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Get it across loud and clear
A speaker's practical guide to preparation and delivery
by Ali Martin
Everyone reading this review will have had the awful experience of sitting through a dreadful talk, sermon or presentation; it can be cringingly embarrassing for a congregation or audience. Often it's not that the content is poor, but the structure and delivery of the ideas. Very often indeed, the content can be fantastic, but is entirely suffocated by a speaker who has no idea how terrible he or she is at communicating.
Ali Martin's accessible and entertaining guide to presentation skills for Christian speakers is superb. Comprising the combined wisdom of a dozen or so of the very best Christian speakers, Martin has brought together a wealth of guidance on every aspect of sermon or talk preparation and delivery. Nothing is overlooked from structure to stories, voice to visuals.
The very best place to start reading this book is with Appendix 2 – the script of a talk that Martin gave in December 2002. Reading this alone is hugely instructive for it is engaging, well paced, clearly structured and consistently interesting. Unsurprising given the book's origins – Soul Survivor – but still slightly shocking to this liberal reviewer, is the need to give candid advice to women considering speaking from a position of church leadership. But even here Martin's advice is well-balanced, thoughtful and free of prejudice or assumptions.
A good read of inestimable value to the proclamation of the gospel.
Reviewer: David Ford (17/12/12)