as the talk progresses. In some way in the introduction, you should
focus attention on your subject.
When sending out his disciples to preach, Jesus clearly identi-
ﬁed the message that they were to deliver. “As you go, preach, say-
ing, ‘The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’” (Matt.10:7) Re-
garding our day, Jesus said: “This good news of the kingdom will
be preached.” (Matt. 24:14) We are urged to “preach the word,” that
is, to stick to the Bible when witnessing. (2 Tim. 4:2) Before open-
ing the Bible or directing attention to the Kingdom, though, it is
often necessary to identify some matter that is of current concern.
You might comment on crime, unemployment, injustice, war, how
to help young people, sickness, or death. But do not dwell at length
on negative matters; your message is a positive one. Endeavor to di-
rect the conversation to God’s Word and the Kingdom hope.
Show Why theSubject Is Important toYour Audience.If you will
be speaking in the congregation, you can be reasonably sure that
those in your audience will in a general way be interested in what
you discuss.Butwill they listen as a person does when heis learning
something that deﬁnitely involves him? Will they pay attention be-
cause they realize that what they are hearing ﬁts their situation in
life and because you are stirring in them a desire to do something
aboutit? That will betrueonly ifyou considered your audiencecare-
fully—theircircumstances,their concerns,their attitudes—whenpre-
paring your talk.If you did, then includeinyour introductionsome-
thing that indicates that.
Whether you are speaking from the platform or witnessing to an
individual, one of the best ways to arouse interest in a subject is to
get your audience involved. Show how their problems, their needs,
or the questions that are on their minds are related to the subject
thatyou arediscussing.Ifyou makeclear thatyou aregoingto gobe-
yond generalities and cometo grips with speciﬁcaspects of the mat-
ter,they will listen even more intently. To do that,you mustprepare
The Way You Present It. What you say in your introduction is of
primary importance, but how you say it can also arouse interest. For
this reason your preparation ought to involve notonly whatyou are
going to say but also how you are going to say it.
Word choice is important in accomplishing your objective, so you
mightﬁnditadvantageous topreparetheﬁrsttwoor threesentences
quite carefully.Short, simple sentences are usually best.For a talk in
the congregation, you may want to write them out in your notes, or
you may choose to memorize them so that your opening words will
carry all the impact they deserve. Delivering an eﬀective introduc-
tion in an unhurried manner can help you to gain the composure
needed to give therestofyour talk.
When to Prepare It. Opinions vary on this subject. Some experi-
enced speakers believe that preparation of a talk should begin with
theintroduction.Others whohave studied publicspeakingareof the
opinion that the introductionshould beprepared after thebody has
You certainly need to know what your subject is and what main
points you plan to develop before you can work out the details of a
suitable introduction. But what if you are preparing your talk from
apublished outline? After reading the outline, if you have an idea
for the introduction, there is certainly no harm in writing it down.
Remember, too, that for your introduction to be eﬀective, you must
take into consideration your audience as well as the material in the
(1) Before sharing in the house-to-house ministry, prepare an introduction
that ﬁts both the message and some recent event in your territory. (2) Re-
view the opening paragraph of ﬁve or six articles in The Watchtower and
Awake! Ask yourself what makes each introduction eﬀective.
YOU may have carefully researched and organized the material for
the body of your talk. You may also have prepared an interest-
arousing introduction. Still, one more thing is needed—an eﬀective
conclusion. Do not minimizeits importance.What you say lastis of-
ten remembered longest. If the conclusion is weak, even what went
before it may lose much of its eﬀectiveness.
Consider thefollowing:Toward the end of his life, Josh-
ua gave a memorable discourse to the older men of the
nation of Israel. After recounting Jehovah’s dealings with
Israel ever since the days of Abraham, did Joshua simply
er, with deep feeling he exhorted the people: “Fear Jeho-
vah and servehim in faultlessness and in truth.” Read for
yourselfJoshua’s conclusion,recorded atJoshua24:14,15.
Another noteworthy talk, found at Acts 2:14-36, was given by the
apostle Peter to a crowd in Jerusalem at the Festival of Pente-
cost 33 C.E. First he explained that they were witnessing fulﬁllment
of the prophecy of Joel regarding the pouring out of the spirit of
God. Next heshowed how this was connected withMessianic proph-
ecies in the Psalms that foretold the resurrection of Jesus Christ and
his exaltation to the right hand of God. Then, in his conclusion, Pe-
ter clearly stated the issue that everyone in his audience needed to
face.He said: “Therefore let all thehouse of Israel know for a certain-
ty thatGod madehimboth Lord and Christ,this Jesus whomyou im-
paled.” Those present asked: “Men, brothers, what shall we do?” Pe-
ter replied:“Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name
of Jesus Christ.”(Acts 2:37,38) That day some3,000peoplein his au-
dience, deeply moved by what they had heard, embraced the truth
about Jesus Christ.
