I read the story of Jesus and how he could teach people continuously for days without his audience worrying about food. Fascinating, isn’t it? The multitudes were always astonished at his teaching, simply because of one thing: “he taught them with authority” and not like the typical religious leaders of his days (Mk 1:22).
One thing I learnt from this passage is how knowing your subject could boast you communication skills. Rarely do you see anybody preach, teach or speak authoritatively on a subject they know nothing about. Two things to learn from Jesus from his speaking skills: 1. He knew his subject. 2. He knew how to engage his audience.
Knowing your subject and strategically engaging your audience are two different things. You can know your subject quite alright but may shamelessly give a whole day of boring lecture without people having a clue of what you are “tttrrryyyiiinnnggg” to say. Conversely, you can as well have the gift of Gab and strategically know how to engage your audience without impartation. In fact the latter is worst.
So then, how can we engage people?
I learnt this from Jesus: He chose to be different.
The bible tells us that he was not like the scribes – the religious leaders of his time. It was a typical thing for a student or a follower to want to speak or talk like his leader. We see that today in churches, especially in Africa. What is that?
To engage people effectively you must be yourself. Speak the way you were born to speak, and know your subject matter by experience, and not just by mere study. People need to see that what they hear you speak or talk about is the truth about your own life.
Nobody wants to listen to you because you feel you have a solution to their problems, but because they feel your experience is the solution to their problem. That is, you have an experience that connects to their present situation.
Cultivate a shared-learning attitude in your communication with people and not an “I am better than you” attitude we see all around us.
Let’s speak, inspire and impact from the purview of experience.
Share knowledge. Lead. Achieve!