10 Public Speaking Tips from Charles Spurgeon

Spurgeon DrawingToday’s guest post comes to us from Christian George for The Spurgeon Center.

How did the “Prince of Preachers” master the art of public speaking? Here are ten tips from Spurgeon’s lecture “On the Voice” (Lectures to My Students 11:117-135).

1. Posture Up!
“Do not speak with your hands in your waistcoat pockets so as to contract your lungs, but throw the shoulders back, as public singers do.”

“Do not lean over a desk while speaking, and never hold the head down on the breast while preaching. Upward rather than downward let the body bend.”

2. Speak with Your Mouth, Not Your Throat or Nose.
“Open wide the doors from which such godly truth is to march forth.”

“One of the surest ways to kill yourself is to speak from the throat instead of the mouth.”

“Evangelists have written of our Lord, ‘He opened his mouth and taught them.’”

“Avoid the use of the nose as an organ of speech, for the best authorities are agreed that it is intended to smell with.”

3. “R” ticulate.
“Abhor the practice of some men, who will not bring out the letter “r” such a habit is ‘vewy wuinous and wediculous, vewy wetched and wepwehensible.’”

“Excessively rapid speaking, tearing and raving into utter rant, is quite as inexcusable; it is not, and never can be powerful, except with idiots, for it turns what should be an army of words into a mob, and most effectually drowns the sense in floods of sound.”

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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