20 Things GREAT Public Speakers Do

Leadership comes with a microphone—learn to use it well.

Leadership comes with a microphone. This is because in every leader’s life there comes a time when they must stand up and say, “Follow me!”

In an effort to help provide leaders with the best public speaking tools, I turned to the greatest leadership book ever written—the Bible.

In 1 Chronicles 28-29, King David stands before the nation of Israel and calls them to sacrifice for the construction of Solomon’s Temple. In addition to casting vision for this legendary facility, there is an increased level of drama because David is handing the mantle of leadership to his son Solomon just prior to his death.

As I read the text, the following are 20 Things Great Public Speakers Do I gleaned from these two chapters. First is the lesson followed by the supporting text.

1. Great Public Speakers Know Their Audience – 28:1 – “Now David assembled at Jerusalem all the leaders of Israel, the officers of the tribes and the captains of the divisions who served the king, the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possessions of the king and of his sons, with the officials, the valiant men and all the mighty men of valor.”

2. Great Public Speakers Immediately Connect With the Audience – 28:2 – “King David rose to his feet and said, ‘Hear me my brethren and my people.”

3. Great Public Speakers Use Passion to Speak To People’s Hearts – 28:2 – “I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God.”

4. Great Public Speakers Use Facts to Speak to People’s Minds –  28:2 – “and had made preparations to build it.”

5. Great Public Speakers Authentically Address Real Issues – 28:3 – “But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood.’”

6. Great Public Speakers Speak Directly to the Next Generation – 28:4 – “He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel.”

7. Great Public Speakers Point to a Brighter Tomorrow – 28:7 – “‘I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is steadfast to observe My commandments and My judgments, as it is this day.’”

8. Great Public Speakers Give Detailed Instructions – 28:8 – “‘Be careful to seek out all the commandments of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land, and leave it as an inheritance for your children after you forever.’”

9. Great Public Speakers Are Great Encouragers – 28:10 – “Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.”

10. Great Public Speakers Are Personally Invested in the Audience’s Success – 28:11-17 – “Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers and the place of the mercy seat; and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things; also for the division of the priests and the Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord, and for all the articles of service in the house of the LordHe gave gold by weight for things of gold, for all articles used in every kind of service; also silver for all articles of silver by weight, for all articles used in every kind of service; the weight for the lampstands of gold, and their lamps of gold, by weight for each lampstand and its lamps; for the lampstands of silver by weight, for the lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each lampstand. And by weight he gave gold for the tables of the showbread, for each table, and silver for the tables of silver; also pure gold for the forks, the basins, the pitchers of pure gold and the golden bowls—he gave gold by weight for every bowl; and for the silver bowls, silver by weight for every bowl.”

11. Great Public Speakers Give the Audience Great Courage – 28:20 – “And David said to his son Solomon, ‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.’”

12. Great Public Speakers Give the Audience the Tools and Resources Needed for Success – 28:21 – “Here are the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God; and every willing craftsman will be with you for all manner of workmanship, for every kind of service; also the leaders and all the people will be completely at your command.”

13. Great Public Speakers Speak With Great Clarity – 29:1 – “Furthermore King David said to all the assembly: ‘My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen.’”

14. Great Public Speakers Call the Audience to a Higher Purpose – 29:1 – “The temple is not for man but for the Lord God.”

15. Great Public Speakers Are Approachable, Humble and Have a Spirit of Gratitude – 29:10-13 -“David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: ‘Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lordis the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.’”

16. Great Public Speakers Go Through a Process of Great Preparation – 29:16 – “O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own.”

17. Great Public Speakers Want Something for the Audience, Not Just Something from the Audience – 29:19 – “Give my son Solomon a loyal heart to keep Your commandments and Your testimonies and Your statutes, to do all these things, and to build the temple for which I have made provision.”

18. Great Public Speakers Ask the Audience for Great Commitment – 29:20 – “David said to all the assembly, ‘Now bless the Lord your God.’ So all the assembly blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the Lord and the king.”

19. Great Public Speakers Reproduce Themselves – 29:25 – “The Lord exalted Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.”

20. Great Public Speakers Leave a Great Legacy – 29:26-28 – “David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. And the period that he reigned over Israel was 40 years; seven years he reigned in Hebron, and 33 years he reigned in Jerusalem. So he died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor.”

I trust this information will help you with your next speaking assignment.

Brian Dodd
Brian Dodd is a church stewardship & leadership consultant. See www.briandoddonleadership.com for additional insights.