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Discoursing

Very effective discoursing

Anecdote Noel Coward once sent identical notes to the twenty most prominent men in London, saying, "All is discovered. Escape while you can."

Twenty of them abruptly left town.

A man's best friend and worst enemy is himself [American proverb, Ap 234].

Tips

Delivering one or several messages is not always easy. Learn from the best you can find. At any rate it may take some practice to learn to tell and write and film well, as Sir Winston Churchill in part affirms. He could prepare for seemingly casual and brief speeches for hours. He said:

A joke is a very serious thing. [Sir Winston Churchill]

There are two things that are more difficult than making an after-dinner speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you. [Sir Winston Churchill]

If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack. [Sir Winston Churchill]

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. [Sir Winston Churchill]

I'm just preparing my impromptu remarks. [Sir Winston Churchill]

A state of society where men may not speak their minds cannot long endure. [Sir Winston Churchill]

Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all. [Sir Winston Churchill]

The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. [Sir Winston Churchill]

Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result. [Sir Winston Churchill]

'No comment' is a splendid expression. I am using it again and again. [Sir Winston Churchill]

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. [Sir Winston Churchill]

It is also very important to be right. [Sir Winston Churchill]

I am reminded of the professor who, in his declining hours, was asked by his devoted pupils for his final counsel. He replied, 'Verify your quotations.' [Sir Winston Churchill]

Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential. [Sir Winston Churchill]

For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else. [Sir Winston Churchill]

It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see. [Sir Winston Churchill]

There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion. [Sir Winston Churchill]

Building blocks

If I had my time to go over again, I would make my sermons much shorter, for I am conscious they have been too wordy. [Martin Luther, attr.]

KISS - may serve as an acronym reminder of "Keep it sweet, short" . . . But there are other ways of communication that work well too. One has to choose one that suits oneself and also the audience some way or other, is the guess. Artistry is what to aim for in this. Some work a lot towards it, but just a bit artistry helps too. Artists learn basics of their arts, and also gather materials and tools and have them ready at hand. Now, here are some basic steps if you need to give a lecture, deliver a sermon and similar, and just talk from some passages or others.

  • Get into a passage to present so that you may not disappoint the listeners. There may be several passages to make clear, or interpret to your ability. You may want to present possible benefit on a large scale, if there is any. Then, when when the time comes for you to discourse, you could go through your notes to ascertain you deliver good themes and don't use faulty methods of teaching. Blunt preaching won't quite do, to be honest, for such discoursing hardly underpins claims by decent facts and methods. Beliefs may or may not be bluffs, and a listener should know better than be lulled asleep by fancied stuff.

  • Interpret the chosen passage from reading the text closely. For exegesis Dr. Brad Braxton looks at the text from a few angles to get a well rounded view (in another setting). He moves on to an analysis where he carefully examines and looks at exactly what is said and precisely what it means or refers to. Telling so could help some in the audience.

  • Get a solid theme - What is the point of your lecture? And what does a chosen passage claim, or what strange views lie at the bottom of it? And what do the people want to do as a result of hearing them? Go mad? That matters.

    One point in semonising on top of the quotation above - and many other passages - is that it shows strength. And much strength attracts youths far and wide.

  • Write down discourse pointers or all of the discourse - Using the theme and the exegesis, write down as much as you will need. Decide it yourself. Structure your lecture in a way that makes sense. Do not get awfully confusing. Build from bottom and it may succeed.

  • Polish the text somewhat - You may actually edit it. Condense it by getting rid of redundant words - most of them tend to be just that. However, if it finally reads almost like poetry, you may be on the track of something. You also want to get rid of harassing, traditional concepts that lead nowhere or go too hard with your listeners. Maybe you won't have to dumb down the content, but state whatever you have to say in a clear way.

  • Practice what you preach or learn - Go over the discourse or talk in your mind and then perhaps some parts can be made more clear. You may also gain a greater command of your talk.

  • Deliver the lecture with some confidence - Go ahead. You have an interesting and informative topic, and you have an idea of how the people should respond to the sermon.
You must prepare enough . . . what that means depends on who you are.

Trying to Improve

Do not make a big fool of yourself: One way to get no helpful feedback is to ask people for feedback on your delivered talk without giving the individual some idea of how to evaluate that talk of yours.

Be smart and seek out professional or sensible evaluations.

Consider the preparation process from a larger view, including the full diet of talks that you are giving.

Improvise at Times

One might question whether much talk is really necessary. In a hall of meditation a particularly famous Zen teacher was about to talk to the assambley. With awe they looked forward to being taught by the great man. Just when he was about to begin, a a bird started singing in a tree outside the hall. When it stopped singing after some time, the Zen teacher left the lecturing platform, waved his arms and said, "The lecture has been given. All that can be said, has been said." [Marcus 1965:93]

This might perhaps remind some of an anecdote about the surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. He gave a speech in 1980: "I shall be so brief that I have already finished," he said.

Try to be brief and to the point, also when you improvise, then. Maybe the fit way to present a topic is by practicing it - all the while keeping privacy intact and home life out of it.

