10 Simple Secrets of the World's Greatest
A review of a great new book by Carmine Gallo
The whole family was out of town the other
night. So, I did what I nearly always do when I have some time to
myself: head to the local Barnes and Noble for an evening of reading
and a Cappuccino from Starbucks. Life just doesn't get any better
than that. This night was no exception.
I picked up a stack of books but didn't get
past the first one: Carmine Gallo's new 10 Simple Secrets of
the World's Greatest Business Communicators. What a book.
What a find.
If you still have not chosen a book to study
with your teachers this next fall, I would recommend this one. What,
your Minister of Education doesn't provide training for you? Why not
volunteer to teach this book to all the teachers in your church?
What? Don't have time to prepare another study? I have good news.
These are teachers. You don't actually have to do all the
preparation. Ask each teacher to study and prepare a discussion on
one chapter. What a great book. I am not sure I can write a summary
that will do it justice, but it is such a great book, I have to try
to incite you to buy it, read it and study it.
One key feature is there is a web site with
clips from business communicators. See
10 Simple secrets of the World's Greatest
Secret #1: Passion
Wesley said, "Catch yourself on fire and
people will come to watch you burn. I get a daily verse texted to me
on my phone. Here was the verse from a couple of days ago:
"My heart grew hot within me,
and as I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue."
Psalm 39:3 [NIV] Show me a teacher with a hot heart and I will show
you a class that is not catching up on their sleep during class.
I have heard too many tired presentations. Too
many sleepy sermons. Too many lack-luster presentations. Show me
some fire. Exude enthusiasm. Get fired up.
Secret #2: Inspiration
Passion has to do with what the teacher feels.
Inspiration has to do with what her students feel. They feel
inspired. Not just informed, inspired.
Gallo not only tells you about the importance
of inspiration and tells you how to inspire, he inspires you to
inspire. He has had a front row seat at some of the best (and worst)
business communicators of this era. His insights into how to inspire
are as inspirational as they are informative.
Secret #3: Preparation
The world's greatest communicators don't read
from a script. They are so well prepared, they hardly look at their
notes. They speak from their heart. They speak from the overflow of
a well-prepared mind.
How different from many of the Sunday School
teachers I have heard, "I didn't get as much time as I would like to
prepare my lesson, so. . ." So, why didn't you? This is the Word of
God! This the the Work of God. Let's take the time to do the
preparation to give as inspirational and life-changing lesson as
Secret #4: Start Strong
The teacher must get and keep the group's
attention. A strong start and a strong finish are keys to a strong
presentation. What are the first words you are going to say this
Sunday? Make the strong. Perhaps a quote. Maybe a provocative
statement. Maybe a statistic. What ever it is, make it an attention
getter. Think it through.
Giuliani said, "Preparation is the single most
important key to success, no matter what the field."
We talk a lot of the will to succeed. Far more
important is the willingness to prepare. Good preparation is the key
to good presentation.
Start your preparation early. Sunday night.
Start mulling over the text. Start praying about it. Let it flow
through your life. Live it.
Read a lot of off-subject books. Read John
Ortberg and Max Lucado and John Maxwell and books that have lots of
illustration. Illustrations make the teaching. If you are reading a
lot, you will have lots of stories to pull from. Fresh stories. New
stories. Lots of stories.
Secret #5: Clarity
I am still waiting for the first person to
come to me after any presentation and say, "That was really deep." I
choose to take it as a complement.
Good teaching has a certain clarity, a certain
simplicity about it. Don't muddy the water. Don't try to be deep. Be
Brilliance is about taking complex truth and
making it clear. Ask yourself: how would I explain this to a fourth
Part of the issue here is focus. We say so
little because we try to say so much. I ought to be able to stop you
before you walk into class and ask you what you are gong to teach
on. You ought to be able to say in one sentence. I ought to be able
to ask any of your students after class what you taught on, and they
ought to come up with about the same sentence.
Secret #6: Keep it short
I never heard a bad short sermon. Date to keep
it short. Do I need to go on and on about this?
Secret #7: Say it with style
Bruce Wilkinson has a whole series (video and
audio) on this topic called Teaching With Style. It is great.
Have a little flair. Do a little drama. Inject
a little creativity. Deliver the message full throttle. Include
stuff that you can touch and feel. Show a video clip. Take the group
on a field trip. Vary your voice--the pitch, the rate, the style.
Pause a little longer than you ever have. Wear a funny costume. Do
something unusual. Be unpredictable. Be shocking. Pick up the pace.
Lower the lights. Turn off the lights. Hold something. Show them
something. Do something. Have them do something. Do something
different. Anything, just be different.
Secret #8: Command Presence
In his book and video The Seven Laws of the
Learner, Bruce Wilkinson talks a lot about his hero Howard
Hendricks. One day Bruce decided to see what Dr. Hendricks would do
if he refused to pay attention. So, he decided ahead of time that no
matter what Dr. Hendricks said or did, he was just going to set
there and stair outside the window.
Hendricks went nuts. He changed his whole
routine and by two minutes into class he was practically grabbing
Wilkinson by the throat to get his attention. Great communicators do
that. They command attention.
Great communicators scan the audience to see
that everyone is paying attention. If everyone is paying attention,
they keep rocking along. If not, the do
something--anything--whatever it takes--to get their attention.
Secret #9 Wear it well
Dress is not as important as character, but it
Secret #10: Reinvent yourself
Lamentations 3.23 says that God's mercies are,
"New every morning." People are wondering, "What has God done for
If you are constantly talking about stories
that happened 20 years ago, that is a problem. Effective teaching is
current teaching. It has to do with what God is doing in your life
now. Prayers you have on your heart now. Concerns you have now.
Goals you have now. Things you read in your Bible this week.
Opportunities to share you have had recently.
We serve a God who is alive and well and
people want to know about that. Not about history. They want to know
about a God that is alive and active and living in your life.
Well, there is the overview. What a great
book. Consider buying it, reading it and, perhaps this fall,
studying it as a group.
We recently had the privilege of hosting Josh Hunt for our mid
winter Sunday Morning Bible Study leadership conference. The
emphasis on investing and building relationships is the key to
reaching our society today. Fellowship is premium in a world where
we face an epidemic of loneliness. People are looking for more than
a "friendly" church. They want a place where they can grow and
develop lasting relationships that will assist them in building a
biblical foundation for life. If you have not had the opportunity to
have Josh Hunt in your church or attend one of his conferences, make
plans to involve your leadership. His concepts will make a
difference in your thinking about how simple it really is to reach
out to people.
Charles F. Stanley
Senior Pastor First Baptist Church Atlanta
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