Yes, dear. Michael's question, what do you do when you see that what you've said has had a reaction more or different than what you expected and you may actually recognize somebody was offended by what you said, hurt by what you said, and you didn't mean for it to happen that way. I would say if in the moment you recognize how it occurs and I've done it many, many times at all different levels, I have said things that I've actually watched people physically flinch when I said it, and then I will put that away. I did not mean, you know, they read into that something and I go back and say, Now what I mean is and right in that moment I will say what you are hurt in a way I did not intend.

[00:43:41] Other things will happen. Sometimes you'll say things and people will find it very humorous. They may even find it obscene. And you didn't mean it that way. You mean, you know, we're going to have double entendres and you didn't mean it that way. Now, sometimes you've got to keep going, ignore it, you know, just keep going. Other times you have to say, I didn't mean it that way. So it is some reflect and I just think if your head is buried in your notes. You're not picking up on any of that. So there is all this prudential judgment posturing that's going on while you're preaching. I said it. I guess I really mean it more than I am able to underline this moment. The preaching itself is a redemptive event itself is a redemptive event. And if you believe it, that's where you are. You are very sensitive to what the spirit is doing in the occasion. And you cannot do that if you don't look at people. So the primary aspect of gesture is the eyes. Other tools of gesture. Facial animation. Facial animation. How do we make our faces move? We've covered it before. How do you just kind of make sure that people see your effect? The effect of the message on you. What's the best thing you can do to break up the flatness and somberness of your face? What can you do? You just smile. I used to have to write it in my notes. I really did. I used to write it right in my notes because I was so intense, you know, that that people would tell me, Why are you mad all the time? You know, I just had to write about smile, you know, and get, you know, just break the ice and that will help.

[00:45:14] I love the way SPURGEON tease young men to try to get them to do that. He said it this way When you speak of heaven, let your face light up and be irradiated with a heavenly gleam. Let your eyes shine with reflected glory. And when you speak of hell, well, then your everyday face will do that. Well, he was saying you're not speaking of hell all the time. So if you're in talk about joy, would you please look like it? Facial animation hands. We've talked enough about it, but the quick things again, what do you do with your hands above the sternum? Away from the body? What? Speak of speakers who are very comfortable and compared to those who are not even people who are uncomfortable in public address raise their hands above the sternum. Watch whether elbows go, they keep their elbows in close to their body. Okay. And what does this look like? I'm scared. This is exactly what's going on. People who are very comfortable, their elbows come away from their body and they just the gestures are away. They're not in here. Within the plane of my body. Right in here. They're not in here. They're above the sternum and they're away from the body. Breaks the plane here of the body. They just come out because I'm gesturing. And that's the natural thing to do within line of sight, of conversational line of sight. We keep our hands where they are to keep our hands free. Remember where we put them on the pulpit if we don't want them kind of hanging at our sides, where do we put them? Keep them ready for use in front of the pulpit. Just let them lie there and there. You know, they're just so ready and you won't even think about it.

[00:46:53] You know, you have the hand gesture now, you know, your hands just naturally do what you're saying. If you grasp and hold on, that typically undoes it. So available for use is what you're trying to do. We've set up lots of conversation about where your hands go in your pockets and so forth and so on. Hands go in the pockets. It means informal. I'm at ease. Trouble with hands in the pocket is they now stop working. So you find people who are scared and nervous, put their hands in their pockets, and then they start gesturing with their shoulders, you know? Or else they stand like statues like this. Very common for men. Watch them in this culture today. Hand in pocket, one on the pulpit. Cross the leg. Okay. And I'm just now locked down. You're not going to bother me now. But I'm not going to say much to you either. Okay. I'm locked down to keep from being affected by this dynamic. Now, it can be very effective to put a hand in the pocket. If I want to communicate. I'm being casual and being informal so it can have a purpose. But just being locked down is usually not what you want. Body motion. Facial Animation. Hands. Body motion. Just don't be afraid to move. Lots of discussion in our culture today. Some people very concerned if you move outside the pulpit because in their church, in their culture, the pulpit communicates the authority of the word. So they don't like your moving away from the pulpit. Others in our culture, particularly younger generation, very much want you to move away from the pulpit because they want the identification factor. What's right, what's wrong? Execute the congregation. Execute the culture. Make pastoral, prudent decisions.

