I just completed reading the book Talk Like TED. It is a summary of the 9 communication practices of the persons who have delivered the best TED Talks in the history of that event. I highly recommend this book to anyone who speaks publicly. It’s full of practical insights, advice, and science. The ninth and final secret of great presenters is that they “stay in their lane.”
What does it mean for a communicator to stay in his lane? Since you and I lead groups to study the Bible each week, this is something we must do if we want our group members to buy in to our message. According to the author, Carmine Gallo, staying in your lane means you are “authentic, open, and transparent…most people can spot a phony. If you try to be something or someone you’re not, you’ll fail to gain the trust of your audience…Now I’d like you to set aside the techniques and the science and speak from the heart. That’s right, everything we’ve discussed will be meaningless if you are putting on an act” (p.240).
3 Ways to Stay in your Lane as a Bible Study Leader
Staying in your lane means being the authentic you. It means being real. It means that you make mistakes. It means you don’t always have every answer. It means you’re on a journey to spiritual maturity, just like your group members. To “stay in your lane,” do the following:
- Speak from your heart.
- Share stories and illustrations from your life.
- Bare your soul (within reason) so the people see “the real you.”
If you do these three things, you’ll be well on your way to staying in your lane. If you’re ever tempted to exaggerate, don’t. If you think embellishing a story will make you look bigger in the eyes of your group members, reconsider. If you believe playing the part of “the sage on the stage” somehow makes you more admirable, it doesn’t. Just be you. The real you.
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