Top 10

Of the bespeaking articles I’ve written in the past, these are my favourite 10.

You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

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1: The Ideal Lunchbar Speaker

  Had I become a priest, the sermons would’ve been electric! (Johnny Vegas)  Here’s my three-part paradigm for The Ideal Christian Speaker. I’m willing to bet that any preacher or evangelist that you’ve found particularly helpful has shown all three. Nor would I be surprised if any talk you’ve found frustrating has betrayed a lack of …

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2: Memorable Messages

Are you ‘sticky’? A friend of a friend of mine is a banker who frequently flies to America. He went to a local bar in Atlantic City one evening, and had just finished a drink when an attractive woman approached and asked if she could buy him another. He was surprised, but flattered (assuming she …

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3: Do A C.S. Lewis

I was stretched out on the sofa, reading the introduction to ‘The Essential C.S. Lewis’, and musing about whether Lewis was right to appeal to reason and the imagination in his apologetics. Given the impact he had and continues to have (through his books, and also through current figures like Tim Keller who follow his …

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4: Show Me The Way To Go Home

All speakers agree that the most important part of your talk is the ending. That’s your destination, and that’s what people remember.  Yet many of us are frustrated to find it’s often our weakest point. Why? Let me suggest two causes, and three solutions. Two Causes 1.  My Tail Is Less Evolved! My talks evolve. I write …

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5: God Talks Like A Neuroscientist

This is embarrassing, and probably inappropriate. Though I’ve spoken at lots of student events in various places on various topics to various groups over the last four years, the people who engage (and talk to me afterwards) have been disproportionately girls. Should I admit that? Not sciency blokes, not sporty blokes, but rather stylish and …

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6: What We Can Learn From A Singing Footballer

What Can We Learn From A Singing Footballer? Graham Daniels (above) began his message at FORUM by telling the story of Dennis Bailey. Dennis was a striker for QPR in the 1980s who scored a hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Let’s just pause and enjoy that fact for a moment. Ah. Anyway, the …

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7: The Rhetoric of Rain

It’s 7am, and I pull back the curtains in Lydia’s nursery.  The sun pours in, and a beautiful blue sky sits above the allotments opposite our house. ‘Good news for our BBQ this evening’, I say to Jane, as she unpops Lydia from her sleep suit. But by 11am, in traditional British fashion, dark grey …

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Breaking Into Song

8: Testing Your Tone By Breaking Into Song

(with written permission from http://www.emilygphotography.com/blog/) If Logos (our words) and Pathos (our emotional tone) sang a duet, who would have the louder voice? I’d suggest the latter, that what we say is drowned out by the way that we say it. Tone is important, but how can I ‘test my tone’, ensuring it harmonizes with what …

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9: Keller’s Gospel-Shaped Apologetics

This is an edited transcript of Tim Keller’s talk ‘How The Gospel Changes Our Apologetic‘. Yes, it is incredibly long, but so is Tolstoy’s War and Peace and, you know what, I don’t mind the comparison. What is apologetics? Apologetics is an answer to the ‘why question’ after you’ve already given people an answer to …

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10: Three Little Generation Y Pigs

Once upon a time there were three little pigs, called Pig, Bud and Coz. Sociologists considered them Generation-Y pigs, born after 1982, and these pigs understood their lives through the lens of a ‘happy midi-narrative’. They didn’t believe in meta-narratives (like the Enlightenment’s story of progress or the Christian story of redemption), but they did …

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11: Persuasive Recycling? Or “Persuasive Pizza”…

Here’s a short article I wrote for some Oxford students who were looking for a talk structure. My aim was to both defend persuasion, and model a persuasive talk as I define the problem, explore two dead ends, and offer the solution with a call to action. Persuasive Recycling. Snug under the duvet, tapping away …

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