"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Gospel Truth**6 Things Writers Can Learn from Joel Osteen


I’m a big fan of Joel Osteen. Not because of his huge popularity as a T.V. personality and pastor of Lakewood Church, nor his role as a savvy businessman and best-selling author.

Each week I’m glued to the boob tube, because in addition to learning about the path to salvation---there’s a bonus. He epitomizes what it is to be an effective communicator. And as I see it, there’s a parallel of sorts: he delivers the “word” from the pulpit while writers deliver “the word” on paper.

Each role is a ministry, shaping the mindsets of the masses.
And every week his eloquence is reinforced time and time again.

Whether you write business letters, speeches, articles, or essays, here are six elements he embodies in his sermons that can improve your writing technique.

1. Presentation is important---This may seem a bit sacrilegious, but he’s gorgeous to look at and he dresses to impress; which explains why his fan base is primarily composed of women. When writing, the same principle applies. Make sure your work is “nice to look at,” free of typos, improperly spelled words and poor formatting.
2. An effective lead draws your audience in---Every Sunday he starts his program off with a joke. Some are pretty good, others are a bit corny, but either way this unorthodox approach grabs your attention.
3. Anecdotes help to illustrate key points---Whether he talks about his mom’s faith in her battle with cancer, or humorous accounts of how his wife Victoria really discovered a “gem” when he met her at a jewelry store, it makes an impact and makes things clearer.
4. Expert quotes give credibility---He cites biblical passages and chapters and their respective authors as a way to give guidance and authority to his messages.
5. The take away factor---It’s virtually impossible to watch his show and not come away with a deeper understanding of biblical principles, or encouragement to handle difficult times, or pointers on improving your life. Your work should also connect with readers and make them feel that they know more than they did before and that their time was well spent.
6. A call to action---“Put God first and get into a bible-based church” he tells viewers in closing. Remember that endings are just as important as opening statements to give your audience proper closure and to reestablish your purpose.

By following these six tips you’ll improve the effectiveness of your messages while improving the quality of life and the bottom line of your readers.
And that’s the “gospel” truth.

Pen and Prosper welcomes your comments.
Do you agree or disagree with this perspective?

6 comments:

  1. Well written article. It was informative and very truthful. You are right presence, engagement, presentation, and taking action are so essential. Not only are those attributes important in speaking, they are equally important in writing.

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  2. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 17, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    Thanks for your input, Sharman. And thanks for stopping by.:-)

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  3. I am a new reader and preparing to try my hand at freelance writing and found your site in my journey.

    I love Joel Osteen and I'm not even Christian. This post really illustrates the power of his communication skills.

    Great advice for writers to consider.

    Be well. Do well.

    D.S. Vyas

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  4. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 20, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    Thanks so much for visiting this site and for your feedback.

    I agree, his skills to connect with people of all different backgrounds, religions and races is awesome.

    I wish you well in your writing journey.
    Hope you'll visit again soon.

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  5. A friend of mine recently introduced me to Joel Osteen's podcast and I've listened to it ever since. Like you said, there's a lot you can learn from him.
    He's an excellent communicator and makes things sound so straightforward and simple, which is one of the reasons I keep going back for more.
    Really, there is a lot both Christians and non-Christians can learn from him.

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  6. Never watched Joel Osteen, but I might have to tune in. I do agree that the six points defintely correlate to writing.

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