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My 4 Best Rules for Giving Effective Talks

How to make sure your passion connects with your audience.

For twenty years or so, the head of the Willow Creek Association was Jimmy Mellado. He's now the new head of Compassion International. He probably knows as much about the church as anybody I know, and he has heard about as many sermons in as many different settings as is humanly possible.

Someone asked him once what single improvement could make the biggest difference in the effectiveness of churches. His immediate answer: "Better preaching."

Few moments are more fulfilling than communicating effectively, touching people at their deepest level. Few moments are more painful than standing in front of a group of people with words coming out of your mouth … and not connecting. Over the years a few observations about communication have embedded themselves in my work—mainly because it's so painful when I violate them. Here are my four laws of communication.

1. Begin with what matters

Years ago I was excited about giving a particular talk, but it didn't come out ...

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