Points to Keep in Mind. What you state in your conclusion should
What doyou need to do?
In your concluding sentences, say something that is de-
signed to move the audience to take action on what they
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
be directly related to the theme of your talk. It should follow as a logi-
cal conclusionto the mainpoints you have developed. Although you
may want to include some key words from your theme, direct restat-
ing of it is optional.
Ordinarily, your purpose in speaking is to encourage others to take
some action on the basis of the information you present. One of the
main purposes of the conclusion is to show them what to
do. When you selected your theme and main points, did
you consider carefully why the material would be impor-
tanttoyour audience and whatyour objective wouldbein
delivering it? If so, you know the action that you would
like them to take. Now you need to explain what that ac-
tion is and perhaps how to go aboutit.
In addition to showing your audience what to do,
your conclusion should provide motivation. It ought to in-
clude sound reasons for acting and possibly beneﬁts that
can result from doing so. If the ﬁnal sentence is carefully
thoughtout and well phrased, it will reinforce the impact
Keep in mind that the talk is concluding. What you say should in-
dicatethat.Your paceshouldalsobeappropriate.Do not speakrapid-
ly right up to the ﬁnish and then stop abruptly. On the other hand,
do not let your voice simply fade. Your volume should be suﬃcient
but notexcessive. Yourlast fewsentencesshouldhave anoteofﬁnality.
Your delivery of them should convey earnestness and conviction. When
preparing your delivery,do not fail to practice your conclusion.
How long should the conclusion be? That is not something to be
determined solely by the clock.The conclusionshould not drag. The
appropriateness of its length can be determined by its eﬀect on the au-
dience. A simple, direct, positive conclusion is always appreciated. A
somewhatlonger onethatembodies abrief illustration can alsobeef-
fective if it is carefully planned.Comparethe brief conclusion to the
entire book of Ecclesiastes, found at Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14, with that
of the much shorter Sermon on the Mount, recorded at Matthew 7:
In the Field Ministry. Nowhere will you be confronted with the
need for conclusions more often than in the ﬁeld ministry. With
preparation and loving interest in people, you can accomplish much
HOW TO DO IT
good. The counselsetoutonthepreceding pages canbeapplied ben-
eﬁcially even when adapted to one-on-one conversation.
Aconversation may bevery brief.Theperson may bebusy.Your en-
tire visit may last only a minute. If appropriate, you might say some-
thing likethis: “I understand. But let me leave you with one encour-
aging thought. The Bible shows that our Creator has a wonderful
purpose—to make this earth a place where people can enjoy life for-
ever. We can be in that Paradise, but we need to learn God’s require-
ments.”Or you might simply oﬀer to call back at a more convenient
If the call is cut short because the householder is abrupt—even
rude—much good can still be accomplished. Keep in mind the coun-
sel found at Matthew 10:12,13 and Romans 12:17, 18. Your mild re-
sponse could possibly change his view of Jehovah’s Witnesses. That
would be a ﬁne accomplishment.
Ontheother hand,you may havehadasatisfyingconversationwith
the householder. Why not restate the main point that you want him
to remember? Include motivation forhim to dosomething aboutit.
If you see the opportunity for further discussion at another time,
givethepersonsomereason to lookforwardtoit.Askaquestion—per-
haps one discussed in Reasoning From the Scriptures or a publication
designed for conducting home Biblestudies.Keep in mind your goal,
as setout by Jesus and recorded at Matthew28:19, 20.
Are you concluding a home Bible study? Restating the theme will
helpthestudentto remember whatwas discussed.Useofreview ques-
tions will help to impress key points on thestudent’s mind,especial-
ly if that review is notrushed. Aquestion regarding howthe material
studied might beneﬁt the studentorhowhemight share it withoth-
ers could help him to thinkin terms of making practical use of what
he has learned.—Prov. 4:7.
Remember—your conclusion inﬂuences the eﬀectiveness of your
Prepare two conclusions for the ﬁeld ministry: (1) what to say when the
householder is abrupt and thereis littletimeto talk and (2) a deﬁniteques-
tion for discussion on your next visit.
WHY might a Christian make a statement that is not true? He might
simply be repeating something that he has heard, without taking
time to checkthefacts.Orhe mightoverstatea matter because,with-
out realizing it, hemisread his source material.Whenwe give careful
they can have conﬁdence in the veracity of the more im-
portant aspects ofour message.
