Seasoned with Salt – Book Review

In Seasoned with Salt: how the art of public speaking can sharpen your message and extend your reach, Guy Warner and Ryan Cummings teaches solid principles on how to develop and deliver an effective message. By focusing on developing and delivering the content, you’ll also learn valuable communication skills that empower your message even outside the pulpit. Here is a look at what’s covered and my thoughts on the content.

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Where to Purchase

Amazon

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This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. 

Structure

It focuses on several building blocks of public speaking:

Content – the most difficult and most important area of the message. It covers the importance of knowing what God wants and what the people need. It also discusses the importance of a godly life and the edification of the audience.

Organization – this is the most overlooked area of the message. This includes several strategies that discuss how to determine how to order the information so the speaker can remember it and the audience can understand it the best.

Delivery – this covers everything about the presentation. It includes your tone, rate, gestures, posture, eye contact, and other non-verbal elements of communication. The goal isn’t to impress the audience, but to be clear in presenting the content.

Together, they cover what is said and how it’s said. The book starts by introducing the concepts and then goes deeper into each one in later chapters. The principles are biblically-focuses and even use Scripture to establish the points.

The book is divided into these three points. Each point is covered by several chapters. Here’s a closer look at each of these building-blocks.

Content

The section on content provides lots of encouragement when we face opposition in our preaching. The points on good character fit perfectly within the topic, but at the same time, they also serve to build biblically-sound leadership and soft-skills. I especially liked the points on listening.

It does a great job of teaching how to create and deliver impactful sermons, but it goes even further and encourages the preacher to live a life of holiness and discusses how that impacts our message.

The information on your audience analysis covers the demographics and psychographics of your audience to help you relate to and present to that audience in the way that best helps them and gets your points across. This helps your messages to be audience-centered.

The chapter on finding a topic provides lots of tips on choosing a topic and also includes mistakes to avoid. It steps you through the thought-process and provides examples. One example is how to connect your passion to your audience’s needs. It helps you set goals and discusses the types of sermons. It also shows problems with selecting topics and gives tips on how to do it effectively.

The chapter on gathering materials shows how to save research time by choosing the right tools to build your persuasion and help support your points. It breaks down arguments and shows how they work.

Organization

The section on organization shows how proper organization can lead the audience through the message in the way they can understand it best.

This section covers the best preparation order, thesis, body, conclusion, and introduction. It shows why this process works and how to use it.

The points on organizational patterns show how many main points to use and how to organize them.

Introductions and conclusions show the importance of beginning with the end. This is especially informative because many of use want to start at the start, but we need to begin with the end in mind and work our way to that end. This shows step-by-step how to do that effectively.

Delivery

The section on delivery covers everything that happens from behind the pulpit.

The chapter on controlling your fear discusses that public speaking is one of the most prominent fears that we all have. It shows the main problems and how to deal with them. It also includes lots of strategies for dealing with this fear.

Other chapters cover verbal and non-verbal delivery and vocal delivery. These cover body language, eye-contact, tone, physical appearance, and lots more. Another chapter covers how to properly use Powerpoint and similar visual aids. This chapter is short, but it still gets in a lot of information about how to design and use the content effectively, and how to know which Scriptures to use and how many.

Appendixes

In the back are several appendixes with tools and information for further study and research. Here’s a list of what’s included:

  • Audience Analysis Form
  • Sample Sermon Outline
  • Speaking Evaluation Form
  • Public Speaking Anxiety Analysis Form
  • Recommended Resources for Speech

Ending Thoughts

This book is impactful on every element of the sermon, from the idea to the presentation. But, it doesn’t stop there. It follows through with every part of the preacher’s life. It’s aimed at all skill levels and roles. Even though I have a decade or more of public speaking, teaching, and preaching I found a lot of helpful information in this book that I can apply to my sermons and teaching.

This book is well worth its price and applies to anyone with a speaking ministry of any kind. The principles even apply to public speaking in general. It’s well-written and aimed at a general audience, so there are no jargon or technical skills you need to know. It’s just over 100 pages and it isn’t hard to read. I highly recommend Seasoned with Salt (ISBN: 9781947929067) to anyone that wants to know how to develop their communication skills and create better sermons. You can see more about this book at the publisher’s website.

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Where to Purchase

Amazon

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This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. 

About The Author

Randy A Brown

WordPress writer by day, Bible reviewer by night, pastor all the time. And there's also that author thing.

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1 Comment

  1. Ryan Cummings

    Thank you for the kind review! You summarized well the main points that Guy and I were seeking to convey in the book. I am glad you found it useful for the skill of preaching and hope that others do, too! -Ryan

    Reply

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