Who teaches the Preachers?

by Phil Waknell

It’s not only business leaders, salespeople and entrepreneurs who need to inspire their audiences. For thousands of years, many of the most talented speakers could be found not in a shop or office but in a place of worship.


Ask people which public speaker they most admire, and many will point to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. He spoke powerfully and inspired his audiences, and of the well-known speakers of the last century he was certainly among the best. Yet go to many Southern Baptist churches and you will find unknown preachers who speak with a similar style and no less power.

Religion today in many Western communities in particular is facing a decline in congregations and a loss of interest among the young. It is all the more important for the heads of those congregations to be able to speak powerfully, to inspire their followers, and not only keep them coming back but to get them to bring their families and friends.

To be blunt, presentation skills are of the utmost importance for preachers, yet they are not always taught how to write or deliver a good sermon.

The Diocese of Toulouse, in the south of France, has decided it’s time to invest in their preachers’ presentation skills, so this October, Ideas on Stage will distill all of its expertise in storytelling, oratory and inspiration and take it to Toulouse for a workshop that promises to be very different from our usual sessions with startups, TED speakers and business executives, but just as important and impactful.

So, who teaches the preachers? Ideas on Stage, of course!