The Pleasure Principle
How Speaking Circles® Transformed My Ministry
by Larry Shellink
Yesterday I had my first real world opportunity to practice the methods I learned at the workshop. I delivered the message at both services at Spiritual Life Center. Ironically I spent more time than usual in preparing the message yet I still did not have a complete talk when it was time to stand and deliver. There were several holes in my talk that seemingly needed to be filled in to tie it all together. When there was no more time on the clock and I had to leave the house I went off with the thought that if nothing else, I would remember to pause, take a breath and speak to one person at a time.
Well the outcome was phenomenal. Seemingly out of my relationship with the audience members came the connections that were needed to tie the message together. That's not only poetic but extremely telling of how this approach creates a synergy with listeners that allows content to be communicated beyond the planned message.
That would have been enough to satisfy my hopes and expectations, but there were more extraordinary experiences. I was much less self aware and much more aware of the people. I was calmer and able to slow down in my delivery and it felt like the message hung in the air and settled into the hearts of the listeners.
From the other side of the pulpit, the feedback was like none other I have ever received in the hundreds of messages I have delivered over the last eight years. One gentlemen said to me, "I've been all over the world and I've heard some of the best speakers, and I've never been more touched by a message..." Many others expressed similar comments that their experience of this message was unparalleled. Perhaps the most succinct analysis came from one woman who said "you really drew us in ... we were with you all the way ... very powerful!"
All that and I'm still new at this. I did find some moments when I would lose the connection and was not immediately aware as my gaze panned the audience rather than being with one person. In those moments when I noticed them I could feel a disconnect not only with the people but with my message. It is as if the message must be focused to another person in order for it to remain focused in me. Very important, transformative insight.
Thank you for this powerful teaching. I am already reaping great fruits as a novice practitioner and I am very grateful for a gift that I can share with so many.
Peace and blessings,
© Copyright 2004, Larry Shellink. All rights reserved.