I am doing a lot of work at the moment on improving my communication skills.
A lot of what Seth Godwin goes on about has been really helpful.
I am convinced of a few things as a Pastor/preacher/communicator.
People want to listen and learn, but get bored pretty easily.
If I get about 40 chances a year to speak to people, I had better make the most of it.
A lot of people are visual learners. This is only going to increase.
I have better make sure I use visual aids.
People want to connect emotionally with what is being taught.
Stories are vital, as is passion, I had better believe and live what I speak about.
Bible stories as illustrations are only effective if they speak to me, today, about my circumstances. How often did Jesus use Biblical illustrations? Not often. He quoted scripture, and sometimes referred to OT stories, but most of His material was gathered as He walked down the street.
God needs to do whats really important, but that does not excuse me from being slack. In fact, I need to use all God has given me.
The biggest sin I can commit as a speaker, apart from speaking heresy, is make the most important message in the world, BORING.