Keys to Communication!

IMG_1240I recently posted on Communication Carries Anointing and emphasised the importance of developing communication skills, both of a conversational and corporate nature. Here are some further tips to take your communication to the next level.

1 Big Idea! All good communication theory emphasises the centrality of 1 big idea. No matter what you are reading or who you are listening to, ask yourself 2 questions, “What is the writer/speaker talking about?” AND “What is the writer/speaker saying about what they are talking about?” In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul is talking about “Love” but in context of 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 he’s saying that love should be the motivation for why we do what we do, especially in the arena of spiritual gifts. Listen and look for the 1 big idea. A great read on this is “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon Robinson.

Clarity trumps clever! A lot of us want to be clever but very few of us can pull it off. However, clarity will trump clever every time. Stop trying to be clever and work hard on making your ideas as concrete and clear as possible and people will connect with them more. Confusion in the pulpit will lead to confusion in the pew. Putting your ideas to paper helps clarify them. A great resource for this is a book titled “Make it Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath (I think).

Anointing doesn’t make up for lack of discipline! Practice, Practice, Practice. Every Friday morning for 2 years I practiced my weekend sermon in an empty auditorium with my parents listening and critiquing my content and presentation.

Tell lots of Stories! Everyone loves a good story. A good story will communicate your principle for you. Learn to tell stories well by finding them in your everyday life and start sharing them with anyone who will listen. The more you tell, the better you’ll get.

Listen to Good Communicators! There are a plethora of opportunities to listen to great communicators. Don’t just listen to be entertained but go behind their communication and listen for how they approached their subject. TED and iTunes is a good place to start. Check out Corey Turner Ministries (shameless plug 🙂

Develop Conversational Intelligence! Read Conversational Intelligence by Judith Glaser and put the principles into action.

Read and Listen! The more you read the more you’ll deposit into your mind a dictionary of words that you can pull out as you need them. Listening improves speaking. Ask good questions and then listen for the response. Log the response away in your heart and act on it at your next opportunity.

Structure your Outline! Don’t outline your notes into paragraphs but develop structure. Write your point and then explain your point, illustrate your point and apply your point. Transition to the next point and repeat the process.

Pray, Pray and Pray Some More! Our words are fruitless without the Holy Spirit. Ask for fresh fire and flow with the leading of the Spirit as you speak.

Your Future is in your Mouth!

images-15When you pray, whatever you desire, believe that you have received it and it will be yours. Mk 11:24

Too many of us “pray the problem” when we should be “prophesying the solution”. Jesus didn’t say ‘pray the problem’, he said, ‘pray your desire’ and believe that you have received it. Your prayer life may need a renovation. You may be guilty of praying too much, ‘Houston, we have a problem’, rather than, ‘Heaven has a solution’. It’s too easy to become pre-occupied with our problems than to pay attention to our words. If you become more word-conscious and less problem conscious, your problems will lose their power in your life. Magnify your words and you will minimise your problems. Words are powerful, they have creative power in them. The power of life and death is in the tongue. Jesus said, ‘If you speak to the mountain to be removed, it will be’. Too often we complain about the mountain, we spend inordinate time defining the mountain, we take pictures of the mountain to show our friends but Jesus said, ‘Speak to the mountain’. Nothing moves until you speak to it. Your future is in your mouth!

From Confession to Manifestation!

taming-the-tongueOne of the key issues that undermines what we are believing for, from becoming reality is the misalignment of our speech with our faith. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. You don’t help your faith by a wrong confession. For our faith to operate powerfully, it must be complimented by our confession.

It isn’t just a case of thinking positively or even speaking positively, it’s a case of becoming clear in your own mind and heart what you are believing for and aligning your confession with it.

If you look hard enough, you can find a multitude of reasons to be negative and critical in this world but if you are focused on walking in God’s call for your life and seeing his promises be established in your daily reality, then you will to need to be intentional about what comes out of your mouth.

I must admit, there have been too many times in the past when I have been careless, even downright reckless with my words. I’ve observed that the more tired or insecure I feel the more careless I become with my words. Just cause you can say it doesn’t mean you should. It’s a rare person that can tame their tongue at all times. In fact James 3:2 says, ‘If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, also able to bridle his whole body.’ Apparently there is a direct correlation between how we use our mouths and how we control our entire lives, including our bodies.

If there is one constant pattern I see repeated in Scripture and also repeated in the lives of great people around me is that if you want to see a manifestation of what you are believing for, then you must pay attention to your confession. Your confession leads to your manifestation.

We have been made in the image of God and when God wants to get something done, he uses his words to do it. When God declared, ‘Let there be light,’ there was light (Gen 1:3). Hebrews 11:3 says, the universe was created by the words of his mouth, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.

If we have been wired up the same way, then in 2013, do something wise and watch your mouth. Loose lips sink ships whereas a tight tongue hits the home run.

The Oracle!