Chapter 5

Projecting Your Voice

Three sources of a commanding delivery

Our culture is addicted not only to audio but to loud audio. We are the "sound-bludgeoned" heritors of this new revolution in sound. Much of our ability to keep people's interest has to do with projection.

Rock music (the number one choice of music for people under 40 years of age) is robust as well as loud. By robust I am speaking of its intensity. Loud is one thing, a commanding intensity another.

With cinema sound tracks, there was a day when strings and reeds provided an emotive call to moviegoers to feel their way into the drama of the film. But generally these days, a more virile rock beat and heavy percussion say at every tense moment of drama, "Pay attention, look alive, catch your breath—the speech and impact of this story demand it."

Most of us now are so accustomed to these robust sound tracks that the old "strings-and-reeds" sound tracks, while audible, are neither virile nor commanding.

  1. Intensity rises from a triple source.
    Intensity comes from our natural interest in our subject. If we don’t believe our subject is important to congregational understanding, the percussion of what we are saying will quickly fade to strings and reeds.
  2. Vocal projection will come from our conscious, never-to-be-forgotten push.
    We, like a Shakespearean actor, must always push sound. I am not implying that we push a phony God-voice at them, but that we remember that conscious effort must always be a part of the delivery mechanism.
  3. The most obvious source of robust vitality is the Holy Spirit's participation in the sermon.
    What God inspires will lack neither intensity nor volume. There is a trumpet-like quality of every true herald that says, "The urgency of what I am saying is of God."

Adapted from Calvin Miller, Marketplace Preaching (Baker, 1995) pp. 83-86