I had a great conversation with a client recently. She is a pastor, so she’s in the unusual position of getting to speak in front of others often. We were discussing how she can hone her preparation style to best create the experience she hopes to for the congregation.
She explained to me that she had been writing out her sermons and using her notes, “because I worry that I’ll leave something out.” Before I could say anything, she added, “But does it ever really matter if I left something out? Maybe it’s just my ego.”
(I love it when clients coach themselves!)
I responded, “I’ve gathered that’s what’s most important to you is to be present and connected. You know the message you’re preaching and how you want to convey it. Getting hung up on a specific turn of phrase or sentence can get in the way of that connection.”
She said, “In other words, it makes it about me instead of about them.”
Exactly. When we fall in love with our words instead of our audience, the audience can tell. If our intention is to connect, to share, to engage, to persuade, to uplift, then we have to put the audience’s experience first, not our words.