They were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. -Book of Luke
Have you ever heard someone talk or write, and thought to yourself, “Damn, I need to listen to this guy”?
You’re not sure why but when this person talks it’s a little different. The communication is not necessarily more eloquent or more intelligent. It just seems more real.
Their words have a weight and authority that make an impression.
While I am not in the same league as the folks mentioned above, a few times I have had the experience of speaking with authority.
I know when it happens because two indicators are present:
My words feel authentic coming out. I get a keen sense that what I am communicating is coming from the depths of who I am.
My words connect with others. It’s clear from their reaction that the message is as real to them as it is to me.
What creates that weight? How do we cultivate that type of authority in our message?
Here are three things that have helped me.
1. Speak with a purpose. As the proverb states, “the purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters.” If you are going to have a message that connects deeply with others, it’s got to come from the depths of who you are. There is no better way to access those deep parts of your heart than by connecting to a greater purpose.
To speak with authority, you need a message that draws people into something deeper than a few random thoughts. Share a purpose with them.
2. Speak from the quiet. Great teachers, teachers who speak with authority, all spend time in quiet. Jesus spent time in quiet, Ghandi spent time in quiet, the Dalai Lama spends time in quiet, and all the people that I referenced above, recommend regular times of quiet.
Authority doesn’t come from speaking a lot, authority comes from quieting your heart, stilling your mind, and listening.
3. Speak what you live. People can sense authenticity. People know when you are merely talking about something in an abstract sense. They also know (and appreciate) when you share not just your thoughts but your life.
In your message, be sure to address issues that are important to you. Cover topics that you wrestle with regularly in your own life.
Knowing something well is not always about mastery of a topic. Often, to know something well you simply need intimacy with a topic.
For instance, if you are struggling to get your finances in order, you don’t have to communicate about financial mastery. Instead, communicate about struggling to get to financial mastery.
That’s what you are living and that’s what will connect with others.
Question: When do you find that you speak with the most authority? What indicators are present? Share by leaving a comment.