Thursday, July 13, 2006

Playing the Instrument
Called the Human Voice

'Preaching is an oral art form played on the instrument of the human voice. Preachers should learn how to play their instruments as effectively as any singer or instrumentalist. The mastery of oral communicaiton involves the intentional manipulation of the vocal devices of pitch, pace, pause and volume. These four elements ought to be in evidence throughout the sermon. Vocal variation is the essence of effective speech in all settings, and preachers should work hard to master these four devices. With the possible exception of Louis Armstrong's singing style, oral communication that employs one single note is boring and uninspiring. Of course, while Armstrong was noted for his one-note singing technique, when he played his trumpet he made full use of the variations in pitch, pace, pause and volume.'
--From a new book by Rev. Marvin A. McMickle (who has been preaching since the age of 16), The Star Book of Preaching. You can browse all his books here.


At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish that teacher's would read this. As a person in the teaching profession, I find that kids react better to me if I'm passionate in my verbal style of deliverance. Times when I'm tired or disinterested (which luckily borders on rarity), my voice tends to stay on "one single note" and the kids lose focus. I'm going to pick up this book and put it in the teacher's room. :) thanks

At 3:16 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

That's interesting, because elsewhere in the book (which I flipped through rather than fully read), he does take up the subject of preaching on days when you don't really feel like it, or when you otherwise feel uninspired. As the spouse of a veteran teacher, I immediately was reminded of what I most admire in good teachers, the way they summon the acting ability (because that's what it must amount to) on days when they're not feeling their best. Anyway, it looks like you really enjoyed your vacation.

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, so many of our best orators are shoveling cow manure in either house of the United States Congress.

But that would be a topic for another time.

Make America Purple has gone live on the web to advance the cause of bring together the "Reds" and "Blues" allowing us once again to be The UNITED States of America.

You do outstanding work. Your blog attracts the type of visitors that would allow the voice of the people - all the people not just those at the far ends of the spectrum - to ring loud and clear in the seats of power across this nation.

I invite you to vist, review what we propse and and to join in the cause to Make America Purple!

At 3:52 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks, Kilroy. I'll take a look at it soon.


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