by: Ellene Meece
In the business world, we are often called upon to make a speech. By definition, a speech is a spoken expression of ideas, opinions, etc., that is made by someone who is speaking in front of a group of people.
The multipurpose of this form of communication is to (1) inform (2) motivate and inspire (3) convince those listening to adhere to our way of thinking. In all these instances, the power of our words is immeasurable.
There have been famous orators--speech makers--who have changed the course of history with their words . . . Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill and of course, Jesus made a few outstanding speeches while here on Earth.
In an article, 35 Greatest Speeches in History [http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/08/01/the-35-greatest-speeches-in-history/], three main components were listed that make a speech great:
Style: A great speech must be masterfully constructed. The best orators are masters of both the written and spoken word, and use words to create texts that are beautiful to both hear and read.
Substance: A speech may be flowery and charismatically presented, and yet lack any true substance at all. Great oratory must center on a worthy theme; it must appeal to and inspire the audience's finest values and ideals.
Impact: Great oratory always seeks to persuade the audience of some fact or idea. The very best speeches change hearts and minds and seem as revelatory several decades or centuries removed as when they were first given.
Another component common in delivering a speech is the ability to connect with our listeners, paying attention to their needs and taking our cues from their responses. And on that level in our everyday lives, we are all delivering a speech as we interact with those around us, whether we have a large audience or a gathering of one.
Proverbs 16:24 The Message says, "Gracious speech is like clover honey 'good taste for the soul, quick energy for the body."
Eugene Peterson in Thunder Reversed adds this rich concept, "All day long we are doing eternally important things without knowing it. All through the day we inadvertently speak words that enter people?s lives and change them in minor or major ways, and we never know it."
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue," Proverbs 18:21 tells us. So, let's weigh our words as we speak. A worthy acronym for evaluating our daily speech is THINK. Think before we speak, text or type. Is it True? Helpful? Important? Necessary? Kind?
May our public speaking and our everyday speech be gracious . . . good taste for the soul and quick energy for the body!
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