Friday, April 11, 2014

It’s About What You Say, Not How Well You Say It

Written as part of the She Reads Truth #SheSharesTruth experiment 

So often, it seems that we get caught up in our own abilities or how we’re going to present something in this amazing way that we forget that the message itself is what is important. But the truth is, unless you’re a motivational speaker, the actual content of your message is what will be focused on for most presentations people attend. 

This is actually a very timely concept for me to grasp. I’m currently preparing to deliver training in D.C.; and the whole purpose of next week’s event is to judge how good I am at training. Gulp. (And I’m not normally a trainer!) The point is not for those in the room to learn the information. They will all be federal employees who already know the content. They just want to know if I know it. And there will be, I’m sure, an element of criticism around my delivery of the message that they want me to share. Ick. Super stressed. I already get nervous before presenting. But to present for the purpose of being judged!?! Not my idea of a good time. 

But I have to remember: It doesn’t have to be about that. If I know the materials (and in this case, that’s also the issue – just started prepping yesterday really), it will speak for itself. In fact, no amount of fancy speech and delivery skills will make up for not knowing my stuff. The content is far more important than how dynamic a speaker I am. 

And how much more so is that true when delivering the message of Christ! So often we are drawn in by powerful speakers. People who make us feel something. People with charisma and charm. But if we’re not careful, we can become less concerned about the actual message being delivered. And we can be duped by the messenger. Plus, dynamic deliveries often bring praise upon the messenger, more so than the message.

But in this passage, Paul makes it clear that he’s not playing the orator. He is just a simple sharer of good news. He has a message, and he’s going to share it. But he’s not going to puff it up. He’s not going to be commended for how well he did in delivering it. He doesn’t want pats on the back for how great a speaker he is. He wants the focus to be on the message itself. On Jesus. For that is what we are called to: “to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (vs 2).

If we know nothing else and share nothing else, and do it in a meek and humble way, we’ve done exactly what we’re called to. We are not called to making ourselves known. We are called to make Jesus famous. In our hearts. In our lives. In our communities. In our world. But we do that, not by being boisterous and bringing attention to ourselves, but by sharing him in all that we do and all that we say each and every day. Because really, our lives are not meant to be about us. They are meant to be about him. And he’s big enough and powerful enough that he doesn’t need our oratory skills to bring his message in such a way that it changes people. He can handle the changing. He just needs us to know him and love him and share him. He’ll take care of the rest.  


  1. I couldn't have said this any better myself. Thank God for his message!! It's a fact that we focus on the delivery rather than the message in any presentation. Learning to shift the focus as a presenter and hearer of the message is the key to marrying the message to the listener.

  2. This was fantastic! And I am sure you were great. It's not about me!! I have a ladies engagement tomorrow...not normally nervous as I am used to speaking in public but this one? I am intimidated and I do not like that. Not that I am overly confident, never! But I could use prayers :)

    1. Thanks, Nannette! My presentation went better than I expected, but the reviews were still more critical than I would have liked (but not really more critical than I expected) ... How did your presentation go?