How to Give a Talk like a Thought Leader

As someone who both blogs and hosts a podcast about preaching, I try really hard not to make it sound as though there is only one way to do it well. Because there isn’t one way to do it well.

Every preacher and every context is different. The best way to preach is whatever is both authentic to the preacher and effective in their context. The worst way to preach is to be someone you’re not or to preach something that has no connection or impact for the hearers.

However, when it comes to public speaking in general, there is likely one style that predominantly shows up in your Facebook newsfeed – the style of the “thought leader.”

Whether it is a sermon, conference keynote, TED Talk, or an Apple Product launch, there is definitely a style that tends to make the rounds online. I personally connect well with this style, finding it engaging and an effective vehicle for conveying information.

At the same time, I can recognize the underlying formula, which is what makes the video below quite funny. This satirical look at the “thought leader” presentation style aims to playfully skewer TED, but it will surely hit home for preachers as well.

As you watch it, laugh along, but then think through your preaching style. Do you have a formula? Do you have strategies that work? Do they actually work? Is your style authentic to you, or are you playing a role? Does your approach work for your context, or are you essentially preaching for people who aren’t actually there?

View the video below, or visit the original post.

Header image by Flickr user TEDx Vancouver. Used under Creative Commons License. Edited/Cropped from Original.

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