Speakers Sermon Illustrations

Speakers Sermon Illustrations

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An ancient king once commanded his wise court jester to prepare him the finest dish in the world. He was served a dish of tongue.

Then the king demanded the worst dish in the world, and again was served a dish of tongue.

The king asked the reason and the wise man said: "The tongue is the greatest of blessings when wisely and lovingly used, but becomes the greatest curse when it is unkindly and dishonestly used."—Reverence A. Purnell Bailey, Grit

A politician of quite ordinary intellect once amazed his hearers with a flowery, but brilliant, speech.

As he sat down amidst tumultuous applause, a voice at the rear of the audience, obviously a member of the opposition party, implored: "Author! Author!"

The president of Ohio State University tells this story on himself: He had just completed his address before a certain civic organization and was receiving the usual commendations when presently a young lad approached and said, "That was lousy." Rather nonplussed, the speaker turned to the man next to him, who hurriedly explained that the boy wasn't quite bright and only repeated what he heard other folks say.—Rotarian

Don't worry about tension (in speechmaking); it's natural and useful. "A course in speaking should not put emphasis on making you feel at ease," asserts David C. Phillips, American Manage-ment Association speech teacher. "Nervousness makes your brain sharp and alert. Any time I'm not keyed up before a speech, I take it as a bad sign."—Max Gunther, Popular Science

For solid comfort and general satisfaction, you can't beat an old time-worn story. Then the audience is a step ahead of you. They know precisely when to laugh.

An effective speech ought to gall the orthodox and annoy the complacent.

The speaker on farm management had given much good advice, but finally sat down. The chairman rose to summarize. "Our speaker has made our situation very plain. If our outgo exceeds our income, the upkeep will be our downfall."—Toastmaster

I was amused at the toastmaster's statement that "what he says, goes." He is somewhat like the man who was riding on a railway train beside a certain stranger. After five minutes of silence, the stranger became confidential.

"I," he said, impressively, "am a starter of elevators in a city skyscraper. When I signal them to go up, they go up. And your line is—?"

"I," said the other, "am an undertaker. When I signal them to go down, they go down."—Bright Bits

(Hints for the educator lecturer at school institutes and workshops):

One of the prime purposes of a professional meeting of teachers is to make each of them a student for the duration of the meeting. The successful lecturer fits himself to do just that. No man earns his pay at such an event unless he feels a strong desire, much as the skilled actor on the stage, to communicate something of value.

If he is to help the teachers present, he must know something of their status, their training, their knowledge, their school system, their state and their country. If the lecturer doesn't have some idea of these things, he runs the risk of flying, as Icarus did, too high or too low. The educational history of Indiana does not prepare for institute work in Illinois any better than the agricultural history of the tomato growing region of Indiana prepares one to lecture to the bean growers of Brown County. Of course the Indiana tomato grower may give a bundle of accurate knowledge, perhaps even interesting, but how well does it satisfy the needs of the man eager to learn more about raising beans in Illinois?—M. Dale Baughman

On one occasion at one of those farmer's institutes a young man had come down to talk soil analysis to the farmers. He was a very young man and had carefully prepared his address He read it and it abounded in chemical formulas and technical terms, and one after another the farmers got up and went out. He had a very long address, because he wanted to cover the subject completely When he got through, he noticed that he had just one man left in the audience. He called to the man after he had finished and was taking up his hat to leave and said, "My friend, I appreciate very much your interest in this subject. What was there about the discourse of this evening that interested you most?" To which the man replied, "Interested me nothing. I am the next speaker."—W. K. Tate

One day in the House of Commons, British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli made a brilliant speech on the spur of the moment. That night, at a party, his hostess said to him:

"I must tell you how much I enjoyed your extemporaneous talk. It's been on my mind all day."

"Madam," confessed Disraeli, "that extemporaneous talk has been on my mind for 20 years."—Milwaukee Journal

Joe Garagiola was showing his announcing partner, Harry Caray, around his recreation room. Noticing a mounted deer's head above the fireplace, Caray remarked, "I didn't know you were a big game hunter, Joe."

The former big league catcher explained that he had not shot the deer, that it had been presented to him by a civic group for whom he had made an after-dinner speech.

"You know," said Caray, "you're probably the first guy who ever shot the bull and got a deer."—Scholastic Coach

A little word said and remembered is better than any amount of weary, casual talk which men endure and gladly forget.—The War Cry

Among Americans, 15,000,000 have impaired hearing, but for every one who can't hear there are at least five who won't listen. That, according to Atlanta Constitution columnist Leo Aikman, is why history repeats. Nobody listens.

A speaker of some renown once during a lecture startled his hearers when he suggested a 10-minute intermission. The audience sat there bewildered for a few moments. The speaker gazed over the listeners briefly and then relieved their perplexity by saying, "Meanwhile in order to pass the time, we will proceed with the address."

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