6 Tips From Public Speaking To Blogging With Joel Osteen’s Model

writing_what_you_speakMany writers are introverts. We take in life fully, reflect about experiences and some of us then write or blog about those findings.

You may or may not know Joel Osteen. He’s labeled everything from mega-church pastor to Christian evangelist on the periphery. When my mom used to stay with me she loved listening to Joel every Sunday morning. I would catch a word here or there but did not ever listen to a full message. Whatever he and his wife Victoria are, whatever you think of him, their church has the largest congregation of about 45,000 people, in the USA. It’s got to be worth paying attention with that kind of real life following.

Osteen recently launched a satellite radio station. My husband and I do a fair amount of traveling via car and years ago we subscribed to satellite radio. Maybe you subscribe? Now being able to tune in from my car why not listen and see what mom found so inspiring?

After hearing a couple of his messages, I began to think, could we learn as writers?

Here are 6 tips from public speaking to blogging with Joel Osteen’s model.

1. Engage and pull the audience in quickly

After a God bless you, Osteen segues to “I like to start with something funny,” and then he proceeds to tell a joke, not even usually related to the message. Maybe I was misguided being warned as a speaker and corporate trainer, “Never open with an unrelated joke.” Maybe that’s one reason I don’t have 45,000 people listening to me!ThisIsMyBible_Joel Olsteen

His use of humor helps everyone to start listening from the beginning. Before you know it, you are ready to listen. And since he’s a pastor, he leads you to hear what he believes in.

“Hold up your bible. Say it like you mean it.” He continues, keeping you engaged as you declare what he asks you to say.

 2. Speak (could we say write) as if you are talking with a few close friends

talking_with_friendsFrom what I learned about Osteen through a few of his messages, he never wanted to speak in public. He enjoyed being backstage when his father was pastor. Maybe he was shy or more of an introvert.

The take away from either seeing him on television or hearing him on radio is he makes you feel you’re right at home having a friendly conversation.

3. Relatable purpose upfront

“I want to talk with you about…” and then he opens with a life issue, a life problem, a situation that almost anyone can relate to. I could relate to a particular one with a recent message of how easy it is to let all kinds of upsetting events build up inside us.

Can you relate at all? Yes, me too. See I told you so.

4. Tell stories

Osteen gives his take on the message topic with all kinds of stories. Often it is something that happened to him. Other times it happened to a friend. Still others, he says, “I recently read,” and then tells his findings.

When he does this he often uses a tried and true speaker golden rule, usually talking in examples of three. Example, “offended by what someone said (1), worried about a problem at home (2), upset because of a negative report (3).” He’ll touch on work, family, and relatable life situations.

The short examples, lead to fully developed story examples of how you might experience the topic he’s covering. He sprinkles in solutions as the story unfolds, with ways to deal with it in often in bullet like sentences:

  • Be selective what you give your time and attention to.
  • You cannot prevent all the negatives but don’t dwell on them.
  • Guard your heart and spirit.

He does reference the scripture. When I was researching to see if any of his sermons had written transcript, I found some criticism that he rarely brings the Bible in. In the two or three messages I listened to, I found it to be sprinkled with scripture. He authentically brings in bible stories, as story. Sometimes he’d give the reference, sometimes quoting a short verse but most times, you hear his interpretation.

Every story is translated into the specific life lesson within the problem he’s talking about.

5. Give your solutions

Osteen uses various transitional statements to get to the actions or advice around the issue. “My philosophy is.” “What I do.” “Here’s a key.” During what are more expanded ideas he pulls in his expertise: how God uses situations, bible story examples and those personal stories again.

Throughout each story, yes even biblical ones, he’ll sprinkle in some humor.

6. Move smoothly to the conclusion

Each sermon has a specific time range of 27 to 30 minutes and that is something to count on.

Osteen is ending when he says, “We never like to close our broadcast without giving you an opportunity to make Jesus the Lord and Savior of your life.” With that call to action, you know it’s coming to a close. It’s always the same, making me think of a rallying cry.

I used to end blog posts with something like, “Tell us what you think below in the comments. This introvert would like to know.” I’m giving pause in thinking about if I want to do something like that again.

7. Bonus tip

When you listen to one of Osteen’s message, you’ll pick up on little phrases that end up getting quoted. One like, “Some of you today are not enjoying your life, but enduring your life,” struck me as being tweetable.

Do you have any models you use in your writing?

What do you think of the idea of any of Osteen’s speaking approaches as tips to make your writing better?

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  1. Swayam Das

    I love your ideas! Especially the idea to reach out to your audience as early as possible 🙂
    Thanks for the update!
    Swayam Das recently posted…Best Tools to Unfollow People on TwitterMy Profile

  2. Excellent suggestions from Joel Osteen. Am writng a speech about doing business in Saudi Arabia and decided to add a “joke” in the beginning.
    Catarina recently posted…Actions speak louder than wordsMy Profile

  3. What I find interesting about the points you have suggested is that it not only applies to public speaking and writing blogs but to selling. I have been using many of these points to sell for years. How do you sell or communicate if you do relate. The one thing I would add is to listen. So many times our communications are one sided and we tend to hear ourselves talk without listening.
    Arleen recently posted…Buying Behaviors: Why Women Like to Shop and Why Men BuyMy Profile

  4. I have never listened to Joel Osteen, but I agree with his tips, which are fairly universal and really not anything new. I guess it’s his magnetism and huge following that makes him stand out. My speaking coach would wholeheartedly agree with him. I believe I write a bit different than when I speak professionally.
    Laurie Hurley recently posted…When Blogging Gets In The Way Of Your LifeMy Profile

  5. When I listened to him these were the pieces that stood out to me Laurie. He wasn’t giving the tips though. There were 2 or 3 different messages I listened too when I realized, he’s got a model! Then I turned them into the pieces, or tips, for a possible way to look at your blog writing.

