40+ Best Don’t Drop the Mic Quotes by T. D. Jakes

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PART 1 Introduction: The Voice of Hope

“Throughout the years, though, I have been asked many times by younger men and women for advice, counsel, and wisdom on how to communicate effectively. “

“We helped feed the hungry, providing more than three thousand meals to third-shift hospital workers who found food outlets and carry-out restaurants often closed when they got off work. This seemed just as important as disseminating trustworthy information about the virus as well as praying for the spiritual needs of individual souls. “

“Our words matter now more than ever. “

“Communication converts ideas into words and words into actions. “

“Just as circuits channel the crackle of electric currents, words form messages, whether written or spoken, that have changed the course of history countless times. “

“Simply put, the sharper our array of communication skills, the more successful we become in virtually every endeavor. “

“Before you scoff at the notion of artificial intelligence robbing your brain of its old job, let me ask you, how many phone numbers do you remember. How many poems, Bible verses, and sports stats can you recite. “

“Effective communication allows our body language and voice inflection to unite with our linguistics. The connection of all these modes creates a symphonic experience of expression that crescendos into a more elaborate concerto of sensory impressions received by our listeners. “

“Understanding serves as the glue of effective communication. “

“Because speech is reflective and reflexive, when you speak, you are telling me more than the sentences you construct. “

“Where did we learn these nuanced ways of communicating. Those early exposures we had are like zip codes in that they identify general locations as to where we are in life, social status, generational phrasing, cultural colloquialisms, sense of humor, and intelligence. “

“The moment we start to speak, we learn more than the words formed. We listen to diction, articulation, and accents. We garner further insight from the intensity of pitch and tone, all partnering together to convey more than mere words alone could do. “

“The vocal cords, coupled with tongue and teeth, have been as powerful as any weapon known to us. “

“Regardless of the medium, my communication style is a mix of all the previous men and women in the little world that I grew up in. “

“The more I resisted, the more he persisted, until finally I told him I was willing to consider such an endeavor on one condition: that he actively participate by sharing some analytical insight afforded by his academic training. “

“Since then, I have preached in churches before thousands of people, spoken on stages before world dignitaries, and prayed with presidents, but none of those occasions would have occurred if I had never stood in that pulpit as a young man determined to share what I had to say. “

“When we allow others to speak for us, when we step away from the mic thrust in front of us by circumstances, then we relinquish power and defer our dreams. “

“When I reflect on the various leaders God chose to call and anoint to serve his people, I’m struck by the fact that he never went with the obvious choice, at least from a human perspective. “

“Despite the centuries separating us in time, the giant’s jibes are remarkably similar to those of the trolls and haters on our social media today. “

“When George Perry Floyd Jr. was tragically and senselessly killed by a Minneapolis police officer before countless witnesses, millions more reached the tipping point of their silence. No longer could they weep in isolation or rage behind closed doors. “

“Even in the midst of utter hopelessness, the kind experienced by captives during the Holocaust, people have dared to carve words of hope into floorboards or scribble prayers on scraps of trash. “

“I cannot go in these, because I am not used to them. “

“Instead of posturing like Goliath or the king, David brought himself and no one else to the microphone. “

“Don’t try to imitate someone else, but do implement aspects of what you admire, appreciate, and adore about them. “

“Most of the giants we encounter only appear to be bigger because of the stress of the situation and our limited vantage point. We allow our imagination to dwell on worst-case scenarios and second-guess what others will think about what we know we need to say. “

“While there’s no magic formula to dispel your past-performance shame, it can be addressed and diminished. “

“Preaching becomes a platform for acknowledging the depths of personal suffering of everyone in the room as well as offering insight, information, encouragement, and inspiration for moving through pain and reclaiming personal power. “

“While using someone else’s formula for outlining your message can sometimes help you get started, rarely does it permit you the room you need. In other words, use others’ formulas for outlines as launching pads, not constricting containers. “

“When our children were small, I recall many Christmas Eves spent with screwdrivers and wrenches in hand as my wife and I assembled tricycles, wagons, and bicycles. “

“No one is advocating murder or violence of any kind but simply the courage to curate your communication. “

“When you read a text from an exegetical perspective, the passage or story has bends in it, often as conflicts form, get addressed, and then resolved. “

“There is simply no substitute for the angry tears rolling down a child’s face as she comes to terms with the devastating pain in her heart after losing a parent in the crossfire of gang wars in her neighborhood. “

“When human resources executives reached out with an invitation to address an auditorium filled with employees, I wanted to make sure I spoke to the issues that had prompted their invitation. “

