My experience at the DCW (pt. 2)

Yesterday I reviewed the retreat center where the Dynamic Communicator’s workshop was held.  Today I am sharing my experience there and how I benefitted from it.  The DCW is 4 days of training on how to become an effective communicator.  Going into the workshop I would have told you that I am a gifted teacher, but that I am not a great public speaker.  This manifests in the form of being not particularly good in the pulpit.  In fact, in 13 years of being on church staff I have only filled the pulpit 3 times.  I was hoping to become more polished and effective in this type of format. DCW is a workshop done by Ken Davis productions.  In it they teach a method of presentation signified by the acronym SCORRE. The purpose of the SCORRE method is to teach the speaker to clearly communicate his or her point to the audience.  We have all suffered through a speech in which the speaker did not know what the point was.  And we have all walked away from a speech wondering what the speaker was trying to say.  Here is a guarantee, if you follow the SCORRE method, you will definitely know what your point is.  Further, if you present it properly, your audience will know what your point is.

The classroom sessions are all about the method of speaking.  But the classrooms are only a part of the workshop experience.  The other component is practice and evaluation.  We were placed into small groups (7-9 people) with each group having a leader.  The purpose of the small groups was to practice our newly-learned skills.  We arrived with a prepared speech and wrote and delivered 2 others over the course of the workshop.

In the small groups you are videotaped so you can see yourself.  Also you are critiqued by the members of your group and of your instructor.  For me, this was the most useful part of the workshop.  In this part I was able to work on things like gestures and eye-contact.  These are the parts of public speaking where I particularly needed improvement.  Watching yourself on videotape with your instructor by your side is painful, but it is also very educational.  When he is able to say, “See what you did there?” or, “Wasn’t that boring?”  it goes a lot further than saying, “Be less boring.”

I cannot review anyone else, but my small-group leader was wonderful.  He was honest in his criticism and gentle.  I never felt beat down by criticism, only encouraged.

DCW is a wonderful experience.  If public speaking is ever a part of your life, you would benefit from attending.  I honestly believe that I am a better public speaker now than I was a week ago.  At the very least I  know that I am certainly more confident.

Making Progress

In this world there are not many things I am actually good at.  In fact the list of things I am terrible at is very long.  I am terrible at anything that takes physical coordination.  I don’t play church league softball because I bring nothing to the team (anyone can ground out to the second baseman 3 times) I am pretty much horrible at every athletic endeavor.   Although I enjoy them, I am not very good at video games.  I have a terrible singing voice, and I don’t play any instruments.  I am not particularly mechanically inclined.  (Currently I can’t even get my lawnmower to start.) I think that is probably enough examples to make my point without being depressing. Even though the list of things I am bad at is extensive, there are a few things I am quite good at.  Fortunately, I know what those few things are.  I believe one of them is that I am a gifted teacher.

I believe that because of that gifting, God has called me to a profession that allows me to use it.  I would be a sin to allow the tools I have go to waste.

I love God’s word and I love apologetics.  You may recall I once posted about this love and the way that my life has progressed to where I get to teach regularly on apologetics.  Because of these 2 factors, I have for some time had a desire to become a NAMB Certified Apologetics Instructor. (CAI)  I think this is a noble attempt by the NAMB to have a certified group of apologists to recommend as it becomes more and more necessary in a culture which is moving further from being “Christian.”  This certification may turn out to be merely a stamp of approval from an organization I respect, but I believe that God has put this desire in my heart.

Part of the CAI certification process is a required course on public speaking.  It is called Dynamic Communicators workshop and it is put on by the Ken Davis Association. Next week I will post about my experience at this workshop and how I believe it has benefited me.  But in this post I want to ask my readers a favor.

Help me complete my certification.  I have completed steps 1 and 2.  All that is left is step 3.  In order to become a CAI, I must speak 30 times.  Currently I don’t have a church home so I have freedom to travel and speak in a variety of places.  (There is a church I attend regularly, but not where I am a member) Let me speak in your church.  I can do 1 lesson on apologetics or 30 if you want.  I can speak to youth or to adults.  You don’t have to pay me, I’m trying to complete my certification. (although it would be nice to get mileage if you are very far away)

If you recommend me to your pastor or to your church you will be helping me to realize a dream and to do what I believe is God’s will for my life.

I’ll conclude with just one word.