I’m giving a talk at church on April 20. I’ve spoken once before, but it was at least two years ago and part of a more structured time when we were going through the book of Luke. One of my favorite passages happens to be in Luke, so I jumped on that opportunity. Since then, nothing has really come up and I had plenty of my own stuff to deal with that didn’t need to be aired out in public any more than it already was.
Time has changed, though, and I’ve had a growing number of thoughts. So it is now time to get back up and share what I’ve learned with others. I’ll be speaking from Mark, the book I know the best, chapter 5, verses 25-34; the story of a bleeding woman and her encounter with Jesus.
But, it’s been quite some time before I spoken in front of a group, even of my friends, so I’m taking some time to prepare and work out the kinks. To that end, I’ve created an outline of what I want to say. The last time I spoke, I typed it all out and read it verbatim. While that worked and I think did people well from the comments I got afterwards, it felt wooden and I felt disconnected with my listeners. There were also a number of points I felt myself pulled in a slightly different direction, but felt the need to stay the course. So this time, just an outline with some points I’d like to hit, the general order I’d like to hit them in, and reminders of good phrases I think of that explain my points well. This leaves only the one variable that I’ve had trouble with since my first book report: speaking on the fly.
For that, I’ve taken to recording myself on my computer reading from the outline just like I will in April. My first run went surprisingly well and much longer than I thought, though it’s on average with the talks given on these nights (about twenty minutes). Side note: If I keep this up, I may start a podcast to share these talks with people outside of the Thursday night group.
It only leaves a simple decision for me. Do I continue to hone this talk that seems to be exactly my point already or move on to the next one (which may require retrieving a book I’ve lent out before the borrower has a chance to read it)? If all the questions I face this week are as unimportant as this one, I’ll consider it a good week.