Part of my Monday morning routine involves converting yesterday's sermon into an mp3 file in order to post it to our website. For the longest time I would only listen to the first and last bits of the sermon as I clipped the rest of the service off of the file. For the last month or so, I've started listening to the entire sermon. I do other things while I listen - like writing notes to church members or sorting through some mail - but simply hearing myself speak has helped me catch some things that I'd like to change about my speaking style that I would not have noticed otherwise.
Most recently, I've noticed some verbal tics that I'd fallen into without realizing it. My wife had pointed one of these out previously (that's an issue for another post - spousal critiques!), but hearing it for myself helped me realize how irritating it was. Fixing the problem hasn't been easy, but I have been working on it.
Admittedly, the process of listening to one's own sermon is somewhat excruciating, every verbal slip up or stumble causes me to cringe, but I do think the process is helping me to become a better speaker.
So, do you listen to your own sermons? How often? What is the experience like for you? When you notice something you'd like to change about your own speaking style, how do you go about it?
- The Short Preacher