Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Listen to Yourself

I review by listening to my sermons from time to time. We make it pretty easy to review sermons at Pleasant Bay; you can find them at www.PleasantBayChurch.org

There are two really good reasons for me to go back and listen:
  1. The Good Ones, and 
  2. The Bad Ones
When I go back and listen, I usually find that my own assessment of how things went on Sunday isn’t precisely accurate. This week, for example, I didn’t feel like I made my points very well… but after listening to it today, I found that it was way better than I remembered. There are other weeks when I feel like I really delivered the goods, only to find that I wasted some opportunities when I listen critically later in the week.

I don’t go back and listen to every sermon I preach or presentation I make… but I try to listen to the ones that I feel are a bit better than usual and the ones that I feel are a bit worse than usual. When I listen to the bad ones, I almost always find that it was better than I remembered, and that builds my confidence for next time. When I listen critically to the good ones, I almost always identify something that I can do better, usually both in the content and the delivery.

I encourage you to listen to yourself from time to time. Maybe you are a preacher like me and listening to a recording is fairly simple. But maybe you’ll need to be a bit more creative about how you go back and review your work. Maybe a lot of your work is written (such as emails)… take a look in your sent-items folder and pull a few old emails to review (pick some good ones and some bad ones). Maybe you make presentations or run meetings and they are not usually recorded… make an effort to make a recording (use an app on your phone; it doesn’t need to be studio-quality). I think if you’ll make an effort to review your work, especially focusing on the good ones and the bad ones, you’ll learn important lessons.

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