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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Fears When Speaking Before a Group

What do you fear most about speaking before a group? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1562).

When I speak before a group the thing I fear most is a lack of fluidity of speech.  There is a sense in which it is better to be glib rather than to be tongue-tied.  It's that terrifying moment when I go to access my mental data banks and draw a total blank.  Sitting in a room alone that is no problem--just a little Alzheimer's I tell myself.  But in front of a group such moments are very uncomfortable for everybody.

My second fear is that I will have nothing useful to say--speaking just vacuous nonsense; or worse, making sense but contrary to the disciplines of love as set forth by the will of God.

My third fear is to look out upon the audience and when focusing upon individual faces seeing nothing but abject boredom or hostility.  This can be a call to assess what I'm saying to see if I have misspoken.  But if everything is on-track, it indicates that my best offerings are uninteresting or are being met with hostility.  In this we must always remember our Lord who spoke from perfect love but occasionally met hostility.

The final thing I fear is during a question and answer session being dealt a "got you" question; for example, before an honors theology class being asked to talk on the third commandment--when I don't have a clue which commandment was the third, fourth, or fifth. 

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