Andy Stanley is the founder and senior pastor of Northpoint Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also one of the best communicators I have ever heard. His “Leadership Podcast” is designed “to help leaders go further faster.” I can attest to the fact that it delivers on its promise.
Today, while on my morning run, I listened to his episode on Effective Communication for the second time. I have read many, many books on public speaking. However, this is the simplest, most elegant advice I have ever heard on this topic. In the podcast, he provides five questions he asks himself while preparing a speech. These sit on his desk to remind him of the basic structure every talk should follow.
- Information: “What do they need to know?” He forces himself to boil this down to the one thing. He is a proponent of preaching and teaching one-point messages. People won’t remember more than this, and it is a fool’s errand to shoot for more. It’s better to focus on one key take-away that people won’t forget. He provides several examples:
- “Your friends will determine the direction and quality of your life.”
- “Purity paves the way to intimacy.”
- “When you see as God sees, you’ll do as God says.”
- “Submission is an invitation for someone to lead.”
- “Choose the hard right over the easy wrong.”
- “Everybody lives forever somewhere.”
- “Acceptance fuels influence.”
- “Good people don’t go to heaven; forgiven people do.”
- “God takes full responsibility for the life fully devoted to Him.”
This just scratches the surface. If you are a leader, I highly recommend that you listen to this particular podcast as well as subscribe to Andy’s ongoing episodes. It is one of the best investments you can make in your own leadership. You may also wish to follow Andy on Twitter.