“How dare you! Who do you think you are to express so much personal vitriol when you don’t even know me. “

“Remember, preaching is not about preaching at someone but conversing, expressing, sharing, and listening to those you wish to reach. Spend time preparing, digging up bones, assembling the body, and use the spark between you and your audience to infuse life into your message. “

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PART 2 The Legacy of Language

“Where are our great orators like Socrates, Lincoln, Churchill, and countless others. We might be tempted to blame our school systems, but they are not entirely at fault when we consider overcrowded classrooms and underfunded educational programs. “

“While the number seems to fluctuate, it appears that more than seven thousand living languages are active in the world today. “

“Anything can replace language, not just new words or surviving alphabets. From tactile forms like Braille to the gestures of sign language, there are always new ways to connect and communicate. Which brings me back to my concern about technology dramatically changing what we communicate as much as how we communicate. “

“Every great comedian knows this. Every public speaker seeks it. Everyone, from talk show hosts to YouTube entertainers, TED talkers to life coaches, political pundits to romance novelists, seeks to connect with the broadest array of people. “

“My connection to my listeners reflects the intersection of where I’ve been and where they’re going. “

“The principles espoused are coequal with the needs of the people we serve. “

“Since I am a son and a father, a husband and a brother, most of who I am is predicated upon my relationships. I suggest to you that personal connections are the greatest resource to the speaker. “

“While huge distinctions remain between traditional preaching and performing hip hop, both were and are expected to ‘tell it like it is’ rather than to wax philosophical with feel-good platitudes. “

“Regardless of the diverse people I address, I must never forget who I speak for and the people who helped me climb the ladder to reach my pulpit. “

“It is a big mistake to spend your entire time thinking about where you want to take the crowd, or how you want to inspire them, motivate them, or inform them. Those are destination points. “

“The science of chemistry relies on chemical reactions, which always results in altered states. When you add one chemical substance to another, one will either alter the color of the other, form a precipitate, form a gas, change the odor, or change the temperature. “

“Since the end game isn’t the interview or the campaign, we lose chances to have great leaders or employees simply because they don’t always have immediate chemistry with the crowd. “

“It is important that a speaker not think of themselves in generalized terms of being a speaker. It is important to understand what kind of speaker you are. “

“It also is derived by exposure to varied settings and attending events beyond your normal gravitational pull to that which is familiar and comfortable. “

“It is important to understand that not all churches think the same, even within the same denominations. “

“Experience is not merely repeating your sermon, speech, or performance a certain number of times until it reaches perfection. “

“Keep doing what you’re doing. Pay attention to the feedback you get from people you trust. But ultimately, listen to your instincts as you learn from your experiences. “

“Creativity tends to follow its own direction and follow its own sense of timing. “

“Some songs don’t want to be recorded. You can’t wrestle with them or you’ll only scare them off more. “

“While we would all like to have ample time for our messages to percolate, simmer, and ferment, necessity often forces us to produce what we can in the time available to us. “

“When your schedule is jam-packed and you know you have only a brief window in which to craft your communication, then you’re forced to come up with something. “

“Just as when you’re driving a car, you don’t want to pass the turn you need to take in order to make your next crossroads. “

“The same holds true for the message you’re driving home to your audience. You want to avoid unintentional quirks, distractions, and pauses that might jerk them out of their engagement with you and your message. “

“While I’ve already shared my trepidation about relying on templates and formulas, I generally do follow a process in the practice of my preaching: Study yourself full, think yourself clear, pray yourself hot, and let yourself go. This organic process begins with discerning the text for my sermon. “

“Images and metaphors are vehicles and containers that route profound wisdom and theological content into the hearts of people based upon familiar objects. “

“When you fully make your body available, you give your facial expressions, your hands, your chest, your hips, your legs, your feet—all of you. And why not. When you’re having a disagreement with your spouse, you bring your body to it. “

“Strive, without inhibition, to deliver the close that is natural and organic to the specific kind of sermon that’s being preached. “

“Just consider the way flying would take under three hours and make the journey seem quick and effortless. “

“What do you want me to do for you. “

“When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was asking for him, he jumped to his feet and left his cloak behind. This in itself demonstrates complete faith because surely his cloak was a prized possession, a garment for keeping warm and protecting his body from the elements. “

“Where does it hurt. was replaced by Why does it hurt. “

“While Serita pushed through and continued to attend church services and take care of our home, I knew she was in unbearable pain. The worst part was wondering when a doctor would be able to identify the cause of her excruciating anguish and provide a diagnosis to remediate and eliminate it. “

