By Tonya Jewel Blessing
I just read an article by Peter Mead called 4 Problems with Passionate Preaching. The material was written for pastors, but the timeless communication truths apply to all of us. Mead reminds his readers that it is important to be aware of how we come across in our communication. For listeners to hear us our presentation needs to be palatable.
Passion that becomes aggressive can offend.
What might feel like a passion for the truth on our part can easily become unnecessarily offensive to the listeners.
Passion that becomes “shouty” can be bothersome.
It's so tempting for some personalities to convey their enthusiasm by shouting. It feels powerful and full of conviction at the time, but in the end, listeners will not take the message to heart.
Passion that becomes distracted can be hard to follow.
Sometimes passion for something leads us off on a wild goose chase of anecdotes and illustrations or a wild safari ride…Let passion drive the main idea home, not drive the listeners to distraction…
Passion that becomes too intense can drain.
A certain level of intensity, if maintained consistently, will drain an audience of energy and focus. Give them a break, a chance to breathe, a chance to recalibrate. Intensity turned up a notch or two and left there can become simply too much to take.
I found Peter Mead’s article very timely. There are a lot of passionate opinions about a lot of things these days. Opinions are voiced in multiple arenas and can be readily heard or viewed. Presentation is the key to expressing our passionate opinions.