This weekend I had the opportunity to speak for the third time. It was such an amazing opportunity and experience. God has taught me a ton through my few times speaking and I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve been learning:

Be yourself. I work with many talented speakers and I listen to talented speakers on podcast. It can be really easy to want to copy their mannerisms, but we can’t truly connect with students unless we are bringing our own personalities up there. Students can see through any act we try to put up. This is our chance to be real and transparent for 20-30 minutes in front of these students. We would be totally blowing it if we tried to be someone else.

Speak TO students, not AT them. I think there are a lot of speakers that can speak at students for an entire sermon but never actually connect with them. One of the things I have learned about speaking is that it is all about that connection you are making with them on an emotional level. With every sermon, you can address an underlying need within a student. A need to feel known, loved, understood, accepted, etc. Talk about those needs and you will have their attention and get them to care. Talk about those needs and you will tap into the potential for life change.

Never EVER take it for granted. Speaking is a privilege. It is God choosing to use us to communicate His truth to students through us. Gosh. We are so unworthy of that opportunity. Always remember that you are using a gift that is not your own. Know that this isn’t your time to prove how great you are, this is a time for you to serve the Lord and these students. Never ever take that lightly.

What are some things you have learned about speaking?