Tag Archive | listen

Words on the page

Random words on a page do little to make the world a better place, but when you put them together in an orderly way, they have power for both good and evil. They can bring comfort or destruction, clarity or confusion, direction or uncertainty and humor or pain.   

Some people have a special knack for putting words together that when delivered, they inspire and motivate others to positive action. They edify the listener or reader. You can attribute this, in part, to the testimony of the person speaking, but the words themselves often contain power beyond their original intent. Such words can pierce to the very core of the human heart challenging perspectives and providing opportunities. It is these words, we often continue to quote, attaching the credentials of the man or woman who first penned them and sharing them to encourage or exhort others. Consider these examples:

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

~ Martin Luther King

“A people that value its privileges above its principles will soon lose both.”

~ Dwight Eisenhower 

Walk the Talk has compiled a short movie clip of some leadership quotes. Maybe you’ll enjoy them as much as I did. Too busy to check them out right now? Then you’ll like these words of wisdom from Abraham Lincoln: 

“The best thing about the future is it comes one day at a time.”

Just send me an email

God does not send email, though in the busyness of our lives, wouldn’t it be helpful if He did? How great would that be for us? If, when we were tempted in thought or deed, the software’s application ding would alert us, “You’ve got mail.” The Lord could use the red exclamation point to indicate a really important message and highlight the main problem in the subject line so that we could read just that part if we were really pressed for time. The body of the email could contain pertinent details and a bulleted action plan for us to follow to avoid sin or accomplish some great work on His behalf.

How would we respond to His communications? Would we scan it to see which ones we really wanted to open? Would we read the subject line to determine whether or not we even wanted to bother opening it? Would we drag it into one of our files to read it later only to have later never come? Would we look at it and treat it like Spam? Would we become overwhelmed or discouraged?

Fortunately for us, the Lord does not send email. If He did, the application ding would be constant and deafening. The web networks would crash from overload and every email would be from Him with a red exclamation point preceding the subject line. The Lord is not interested in using our manmade technology to communicate with us. He’s created nature and inspired the Scriptures to tell us all that we need. And, He’s gone one step better. He’s given those who have accepted His free gift of salvation, the indwelling Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God  , and He helps our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we should. The Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

No, God does not use email. He has a much more efficient tool. The question is, will we listen?

When the Elevator Door Closes …

What can you say in 30 seconds? 

If you’re like so many others vying to get your message out to land a job or sell your product, you’ll want to master the elevator speech – a 30-second Reader’s Digest version of your resume or business plan. In yesterday’s post, I mentioned 4 S’s to help you focus on your listener and asked you to stay tuned to learn more about technique and content. So I’m picking up on that today. 

The technique sounds simple enough, yet it may require some stiff self-talk and a mini-makeover for you to pull it off. All that’s required is that you look and sound confident. Let your passion show. Do you need to pay closer attention to your appearance or delivery? Practicing your presentation in front of a mirror will help you see what others do.  No worries, though. All of this will fall into place if you’ve done your homework on the content and you’re comfortable with what you have to say. 

First and foremost, keep in mind your goal to engage your listener so that he wants to hear more. 

Start out with the idea of gaining their interest by sharing the benefit your skills, product or idea brings to them.  Perhaps it will solve a problem or address an unmet need. 

Sandwich in how your skills or ideas will meet their need and why it must be fixed sooner – preferably now – rather than later. This may require some home-spun self analysis to hone it down to a few words, but once you think you have it, run it by someone who knows you well to get their feedback.  You may have overlooked your most stellar quality. 

Show how your proposal will succeed to their benefit. Whether you’re interested in employment or selling a product or initiative, they’re interest is in the return on investment. 

Stop talking and listen to their response.  If they ask you questions or for your business card, you’ve got your foot in the door. 

So now I’ll ask myself, “What can you say in 30 seconds?”