[00:48:34] If I had my personal choice, I probably wouldn't have pulpits. But I recognize that's not going to work in most of the cultures I go to. So they have their pulpits. Their tradition of honoring the word. I would rather connect with people, but I recognize most of what people want to do, and I respect that and want to honor it. Some standard rules for all gestures. You want to be free and frequent. Free and frequent. So keep my hands free and typically gesture frequently. I would not advise you to do this, but just kind of a rule of thumb for public speakers is to gestures per sentence is the way to train it. I'll say do it in every sentence, but two gestures then in this culture, stop moving. So, you know, if you're just practicing, two gestures per sentence is a way to train and you just kind of get the habit of movement and things going on like that. Second standard rule beyond free and frequent is expand or narrow. For the context, expand or narrow gesture for the context. In a small, sunny school room, you're now or your gesture in a large auditorium, you'll expand your gesture. Common force for all gestures, repetitive motions, common faults, repetitive motions. All chopping, swaying, bouncing, rocking back and forth. All those repetitive motions are typically quite distracting, particularly if somebody sees it. Then they can't watch. They can't not see you doing it. Once I've picked up that you're swaying. I can't stop noticing that you're swaying, you know, and it becomes very distracting. Clasped gestures, all forms of clasping, you know, clasping my hands in front behind four men in this culture, holding my wedding ring. Twisting my wedding ring. Very common for males in this culture.

[00:50:35] Inadvertent gestures. Inadvertent gestures. This, of course, can be all kinds of touching my face, you know, my hair concern, licking my lips, things I'm not aware that I'm doing. But it is why we videotape here, right? I mean, it just kind of takes one time of counting how many times you've licked your lips in that one paragraph to kind of say, you know, I better not do that. You know, it just become and become aware of things general rules for delivery. We want to be as purposeful as possible and we want to be as natural as possible. But those are the basic rules. We want to be as purposeful as possible and as natural as possible, if it's. If it's purposeful. You will feel that your manner and content are coming together. And you can do things that even seem quite odd for public speakers. But if you're trying to communicate something strongly with it, it can well serve you. But you do want to be natural. It is the era that people very much expect us to be real, to be authentic, to be personable. I usually speak a lot more sedately in chapel sermons. Some of you see me in other places and you say, Man, you're a lot more animated when you're other places. And I confess, that's true. You know, this is an academic setting, and people typically affect one to be a bit more constrained. When I'm out in churches, other places, I typically know people are expecting greater animation, and I don't think about that. I'm just reacting to what I know the context requires, and I think you will do the same. I will tell you, as I look at, you know, now almost 20 years of teaching guys to preach.

[00:52:22] My greatest concern for most guys trained in academic setting is to help them to be more natural in their animation, to be more animated and enthusiastic. We typically, in seminary settings, permit produce very scholarly messages. When you begin to pastor people, you begin to reach far more for their heart. Head doesn't get ignored, but we typically ignore or at least minimize the heart in academic settings and go after the head. I think when you're in pastoral settings, you invert that. You go after the heart. You don't ignore the head, but the heart becomes your greater concern. And we will work hard on that as we move forward. Now, I've mentioned to you, I had I had the sadness of following a man in the pulpit who was in the pulpit for 50 years. But in the last 15 to 20 years, he wept in every sermon. And the people 15 years later laughed about it. It was too emotive. So to to show the feeling of deep emotion, including the ability to weep is one thing, but to not be able to control it or to seem to manipulate by it is something else. So I think to know one's own personality, if I know this is going to be very tender, I want to prepare myself emotionally for it. Now, I don't know if you were where I was earlier this fall, I did a sermon, funeral sermon for a man who had been my worship leader for about ten years. And, you know, I could not stop crying. I mean, I felt bad about it, but I just could not stop crying in the sermon. You know, I loved him greatly. And I don't remember ever being in a sermon where that happened.

[00:54:09] I've wept at many funerals that I preached, but that one touched me so deeply. It was hard for me to stay in control. But I recognize I have to keep going. What I want to communicate is great care for this person, but also the hope and the gospel at the same time. And that was very painful for me. But I wanted to say even in my tears. I know where this man is, and I rejoice in that, even though I deeply grieve for this moment. So I kind of said, I want to show both. I want to show authenticity. I even feel like that, even a saying planning in some way. I really only want to plan to be authentic. I just want to preach my heart. That's all I want to do. And when I'm doing that, I think sometimes there will be tears, but there will always be tears for those who are more sensitive of spirit. If you know there will be tears too often. I think you have to prepare for that and say, I can't do this all the time and be aware of that. Four. Thank you. Some when to sit and when not to sit and stand or kneel or whatever. I sometimes sat when I preached, but then I had a broken leg. If you went back to the synagogue practice, if you were going to make that normative, it would say you stand when you read the word and sit when you comment on it. But I don't know many people who do that. Now, I do know people in very kind of Gen-X type churches who take a stool up on the stage and they very, you know, they're never going to wear a coat and tie and that sort of thing.

[00:55:42] And they are very much wanting to communicate informality. And for those persons, I would say, you know, kind of setting occasionally and then standing up to make a point, you know, is something they are doing with some sense of what they're trying to communicate about identification. So I'll go back to, you know, know your people and know what you're accomplishing. To sit is going to communicate. I'm not. Being very formal in this moment. And if that's what you want to communicate, that will do it. But to say I'm being very formal and very serious right now and to sit down probably will not communicate that in this culture. You know, you're going right where we are. So let me just keep you on, okay?