Sunday, January 16, 2011
The Gospel Truth! 6 Things every writer 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, are Catholic, Baptist, or Buddhist 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.