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Trying to Get Better

I’ve spent this week sharing my public speaking journey.  I promise I’m not coming at you from someone at a high-level, but just someone that loves to hear what others do.  I hope you’ve participated throughout the posts, with some great comments.  If you’ve missed, then go read Why I’m Doing This, How I Prepare to Speak, and what I try to Remember when finally speaking.

I want to get better.  I remember being involved in Toastmasters International back in college, and it really kicked my butt.  If you’re unfamiliar with Toastmasters, then you should know that it’s a social club that helps people improve on their public speaking skills.  You are to give speech’s on different topics, of different lengths, with different amount of preparing times; and you do all the speech’s in front of a room of people that then publiclly criticize you.  It’s brutal, and yet the best thing I’ve ever done.

Today, I’m going to bare my public speaking soul and I hope that I hit on some themes you may also struggle with.  If you don’t comment then I have to assume you think you’re better than me…

Here is where I want need to get better:

Cut down on the circular hand movements. Watching myself on video afterwards is something I’ve always done to improve, and the BIG thing I see when I watch myself is all the landing of airplanes I’m doing with my arms and hands.

Eliminate the arrogance. I fear that my confidence sometimes could come across as arrogance.  I feel that with more prayer and understanding, I’ll be able to speak from a place of true humility.  It’s something I’m working on in all aspects of my life.

Use more scripture. Even though many of my talks are centered around scripture, I need to know more of God’s Word to allow me to quickly make scriptural connections.  As I mature and grow in the Lord, I’m getting better; but it’s always a goal in front of me.

Get more help. I’m not sure I get enough feedback from friends and mentors before going with what I have.  I’ll often ask how people think I did when it’s over, but skip the sharing my heart before speaking to see what I may be missing.


So do you have things you’d like to get better at?  What are they?  Come on now, open up!



Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.