Speech is not going away as a core competency of church leaders any time soon, but the more of this work I do the more I think the best speech is less speech.
Sermons can’t go beyond 20 minutes if they are to keep the congregation’s attention. That’s a challenge (and a gift) to preachers to use the best words available to convey the weight of the message concisely. Qualifications are a distraction. Illustrations better serve a purpose (Here’s a great example).
But also meetings: can we whittle down the action we’re here for to a clear nugget of compelling speech? Make a plan. Build a project. Say “yes” or “no.” That you know more about the subject than anyone else in the room does not, by itself, make you a helpful leader. That you can frame the subject clearly so that we can act on it does.
And blog posts. It’s funny, but I can read 750-1000 words on paper with no problem, but on a screen that seems oppressively long. So, you have my permission to stop reading any blog post after 300 words.
This one is 190 words, if you’re counting.