In Refining Your Style, Dave Stone tells of struggling to prepare an Easter message. Events beyond his control stole his usual preparation time. Even the church staff was concerned about how it was going. Stone struggled through the message and was sure he had blown it. On his way home he received a call from his wife and eight-year-old son who were five miles ahead of him. Their son said, "Dad, I want to give my life to Jesus." (226)
Whether your audience is one eight year old or thousands, Refining Your Style will help you deliver your message. Stone dedicates a chapter to each of thirteen styles of speaking, such as the Creative Storyteller, the Direct Spokesperson, the Inspiring Orator, or the Unorthodox Artist. In each chapter Stone explains the speaker's goal, words that describe the style, comparisons with other styles, how Jesus exemplified it, and advice on refining your speaking. However, the heart of each chapter is an interview with a representative speaker of that style. He includes luminaries such as Franklin Graham, Chuck Colson, and Zig Ziglar, as well as other prominent speakers.
The book comes with a CD containing excerpts from most of those interviewed. Refining Your Style also includes a list of websites for the speakers interviewed. Stone's style is warm and friendly. He uses frequent anecdotes and some jokes. One of the best aspects of this book is his respect for the character of those he interviews, such as the humility of Kirbyjon Caldwell and the integrity of Zig Ziglar. He does not presume that copying the styles will make a preacher equal to those he interviews but enunciates several times on the importance of the individual's walk with the Lord, spiritual integrity, and being yourself.
Though written for preachers and Christian teachers, Refining Your Style could benefit anyone interested in being a better speaker. I could even see it used as a speech textbook for high schoolers in Christian schools and homeschools. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
God created you with your own style. Now, see greater life-changing impact and improve the effectiveness of your teaching by refining that unique style. In interviews with today’s top communicators, Refining Your Style shows you in a practical, easy way how Jesus used 13 different styles to reach people and illustrates the pros and cons of using each one.
Includes personal interviews and an audio CD with clips from sermons by well-known communicators such as Zig Ziglar, Max Lucado, Chuck Colson, Lee Strobel, Ken Davis, Erwin McManus, Rob Bell, and Franklin Graham. Evaluate the pros and cons of each style and learn how to choose and apply techniques that fit your unique style.