word pictures

What Preachers Can Teach Us About Public Speaking

A Canadian preacher told a story  to his congregation during a television broadcast. He recalled two travelers talking to each other on a train platform. One traveler sees the train arrive with a sign to Ottawa. He turns to the stranger and says, "It looks like the train is going  to Ottawa." The stranger agrees as they watch the train pull out of the station and head in the direction of Ottawa. Another train arrives some time later and both men acknowledge that this train, too, is going to Ottawa. The train leaves and neither man ever gets on the train. They both believed that the train was going to Ottawa but belief was not enough. Without the commitment to get on the train they might as well be going to Timbuktu. They would never arrive at their destination. The preacher then compared the action of the strangers watching the train go by to practicing one's faith. It's not enough to believe. One must make a commitment and take action to live one's faith By using the train analogy the preacher created a memorable word picture that will stick in the minds of the listeners. When public speakers use word pictures in place of facts, the message has an emotional and lasting impact. The next time you have a speech or presentation look around for everyday events and like an artist, paint word pictures for your audience.