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1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of the world but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 6:6-10 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Genesis 1:1-31 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.

There is a lot of attention paid in public speaking classes to how to annunciate, how to speak clearly and concisely about a topic. In seminary we had similar instruction. I remember well the diction we had to perfect, the ways we were taught to organize our thoughts and speak without arm movements or other potential distractions. The message conveyed was this, don’t let your voice or your body get in the way of the message, don’t be a hindrance to your words.

I feel there is huge void passed over in this methodology, the ways the speakers can hold the audience’s attention and persuade them to take some intended action. Many of the most effective practitioners of persuasion, that is recruiting people to participate in a stated goal, suffer from more than a few nervous ticks or less than perfect delivery. Yet the overall effect is one of persuasion, at the end of the address the audience is moved to take part. Some speakers can do this, many cannot.

I have often wondered why this aspect of public speaking is almost never discussed. I think it is because we are far more comfortable discussing technique than the personal chemistry of persuasion. The former can be quantified, dissected and taught in a regimented fashion. The latter is far more organic and diverse, there are many different ways to be persuasive. The former is a skill, the latter is a gift.

Now there are clearly ways people who are gifted at persuasion can utilize specific skills related to public speech. If you can minimize distractions and annoying ticks, not to mention speak more clearly, this is a good thing. All speakers need to be aware of technique. But I find it strange that those who do possess the perfect pitch and delivery are not schooled or critiqued in how to be effective, to be persuasive.

I watch a lot of fine actors who deliver their lines perfectly and many cannot find work beyond the local stage. What seemed to set the actors apart who star in large productions is some form of personality and charisma that is effective, that garners the listeners’ attention and ultimately their participation.

When you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of the world but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. There is something organic and authentic about words that are accepted as holy, not of the world. How we discern this is mysterious. Helping each other find that pitch and those words is as much a part of effective communication as the sound of our voice.