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I had heard that pastor Joel Osteen was one of the best public speakers so I decided to watch his broadcast to find out for myself. I was impressed with the very large congregation with tens of thousands seated under the sound of his voice. It is a good thing that he had a very good public address system otherwise it would have been a major impediment to the delivery of his sermon. There were no echoes and the voice of the pastor reverberated clearly on the sea of humanity seated in front of him.
The sound engineers had done a good job. As the choir sang the last number before they ushered him to the podium, his ability to deliver excellent sermons was clear to me. This was especially so from the number of people that had come to listen to what he had to say.
Type of delivery
The pastor used the extemporaneous type of delivery. The elements of the manuscript, impromptu, and memorized types of delivery were however present in bits as well. For instance, the pastor had noted that he referred to once in a while. Twice, he referred to some quotes that he had memorized and many times, he quoted memorized scripture.
The way he began the speech was impressive. He began with a short joke that left everybody bursting in laughter and just as the laughter was ebbing away, he led them in a well-memorized confession; “This is my bible, I love it! It has changed my life! I am what it says I am…” All through the sermon, he kept repeating his title of the message; “I am a victor, not a victim.”
He efficiently applied a particular piece of art in his speech. This was through the use of tonal variations throughout the entire half an hour that he was on the podium. He talked naturally most of the time but he knew when to raise his voice especially when he sensed applause coming. When he was narrating a story about a woman that had come to see him for counseling, he switched his tone to a begging tone. A tone that made the listeners capture the need that the woman was in, then he switched back to a more commanding tone as he explained how he let her know that she was a victor and not a victim.
The hook took and book choices were used well in the speech. The pastor used a joke at the beginning and continued to use humor throughout the sermon to make sure he had the attention of the audience. He read from the Bible which was his text (book) before he introduced his sermon. His reference agreed well with his topic (“I am a victor and not a victim”) since the scripture he read was from Romans chapter eight verse 37 and talks about being more than victors. The “took” came at the end of his sermon, when he led the people in a confession; “From today, I am not a victim but a victor!”
This was indeed a great speech. Joel Osteen knows not just how to connect with his audience but he knows how to communicate his ideas forcibly yet in an inspiring way. By the end of his sermon, it was clear that everyone present in the church and most probably, the ones that we’re watching the broadcast like me, had made up their minds that they were victors and not victims. I found myself saying the confession with the rest of the people at the close of his sermon.
“Joel Osteen Today.” Trinity Broadcasting Network. New York. Television.