Back in the day, commercials were almost as enjoyable as the television shows that they interrupted. Who can forget…
- The Energizer Bunny…still going
- Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?”
- Tootsie Pop’s “How Many Licks?”
- Coca-Cola’s “Meet Joe Green”
- Apple’s “Think Different” or the “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” series
As public speakers, we can learn a lot from these timeless caricatures of persuasion. Like a great commercial, we must communicate our “brand values” in a memorable manner that compels action.
In Acts 17:16-34, the apostle Paul demonstrates an effective persuasive appeal when he visits Athens. First, he observes his audience, noticing their idols, philosophy, and religion. Then he notices their altar to the “unknown god” and meets their need by proclaiming the one true God. He seals the deal with a call to action: “Repent!”
As we present our speeches and debate our issues, we must first consider our audience, noticing what they value. Then we must meet their needs, presenting truth in the most persuasive way and calling them to action.
Our motivation is not selling products or winning medals, but winning hearts and minds.
In His Grace,
Amy Joy Tofte
NCFCA Director of Education
A note to parents and coaches: What persuades you? Do you prefer, the facts, the facts, and only the facts, or are you moved by a powerful story? This week as you guide your students through speech and debate preparation, engage in conversations about effective persuasion so that we might share in the apostle Paul’s quest to win as many as possible. (I Corinthians 9:19-23)