One thing that has really helped me get better at teaching the Bible over the years has come from the simple practice of listening back to a recording of myself speaking. I know a lot of musicians and pastors who really hate listening to recordings of themselves. I get that! When I first started listening back to recordings from the weekend it was oftentimes really painful. I remember listening back to some of the first recorded messages I had. I could believe how many times I said "like" and "you know". I remember thinking that I sounded like a freakin' valley girl!. The same is true for listening back to live recordings of my singing. But I highly recommend this process to anyone who wants to get better at speaking.
My weekly ritual involves being a Monday morning quarter back, so to speak. I download the podcast from Sunday and go for a jog or a drive and listen. What am I listening for? First off, I just want to see if the talk connects with me. If I am bored by it or distracted by rabbit trails then I know others had to be. Secondly, I pay attention to the intro, the transitions, and the conclusion and try to take note of those aspects that were kind of flat. I am not trying to be a perfectionist, I just want to be sure that I am consistently growing and getting better at communicating. Finally after listening back I start to work on the next weekend's message. This really helps me connect one weekend to the next. I find many times that I actually get inspired with new ideas by listening back to the weekend message.
More from this Blog series:
Pt. 1 - The Teaching Team
Pt. 2 Preaching What You Practice
Pt. 3 - LEarning from Listening
Pt. 4 - The Teacher as Pastor
Pt. 5 - Sharing Struggles