In the Field Ministry. Realizing that they still have
much to learn, many feel apprehensive about starting in
theﬁeld ministry.Yet,thesequicklyﬁndthatthey are able
to give an eﬀective witness, even with only a basic knowl-
edge of thetruth. How? Thekey is preparation.
Before going out in the ﬁeld service, become familiar
with thesubjectthatyou wantto discuss.Try toanticipate
questions that your listeners might raise. Search for satisfying Bible-
based answers. This will prepare you to give accurate answers in a re-
laxed frame of mind. Are you going to conduct aBible study? Review
thestudymaterialcarefully.Make surethatyouunderstand theScrip-
tural basis for theanswers to the printed questions.
What if a householder or a workmate asks a question that you are
not prepared to answer? If you are not sure of the facts, resist the
temptation to guess. “The heart of the righteous one meditates so as
to answer.” (Prov.15:28)You may ﬁnd the help you need in thebook
Reasoning From the Scriptures or in “Bible Topics for Discussion” if
they areavailableinyour language. Ifyou have neither of thesewith
you, oﬀer to do some research and return. If the one who posed the
question is sincere, he will not mind waiting for the correct answer.
Hemay, in fact, be favorably impressed by your humility.
Working in the ﬁeld ministry with experienced publishers canhelp
you to develop skill in handling God’s Word aright. Observe which
scriptures they use andhowthey reasononthem.Humblyaccept any
ACCURACY OF STATEMENT
What doyou need to do?
Impart information that is in complete harmony with the
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
suggestionsorcorrectiontheyoﬀer.Thezealous discipleApollos ben-
eﬁted from help received from others. Luke described Apollos as “el-
oquent,” “well versed,” and “aglow with the spirit,” a man “speak-
ing and teaching with correctness the things about Jesus.” Yet, there
was agapinhis understanding.When Priscillaand Aquilanoted this,
they “took him into their company and expounded the way of God
morecorrectly to him.”—Acts 18:24-28.
“Holding Firmly to the Faithful Word.” Our presentations at
meetings should reﬂect high regard for the congrega-
tion’sroleas “a pillarandsupportofthetruth.”(1 Tim.3:
15) In order to uphold the truth, it is important that we
get the sense of scriptures that we plan to use in talks.
Takeinto accounttheir context and intent.
What you say at acongregationmeeting may be repeat-
ed.Of course, “we all stumble many times.” (Jas. 3:2) But
you will beneﬁt by developing habits that contribute to
accurate speech. Many brothers enrolled inthe Theocrat-
ic Ministry School will, in time, become elders. “More
than usual” is expected of those entrusted with such re-
sponsibility. (Luke 12:48) If an elder carelessly gives
wrong advice that results in serious problems for mem-
bers of the congregation,the elder could incur God’s dis-
pleasure. (Matt. 12:36, 37) Thus, a brother who qualiﬁes
as an elder must be known for “holding ﬁrmly to the
faithful word as respects his artof teaching.”—Titus 1:9.
Be careful that your conclusions agreewith “the patternofhealth-
ful words” that is manifest in the entire body of Scriptural truth.
(2Tim.1:13)This shouldnot intimidate you.Perhaps you have yetto
complete reading the entire Bible. Continue working at it.But in the
meantime, note how the following suggestions can assist you to an-
alyze material that you are thinking aboutusing inyour teaching.
First,askyourself:‘Is this materialinharmony with what Ihaveal-
readylearned fromtheBible? Willitdrawmy listenersto Jehovah, or
does it putthe wisdom of the world on apedestal, encouraging peo-
pleto be guided by it?’ Jesus said: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17;
Deut.13:1-5; 1 Cor.1:19-21) Next, make good use of study tools pro-
videdby thefaithful and discreet slave class. These will help you not
only to understand scriptures correctly but also to apply them with
HOW TO DO IT
Check theaccuracy of
Accuracy of Statement
balance and reasonableness. If you base your talks on “the pattern
of healthful words” and rely on Jehovah’s channel when explaining
and applying scriptures,your statements will be accurate.
Checking the Accuracy of Information. Current events, quota-
tions, and experiences can be helpful when you are illustrating and
applying certain points. How can you be sure that they are accurate?
One way is by extracting such items from reliable sources. Remem-
ber tocheckthat the informationis up-to-date.Statistics become ob-
solete; scientiﬁcdiscoveries are quickly surpassed; and as man grows
in understanding of history and ancient languages, conclusions
based on previous knowledge need to be revised. Exercise great cau-
tion ifyou are thinking of using information from newspapers, tele-
vision, radio, electronic mail, or the Internet. Proverbs 14:15 coun-
sels:“Anyoneinexperienced puts faith in every word,buttheshrewd
one considers his steps.”Ask yourself: ‘Does the source have a repu-
tation for accuracy? Can the information be veriﬁed by some other
means?’ If you doubt thetruthfulness of an item, discard it.
