Danielle Strickland is an accomplished communicator who is much in demand. In her interview for us, she recommends listening to great speakers as a way of developing your skills: 'I used to listen to at least one or two speaks a week - just for fun! The web is great for this – there are lots of free sources of great speakers.'
A great place to start, if you haven't found it already, is the TED website where you can access talks from remarkable people across a range of disciplines. Recently I've enjoyed Nina Jablonski on how differing skin colours are simply our bodies' adaptation to different climates, and the classic from Ken Robinson on how schools kill creativity. It's worth a look precisely because these are not sermons. I think we can get so used to hearing a particular style of communication in church that we forget to critique whether it's really the most effective way of communicating. Listen to some of these speakers and evaluate what works and what doesn't, and what you could learn from them.
Sanctus1 blogged a while ago about the ten TED commandments that are required of each speaker - wise words in my opinion that are worth bearing in mind wherever you speak:
1. Thou shalt not simply trot out thy usual shtick.
2. Thou shalt dream a great dream, or show forth a wondrous new thing, or share something thou hast never shared before.
3. Thou shalt reveal thy curiosity and thy passion.
4. Thou shalt tell a story.
5. Thou shalt freely comment on the utterances of other speakers for the sake of blessed connection and exquisite controversy.
6. Thou shalt not flaunt thine ego. Be thou vulnerable. Speak of thy failure as well as thy success.
7. Thou shalt not sell from the stage: neither thy company, thy goods, thy writings, nor thy desperate need for funding; lest thou be cast aside into outer darkness.
8. Thou shalt remember all the while: Laughter is Good.
9. Thou shalt not read thy speech.
10. Thou shalt not steal the time of them that follow thee.
We produced our own Sophia top ten tips for communication here in case you missed them. Is there anything you would add?
Finally, don't miss our Communicating with Impact training days for women only - in Warwick on 24 September, in London on 5 October and in Manchester on a date soon to be confirmed. Full details here. The Warwick day is almost full and there are three places left in London, so do get in touch if you're interested. We've been able to put on these days thanks to support from Trust Greenbelt, the Church of England and CPAS.