    Thanks and welcome back.
    Patricia Weber recently posted…Brainstorming: Bane Of Most Introverts But Writers Block Tool For BloggersMy Profile

  6. Great advice, I particularly like when the tone is friendly, a chat between friends. It usually means the language is informal and easy to follow.
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Marketing in the Uncanny ValleyMy Profile

  7. Jeannette Paladino

    As a writer and blogger, I wholeheartedly believe in his advice to engage and pull the audience in quickly. Especially on social media, you only have a few seconds to grabe a visitor and they he or she is off to another website. The headline needs to be the first grabber as well as compelling visual imagery.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Powerful Images Don’t Need Any Words to Grab Your AttentionMy Profile

  8. I love the tips! I will definitely think about these when I write. Thank you so much!

  9. Sounds like he’s got the audience to relate to him technique down. People always like stories, and I think because there’s usually something i those stories they can relate to then it immediately becomes a personal interaction. I guess practice helps too. Great tips. Thanks so much Pat:-)
    A.K.Andrew recently posted…#Muse media #Annie Proulx on LoveMy Profile

  10. All suggestions by Osteen are very nice and this truly tells why your mom was so inspired.
    I loved when you write , ” Move smoothly to the conclusion” If we jump directly on results then surly the major part in between will be missed and the thing can never be clear. I am reading this post by viewing my self in class in front of students. When ever I see that students are getting bored I try to tell them a joke and I have noticed many times that telling stories works a lot to motivate students.
    It was a wonderful post.
    Thank you.
    andleeb recently posted…A Way Out from Helplessness.My Profile

    • Thanks andleeb. Those are not Osteen’s suggestions but instead what I pulled out as I listened to several of his messages, AS suggestions for a model to consider.

      How speakers approach a conclusion have always been a pet peeve for me so it’s something I’m usually tuned into in both speaking and writing.
      Patricia Weber recently posted…Get Rid of 5 Monsters NowMy Profile

  11. Cheryl Therrien

    There is no doubt about it, however you feel about the man he has what it takes to communicate. I agree that bloggers / writers can take some pointers from him.
    Cheryl Therrien recently posted…#Halloween Costumes for Adult Couples #BBNshopsMy Profile

  12. These tips mimic much of what also works in creative nonfiction. The model I use that is in my bones for writing about real life experience comes from one of my former professors. He used the image of a sea and mountain to explain how all good writing needs engaging detail but readers/listeners also need reflection thrown in to balance the message and give them a meaningful message. There has to be something beneath the surface.
    Jeri recently posted…5 Awesome Reasons for Going Indie — By K J WatersMy Profile

  13. Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie)

    The tips are spot on…really are universal and probably things that some do naturally. Obviously, an enormous amount of people listen to him regularly, so he’s doing it right. I always open with a joke…but that’s just kind of who I am:) Story telling has always been a great way to relate to people…everybody loves a story:) As to letting all kinds of upsetting things build up inside…I can relate and I do think it’s a common problem. In this new age, it’s almost sinful to have, much less express a negative thought. We all them…but now we suppress them for fear of being criticized. Hence, the build up!
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Menopause… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  14. I’ve heard the tip about talking like you’re talking to a friend. But there’s also something to say about following a predictable pattern with your presentations. I’ve started noticing predictable patterns with the people I follow and there’s something to the sense of familiarity that this pattern provides. We like being in situations where we know what to expect. Joel Olsteen is a great example.
    Angela recently posted…A Princess for HalloweenMy Profile

  15. Hello Patricia; I love joel osteen. and i think you made a good move basing a blog post on him. i do believe we can learn from him and other speakers. After all its still communicating a message. so whether its speaking, writing, animation, video, etc; we can learn something about overcoming fear and being an introvert. osteen is also a very talented author and his books mimic his speaking style or visa versa depending on how you look at it. and i think the fact he has gone from a behind the scenes person who never delivered a sermon until the sunday before his father passed away to a man who can move audiences of thousands. I too have sirius radio at home and listen to his past sermons as well as his and his wife’s call in shows. thanks for sharing and take care, max
    maxwell ivey recently posted…Making progress towards publishing my first ebookMy Profile

  16. I love this model by Joel Osteen and I can relate to a some points he mentions. I definitely have learnt to write as if I am talking to a group of friends and I find it makes it easier to write and my audience relates closely with it and it creates conversation.
    Welli recently posted…Consumed with acronymsMy Profile

  17. Those are some great tips by Joel Osteen. I think #1 is very crucial to your success. If you can’t engage and get an audience you’re not going to do very well.
    Jason B recently posted…31 Life TipsMy Profile

  18. Deidre M. Simpson

    It’s hard to believe that charismatic Joel Osteen could be an introvert, but that’s hypocritical of me. The spiritual dynamic changes things, and pastoring 45,000 people is a huge responsibility. It never occurred to me that he had a pattern when I’d heard him in the past. What you pointed out makes perfect sense. Like you said, it seems to work for him.
    Deidre M. Simpson recently posted…Why a Tattletale Is My (and Your) New Best FriendMy Profile

  19. Osteen is a great example of an incredible motivational speaker. He’s likeable and draws you in so that you’re open to listening to his message. If you think about it, preachers have to come up with a completely new speech every week. That in itself is a huge challenge.
    Julie recently posted…Supply and Demand in the Speaking IndustryMy Profile

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