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Speech Critique: Sermon

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Never having been to this church, I was thoroughly impressed with Deacon Bob's sermon. It was obvious he prepared extensively for his performance and it made his message that much more memorable. He explained to us that he was visiting from Trenton, NJ so it was nice to have a different perspective, a fresh take on things. Although you go to church knowing you will be preached to about Jesus and God, it isn't just that. There are life lessons to be learned and they can be applied to everyday life and he did a really good job at "teaching" us something meaningful through his speech, which isn't easy to do.

He used a thesis, posing a question if we truly know what means to be baptized and if we are truly living our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. He began by telling a story about the bible and Jesus' baptism, then explained his own experience in baptizing and finally transitioned back to the message, relating everything to the bible. This made the sermon extremely easy to follow, always tying things together and restating his thesis from the start of the speech in the conclusion. He ended things on a light note with a joke which kept the message serious, but at the same time kept your attention with a pinch of humor.

He used eye contact, switching focus on one side to the other between points because the church is split into two sides. The layout of this church would be very challenging for me because the podium is facing a wall and there are people on the left and right side of it. Deacon Bob, however, utilized his space by not using the podium at all and slightly moving from the left to the right of the stage throughout the sermon. Also, his gestures made him seem very sure of himself, moving his arms and hands in sync to his words. Not to mention his voice was very impressive, it would lower when saying something very serious at times but then to emphasize a certain sentence or point he would get really loud. When speaking on a lighter subject or telling his jokes he spoke in an uplifting manner and had a constant smile on his face which in turn put a smile on everybody else's faces.

The observable reaction of the audience was that everyone was listening very attentively. The audience either smiled or laughed when he gave a joke. And most apparent, was that everyone was nodding in agreement during most of the sermon, just showing him respect.

The climate was a little unsure at first because he was new and began with a pretty standard story. As he continued the standard story transitioned into a very good point and the climate changed to everyone agreeing and accepting his message with open arms.

Some might have thought the sermon was a little drawn out; church did get out ten minutes later than usual. It's possible that people who had somewhere



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