Five Insights to Help You Communicate Better as a Leader

Former President Ronald Reagan was known as the Great Communicator. That title wasn’t an award, it was just true. President Reagan was optimistic when he spoke, had a quick wit and sense of humor, gave hope, and had a deep belief in what he spoke about. He possessed a natural connection with people that allowed him to speak truth with a folksy wisdom that captured young and old alike. How about you, what distinguishes you as a communicator?

First, I’d like to encourage you with three thoughts about your communication potential as a church leader.

  • The size of your stage doesn’t determine the size of your gift. God may have chosen you for a smaller platform but that does not limit your ability to develop your skill. Don’t seek a larger stage, strive to develop your ability.
  • The size of your gift doesn’t determine the scope of your reach. The power of prayer will always trump eloquence and skill. Your eternal impact can be greater than your skill when you bathe your communication in prayer.
  • The scope of your reach doesn’t determine the value of your ministry. If you never speak to large crowds, you can still rock the gates of heaven with staggering stories life change.

Second, here are 5 questions that give you insight to great communication:

1) Are you are comfortable in your own shoes?

The best communicators are at ease with who they are as a person. They don’t try to look, sound or speak like other people. They are self-aware, genuine, and have found their own voice. Because of this they can communicate with poise, confidence and personal authority rather than insecurity.

2) Do you connect at heart level?

All great communicators connect with people. Their authenticity gains them an innate trust from the listeners. There is no pretense, which will always break a heart level connection. Though the topic may be serious, there is a light-heartedness and sense of humor in their style. This allows them to engage the emotions of the people.

3) Do you read the room quickly?

Knowing your audience is important but there’s more to it. Great communicators have the ability to sense if the people are engaged and responsive. And if this is not the case, they can change their approach in the moment. It might be as simple as slowing down and cutting content, or something more complex like adding a personal story on the fly to recapture the room.

4) Do you make people think?

Jesus made people think. From the Pharisees and Roman leaders to his own beloved disciples, he challenged them with questions, and made them think by telling stories in parable form. His approach was simple but profound. For you and I, there is simply no substitute for substantial preparation.

5) Do you know how to land the plane?

This is the leadership moment, the moment that captures why you are teaching.  Be strong, clear, concise and bold. Don’t circle the runway when it’s time to land the plane! Know the point of your message and stick to it. There are two questions that will help your message land in a way that makes a difference.

  • What do you want each person to know?
  • What do you want each person to do?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Reiland

Dan Reiland

Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together. Dan is best known as a leader with a pastor's heart, but is often described as one of the nations most innovative church thinkers. His passion is developing leaders for the local church so that the Great Commission is advanced.

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In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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