Alexandra Sampaio is a speech therapist in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

"Now go; I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say!" Exodus 4:12

There are many Christians who are afraid of preaching. Fear of public speaking is so ancient that even the Bible makes reference to it.

Moses is a good example of a leader who was afraid of public speaking. In his argument against the Lord’s order to free His people through speech, he avoided it by giving some excuses. But God assured him with a voice that inspired conviction and trust: 

“Now go; I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say!”

But still Moses pleaded fearfully:

“O Lord, please send someone else to do it!” (Exodus 4:12, 13 NIV)

I believe this story was registered in the Bible to show us how challenging it is to deliver some messages. Moses only stopped arguing when God suggested his brother, Aaron, could speak for him.

How about you? Have you let other people speak for you because you were afraid? The following suggestions can help you overcome the fear of public speaking:

1. Choose in advance the subject you plan to present to the church.

2. Organize your thoughts and break them into parts or divisions within the sermon.

3. When you start talking, go straight to the subject. First, captivate the public by telling a story, a testimony, a reflexion, or showing the benefits the church will gain from studying the subject.

4. Avoid starting your message by giving a personal opinion about the subject, which might oppose the listener’s opinion. Show the common ground first and then, in a very pleasant way present opinions that might cause an impact.

5. When presenting a subject, clearly state the theme you want to develop, the problem you wish to solve, and the topics you are going to deal with. Thus, the listeners will be able to better follow your thoughts.

6. Follow through within the stages you outlined. Apply the theme to their current reality, give examples, but do not exaggerate so that it doesn’t become unbelievable.

7. Make your conclusions and leave the best part, the greatest emotion, for the end. End with a reflection or something that makes them think or act according to the message.

Think about this:

Those who are able to overcome the fear of the unknown and the fear of someone else’s evaluation are the ones who truly have surrendered themselves to Divine guidance; they are the ones who allow the Holy Spirit to use them. Therefore, stop criticizing yourself, stop thinking about yourself and think about the good your message will bring to others.

May you be able to reach this goal, by God’s grace!

Alexandra Sampaio
Speech therapist in Belo Horizonte, Brazil