“When I wrote Woman, Thou Art Loosed!, I could not imagine the impact it would have on the lives of millions of women. All I knew was that I saw a need, a glaring vacancy in the spiritual resources available to women suffering wounds that would not heal. “

“When we hear ‘loose’ today, it’s usually used as an adjective to describe something separating from what it had been attached to, such as a loose thread or loose wire. “

“This dear woman was there in the synagogue on the Sabbath despite how pain reverberated through her twisted body. Her body distorted at angles our joints were never intended to support, this daughter of Abraham could have embraced the role of victim. “

“For the first time in their lives, they felt heard and seen as survivors, not victims, as beautiful children of God worthy of respect instead of damaged goods with no value. “

“So I printed another five thousand, and then ten thousand, and then it became a race to keep up with the growing demand. “

“Many times, these needs become the proverbial elephant in the room—an issue, problem, conflict, or crisis that everyone knows exists in their midst but which they try to ignore nonetheless. “

“This belief that our words, messages, sermons, and conversations can effect positive change motivates me still. “

“Both those alive today as well as the ghosts in our castles. “

“Where I grew up in West Virginia, only about 5 percent of the population was African American so I knew many white people—some good and kind, others mean and nasty, some indifferent, and some just plain old crazy! You know what, though. “

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PART 3 The Promise of Practice

“The promise of practice is the revelation of what can only be learned by doing, by the experience of growing from your mistakes and honing your triumphs. “

“I am not throwing away my shot, raps Hamilton, asserting his ambition, passion, and determination for making the most of any and every opportunity he has to share his revolutionary message and overthrow British colonial rule. “

“Although I was viewing the stage from a great distance, I relished how close I felt to all in attendance as we enjoyed the bonds of Christian fellowship. “

“When we are thrust into new roles of leadership, greater positions of authority, and unexpected opportunities for advancement, we should be ready to take our lives to the next level. “

“Not long after I began airing on TBN, I was offered a regular slot on Black Entertainment Television (BET). “

“When your moment at the mic arrives, your audience has already started their relationship with you before you ever open your mouth to utter the first word. “

“While other hosts tried to shock viewers and embarrass their guests, Oprah stayed true to herself. Her intelligence, poise, compassion, and formidable strength shone through millions of television screens in our country and around the world. “

“Unless that is indeed your role in an appropriate setting, I don’t believe your audience will find it appealing. “

“Many people find it helpful to write out their entire message beforehand, and use it as either a loose script to follow or a model for memorization. “

“When I wanted to raise my voice and allow my passion to amplify my words and when I thought lowering my voice to a whisper would be more effective. And just as important if not more, when to let silence speak in ways more powerfully than anything I could offer. “

“When the mic is in your hands, you want to give it everything you can. “

“There are always three speeches for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave. “

“For my mother, her restless energy and liberated patience would manifest in the way she clutched her Bible more tightly or quietly rummaged through her purse for a tissue or cough drop. “

“If I looked comfortable in my own skin and at least willing to embrace the pulpit I had been privileged to speak from, then my flock would follow my guidance to greener pastures and higher ground. “

“While your message and its delivery are central to answering these questions, your appearance, mannerisms, tone, inflection, and body language will be working either for you or against you. “

“While omitting standard language conventions, using slang, and inventing your own language of abbreviations, symbols, and emojis may work for texting and online chats, these idiosyncrasies limit your range of reach. “

“Just consider how crazy and chaotic it would be without any rules and cultural conventions of driving! More accidents would likely occur with every driver going any direction they pleased or behaving according to their own standards. “

“With oral communication, your audience does not have the benefit of the written conventions of language used when we read and write, and instead they rely on your visual and non-language auditory expressions. “

“Just be sure you’re not inadvertently sounding more like a parent reading a bedtime story than an adult speaker addressing an audience in a very different contextual setting. “

“While ambiguity or uncertainty may be deliberate as a rhetorical strategy at certain times, generally your goal is precision. “

“Unless you have an intentional purpose, such as using them as visual aids or to make a point, you might avoid over-the-top fashions involving capes, trains, sheer panels, feather boas, and exposed skin. “

“When in doubt, consider your location and what members of your audience will be wearing. Think about the season of the year, the predicted weather, and the temperature and lighting in the venue. Ask yourself: What can I wear that will give me confidence. “

“Most speakers and communicators will set their pace somewhere in between, which makes setting the tempo to match our material. The more time you have, the more you must prepare. “

“Don’t be afraid to connect the dots for your audience or remind them of the relationships you’ve just covered. “