Inadditionto checking thereliabilityofthesources,considercare-
fully how you plan to use the information. Make sure that your use
ofquotations andstatistics harmonizes withthecontextfrom which
they are taken. In an eﬀort to express yourself forcefully, be careful
that “some people” does not become “the majority of people,” that
“many people”does not become “everyone,” and that “in some cas-
es” does not become “always.” Overstating matters or exaggerating
reports involving number, extent, or seriousness raises questions of
When you areconsistentlyaccurateinwhat you say,you will come
to be known as a personwho respects truth. This reﬂects well on Je-
hovah’s Witnesses as a group. More important, it honors “Jehovah
the God of truth.”—Ps. 31:5.
Ask a mature Witness to listen and check the accuracy of what you say as
you explain the following in your own words: (1) What sort of person is
Jehovah, and howdo you know? (2) Why did Jesus lay down his life in sac-
riﬁce, and how can we beneﬁt from this? (3) Since his enthronement as
King, what has Jesus Christ been doing?
Accuracy of Statement
WHEN you speak, do more than present information. Endeavor to
make what you say understandable to those who are listening. This
can help you to communicate eﬀectively, whether you are speaking
to the congregation or to non-Witnesses.
Therearemany facets to understandable speech.Someofthem are
covered in Study 26, “Logical Development of Material.”
Others areconsidered in Study 30,“InterestShown in the
OtherPerson.” Inthis study, wearegoing to discuss afew
Simple Words, Simplicity of Style. Simple words and
shortsentences are powerful tools of communication. Je-
sus’ Sermon on the Mount is a superb example of a talk
thatcan be understood by people no matter who they are
or where they live. The concepts may be new to them. Yet, they can
understand what Jesus said because he dealt with matters of con-
cern toall of us:howto be happy, how to improve relationships with
others, how to cope with anxiety, and how to ﬁnd meaning in life.
And he expressed his thoughts in down-to-earth language. (Matt.,
chaps.5-7)Ofcourse,theBibleprovides many examples ofvariety in
thelength and structureofsentences.Your main objectiveshould be
to express thoughts ina clear, understandable way.
Even when you deal with deep material, simplicity of style can
help make it easier to understand. How can simplicity be achieved?
Donotoverwhelmyour audiencewithunnecessary details.Organize
your material so that it complements your main points. Select your
key scriptures carefully.Rather than rushing from one textto anoth-
er,read and discuss these.Do notbury agoodthoughtina multitude
When you conduct a home Bible study, apply those same princi-
ples.Do not try to explain all the details. Help thestudent to under-
What doyou need to do?
Express yourself so that others can readily grasp the meaning
of what you are saying.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
stand clearly the principal ideas. Later on, in personal study and at
congregation meetings, he can ﬁll in the details.
In order to present material in a simple manner, good preparation
is needed. You must clearly understand your subject yourself if you
are going to make it understandable to others. When you really un-
derstand something, you are ableto give reasons why itis so.You are
also able to express it in your ownwords.
Explain Unfamiliar Terms. Sometimes making things
understandable requires that you explainthe meaning of
terms that are unfamiliar to your audience. Do not over-
estimate the knowledge of your audience, but do not un-
derestimate their intelligence. As a resultof your study of
the Bible, you may use some terms that sound strange to
other people. Without some explanation, those who are
not associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses will not under-
stand that “remnant,” “faithful and discreet slave,” “oth-
er sheep,” and “great crowd” identify speciﬁc groups of
ilarly, unless a person is familiar with the organization
of Jehovah’s Witnesses, he will probably not understand
what is meant by such terms as “publisher,” “pioneer,”
“circuit overseer,” and “Memorial.”
Some Biblical expressions that are freely used even by non-
Witnesses may need some explanation.To many people, “Armaged-
don” means a nuclear holocaust. They may associate “God’s King-
dom” witha conditionwithin a person or with heaven but not with
government. Reference to the “soul” may stir up thoughts of a so-
called spiritual part of humans that survives the death of the body.
According to what millions of people have been taught, “holy spir-
it” is a person, part of a Trinity. Because so many people have aban-
doned the Bible’s moral code, they may even need help to under-
stand what the Bible means when it says: “Flee from fornication.”
—1 Cor. 6:18.
Unless people are regular Bible readers, they may miss the point if
you simply say, “Paul wrote . . .” or “Luke said . . .” They may have
friends or neighbors who have those names. You may need to add
some explanatory expression to identify the person as a Christian
apostle or a Bible writer.
HOW TO DO IT
shortsentences for principal
Consider howyour example
Understandable to Others
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested