Relevance by Laura Smith

NCWA blog welcomes Laura Smith!

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Laura Smith picAs if my ill timed joke were a dried up leaf, I watched it hover mid air before it slowly drifted to the ground where it lay quivering for a moment before disintegrating on the spot. I stared at the floor where the joke had landed and then looked into the hostile faces of my audience. I was not liking what I was seeing, and that’s when I threw out the desperate prayer, “God, help me!”

In an instant, He gave me an answer. “Why, Laura, would you try to tell this group of people a joke? They’re upset. Skip the jokes, and give them something they can use.”

I’d been called in to patch things up with employees whose workload had been doubled by new policies. They didn’t need me to be funny! They needed me to tell them that what they were doing made a difference.

I skipped the next three slides on my PowerPoint presentation and spent 40 minutes explaining the methodology behind the new policies. As I described the importance of their individual contributions, I saw arms unfold, pursed lips relax, and bodies lean forward as they engaged with the information.

The change in performance over the next month was dramatic, and I’d learned one of the most valuable lessons for what would eventually become the basis for all of my speaking. Be relevant to your audience.

Jesus’ message was not always popular, but His words changed lives. Whether He was charging a man of his sinfulness, pointing out the need for forgiveness, or speaking words of compassion, His message was always relevant to the need at hand.

If you’re interested in becoming a part of the Speakers’ Connection team, please email Laura Smith at speakersconnection@nwchristianwriters.org for application guidelines.

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Laura is NCWA’s own Speaker’s Connection Coordinator and is an accomplished speaker and graduate of the Butterworth Communicator’s Institute. She is experienced as a corporate presenter as well as a sought after faith based retreat and event speaker. Laura’s adventures and daring spirit shine through in her words as a speaker, contributor to magazines, blog articles, and book Questions from a Single Heart. Engaging and fun, Laura wants to meet you at your place of need. Learn more about Laura at her website or blog.

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