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Ready, Set . . . Speak!

What was I going to say?

How was I going to say it? 

How would I remember what to say?

How do I keep these kids engaged for a whole hour? 

George Jessel once said, “The human brain starts working as soon as you’re born and stops working when you get up to speak in public.” 

Was that going to be me?

My first time teaching at the college level was nerve-wracking. 

In the days before Power Point and overhead projectors, I came to class an hour early and wrote my entire outline on the board. My not-so-subtle strategy for remembering what to say and when to say it. 

One thing I learned early on: facts tell, but stories sell. 

As years grew into decades, and being one of the few professors who did for a living what he taught, the story-telling grew.

They could always read the facts in the textbook I wrote.

Dry theory just won’t cut it. My job is to bring things in the book to life. And to engage the kids in a catered fundraising event for a local charity. 

“I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember. 
I do and I understand.”

— Confucius

How about you?  Afraid to speak in public? 

And . . . a deeper question.

Are you afraid to share your faith with others?

Put yourself in the sandals of Peter as he addressed the onlookers. This was after healing a lame man shortly after Jesus ascended into Heaven. 

His healing captured their attention, and now it was showtime. They were waiting for Peter to speak. In Acts 3:12, Luke shares his speech, which began with:

  “Fellow Israelites,
why does this surprise you?
Why do you stare at us
as if by our own
power or godliness
we had made this man walk?
More than likely Peter was nervous, since not long ago he had denied Jesus three times. Now God was putting him on the spot: he needed to keep the onlookers’ attention and bring them to Jesus.

God came through for Peter, He does for me, and He will for you. All we need do is trust Him and do our homework. 

Is today the day you share your faith with someone else? It’s hard at first, but the more you do it the easier it becomes.

Peter was so good he became the first pope. And little old me can stand up in front of an audience now and share my catering and life stories—and my faith—with as many who will listen. 

God will put the right words in your mouth if you let Him.
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