Someone: "I tried to "practice" my preaching just as I practiced my trumpet."

Anyway, there are quite basic ideas to grasp first, and it could be a good starting point to have at least some of them memorised and ready, so they come easily to mind at bedtime or otherwise Take some of those fundamentals and improvise on them. There are many options, preferably playful ones and jazzy riffs - You may follow the text closely in this practice and then improvise with increasing freedom that goes along with increasing mastery of the skills involved. Enlarge on that and be favourably allied with sensible imagination as you develop.

Five things your audience may want from your discoursing efforts

Here are a few of the primary things that a listener may want from a decent sermon.

  • One guiding idea carried through. Add with supporting thoughts around it as you may.
  • What is taught should be something to take home, at least one thing to take home, preferably the main point of the talk. What is taught could be something to apply too.
  • Do not bore listeners. Talking and doing are different. Boring the people may amount to bad goings and discredit. If you do not make the material exciting you could be doing something wrong. It is the same with the body. The breasts should have a good time and the waist should not get cramped in a corset. That is my opinion. Maybe something is wrong when a reasonably connected member who has come to hear a word is made drowsy and falls asleep. You should avoid happenings like that.
  • Know Your Stuff and practice what you preach.
  • Make use of illustrations that do not confuse and that others can understand. Clarify what needs to be clarified and what else appears to be sensible. And don't waste those 150 hours on mere words.

A human being is a sexual being, a result of love-making. Before you die, make sure you know how to enjoy life as well. At least you are free to try, hopefully. We die soon enough. In the meantime - do not get all tamed where you live or work. If you know how to disclose or discourse better than by schemes or good tips, for example as if by whim, good!


Discourse, disclose, lecture, converse, deliver lectures and sermons, talk, preach, Literature  

Asher, Joey. Even a Geek Can Speak. Atlanta, Georgia: Persuasive Speaker Press, 2001. ⍽▢⍽ A help to technologically stiffened persons to present their stuff more intelligibly and step out of the jargon for a while at least while wooing potential investors. The main goal is: "how to speak simply about complex things".

Beebe, Steven A. and Susan J. Beebe. A Concise Public Speaking Handbook. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2015. ⍽▢⍽ An audience-centered approach adapted from a top-selling public speaking book by the same authors. They emphasise analyzing and considering the audience and provide a step-by-step process for makers of speeches. Aimed at students.

Brandon, Gerard. Presenting Your Way to Success: The Complete Guide to Purpose-filled Presentation. 2010. ⍽▢⍽ "Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em , / Tell 'em, / Tell 'em what you told 'em" (A rule of the thumb, p. 12)

Brown, Sally, and Phil Rice. Lecturing: A Practical Guide. Abingdon: Taylor and Francis, 2004. ⍽▢⍽ A thorough, accessible and confidence-helping book on the art of academic lecturing aimed at the novice in particular. It is arranged in themed chapters, aimed at making lecturing more stabilised, and also handles some issues from student perspectives. The main focus of the professor couple that has authored it, is lecturing to the end of enhanced learning and understanding. Advice is offered on good note-making. Its key issues include: engaging a group; ensuring and developing quality; and tips for day-to-day lectures.

Grimes, John. Problems and Perspectives in Religious Discourse: Advaita Vedanta Implication. State University of New York Press, 1994. ⍽▢⍽ "Can what is claimed to be inexpressible ever be expressed? Is it possible to believe in that which appears to be inherently contradictory?" asks Dr Grimes. (Preface, p. vii)

Hamlyn, Sonya. How to Talk so People Listen: The Real Key to Job Success. New York: Harper and Row, 1988. ⍽▢⍽ In addition to personal presentation skills, and quite often above them, come management and relationship skills. Sonya Hamlyn - an American expert on communication, including courtroom communication; two-time Emmy award winning talk show host; Harvard lecturer and coach and consultant to Fortune 100 executives - offers techniques for such as grabbing an audience, running effective meetings, managing successful one-on-one encounters and more. A worth while reading.

Kirkpatrick, A. L. The Complete Public Speaker's Manual: How to Get and Keep Control of an Audience. New ed. Wellingborough: Thorsons, 1986. ⍽▢⍽

LearningExpress. Public Speaking Success in 20 Minutes a Day. New York: LearningExpress, 2010. ⍽▢⍽ To share words with a large group is a cause of fear and stress for most people - at weddings, banquets, funerals, on religious occasions, or for sales presentations. This book is aimed at students, graduates and others who want good enough presentation skills. The book offers lessons in the basic skills with examples of speeches.

Staneart, Doug. Mastering Presentations: Be the Undisputed Expert when You Deliver Presentations (Even if You Feel Like You're Going to Throw Up). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2013. ⍽▢⍽

Marcus, Aage. Den blå dragen (The Blue Dragon). Oslo: Gyldendal, 1965. ⍽▢⍽ A Danish, well written and informed book.

Turk, Christopher. Effective Speaking: Communicating in Speech. Abingdon, UK: Taylor and Francis, 2003. ⍽▢⍽ You could do worse than try this one also.

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