We continue looking at Teresa Fry Brown’s description of Charles Adams’ lecture on preaching found on page 164 and 165 of her book Weary Throats and New Songs.
In this point, Adams, through Brown, suggests that we take care of our vocal mechanism. He notes that there is an over reliance on the microphone and not on “projection” among many preachers. Preachers must practice even without the microphone. The microphone cannot cover up mechanical problems that the preacher might have in speaking. Go to your church while it is empty and preach without a microphone. Listen to how the sound bounces off the walls. Of course it will sound different when there are people sitting in there, but you will at least see that you can project further than you think you can.
In addition, Adams notes one of the greatest problems that many Black preachers have which is “‘yelling’ instead of learning to use the voice wisely.” As we have noted in other posts, increasing volume is not the only way to increase intensity for the sermon. I have heard preachers yell all the way through their messages. These preachers are limiting their future effectiveness. Projection and effective vocal presentation will increase the effectiveness of the preacher for years to come.