Tips on Giving a Story
Are good things happening in your life? Are you eager to tell others how Yeshua has redeemed you, but uncertain about speaking in public? Try out the following suggestions:
Plan more, talk less.
Organize your thoughts by writing out what you want to say—but do not read it. Then jot down a few notes to remind you of your major points.
If you have a 10-minute time slot, take nine. If they give you five minutes, take four-and-a-half. Every extra minute you use takes time away from another speaker, or the worship, or a child-care worker. If you end early, people can seek you out later or invite you to say more another time.
Hint: Nervousness can actually boost your level of energy and animation, but it also can make you unaware of how time is passing.
Make your opening statement either reflective or humorous.
Avoid repeating details already stated. The person introducing you will state your name and probably the fact that you are a Jewish brother/sister in the Lord. Capture people’s attention with something they don’t expect to hear.
Don’t confuse a story with a personal biography.
Testimonies should be about God, not the speaker. If listeners love hearing from you, but do not think more about God, you failed. If they think about the Lord, His character, what He did for you, you succeeded.
Be selective about what you include.
Try to include the following points that people usually find interesting in a story:
- the first time you heard the gospel and what impressed you, even if it was negatively.
- what changed your mind about Jesus.
- how you now know that God is real. People are always interested to hear about answered prayer or how God has changed your life.
Always remember the importance of humility.
Audiences can arouse a speaker’s pride, albeit unintentionally. Some people might ask how you came to Christ as though you were smart enough or good enough to figure out what the majority of Jewish people have not.
Be sensitive so as not to perpetuate any such misunderstandings. A good statement to make is, I don’t know why God revealed Himself to me, but He made the truth clear when…”
Humility also enables you to share concerns and ask listeners to pray for you and your family. The prayers of those who are touched by your story could make a profound difference in your life and the lives of your loved ones.