“Just as an artist may use an empty area or margin—usually referred to as negative space—around an image in a picture, drawing, painting, or work of art, so does a speaker utilize silence. “

“When I’m preaching, I consider it a conversation between myself and my congregation, although of course I’m doing most of the talking. But I know how invaluable silence can be in helping me punctuate my points and strengthening my relationship with people in the pews. “

“When my mother quietly, slowly called me by my full name, lingering dramatically in between each part, then I knew I was in trouble. “

“With each course of the meal or new idea presented, recipients need time to integrate it before continuing. “

“Using silence this way is what I call the ‘pregnant pause. “

“While you likely will not utilize your pregnant pause or seconds of suspense quite the same way and certainly not as frequently, it’s an important tool for drawing your audience closer. “

“Finally, with her accusers slinking away like dogs with their tails between their legs, only the poor woman remained before Jesus. “

“Every exceptional comic knows that waiting briefly for your punch line to sink in is essential to the impact of your joke. “

“On the one hand, it may simply be inappropriate. At an event commemorating a tragedy, for example, I’m not sure there’s a place for a joke or a one-liner. “

“The final benefit of incorporating moments of silence when you communicate is to create sacred personal space for your audience. “

“Music creates an atmosphere. It’s not necessary for every preacher to preach with music behind them or underneath them, but those of the African American preaching tradition clearly understand that, at least at some level, preaching is a collaborative effort between the preacher and the musician. “

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PART 4 The Discovery of Delivery

“When you draw on the legacy of language and discover the promise of practice, then the discovery of delivery is your reward. “

“Without the many mentors, exemplars, speakers, and leaders before us, there would be no legacy upon which we could build our own platforms and extend our own dreams. “

“I was thoroughly surprised, or as my British friends later taught me, gobsmacked, at the generic, impersonal quality of information the guide presented. “

“Just leave it to us and we’ll get you sorted out, okay. “

“While I’m not going to be taking Sunset for a hard ride to bushwhack through the mountains anytime soon, I nonetheless aspire to be a kind of trailblazer. “

“If you seek to avoid any offense or disturbance in delivering your message, then you’re doing nothing more than preaching to the choir. “

“Until the advent of YouTube and social media, he was likely the most imitated and celebrated African American preacher in history, as Dr. Thomas reminded me. “

“Don’t be afraid to take what has been entrusted to you—your education, your experience, your gifts and talents—and maximize God’s return on his investment in you. “

“Sound check has become a common practice for most communicators prior to delivering their speech, address, or sermon. “

“Since the speaker is the one with the opportunity to say the most, he or she carries more responsibility—at least when speaking. “

“Instead of a traditional eulogy or sermon, I told what’s often called a shaggy-dog story, a series of events that kept going from bad to worse with comical results. “

“It’s important to be up-to-date in your research, use of technology, and awareness of global and cultural events in a world, where headlines change online each minute. “

“Because of the volume of my preaching and speaking, I learned over the years not to ruminate too long or too intensely in order to avoid paralyzing myself through perfectionism. “

“From my experience, that’s the secret to overcoming the paralysis of perfectionism. Accept that no matter how polished, accomplished, articulate, or eloquent you may be, there will always be moments you might wish to change in any given sermon, speech, address, or talk. “

“The things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart. “

“When we unleash too much unfiltered emotion, we risk losing more than we can ever gain. “

“I wondered about ulterior motives or hidden agendas. I was fairly well acquainted with a couple of this group’s executives and knew others on their leadership team by reputation. “

“Most people don’t. Especially the people in that organization, which is why I agreed to speak here. I want to dispel their stereotypes and shake up their expectations. I want them to see that our similarities as human beings far outweigh our differences—including the color of our skin. “

“Remember, every movement starts with one person. “

“While they may have nothing to hide, they value their privacy and the sacred intimacy that comes from exclusively personal time with family and friends. “

“Most times you will need to make your decision in a matter of seconds while on the fly, but this doesn’t mean you haven’t considered possible options beforehand. “

“While there are exceptions, I usually recommend naming the elephant and letting your audience know that your experience matches their own, at least in part. “

“When these unplanned moments arrive, I have a choice about how I respond and move forward toward the meal I originally envisioned. I can allow my anger, disappointment, frustration, or fatigue to dampen my enthusiasm and derail our dinner. “

“Sometimes you will experience heat from your mic because you need to convey a message you know your audience really doesn’t want to hear. It may be relaying disappointing news, conceding the loss of an important client, or confronting issues that make most members of your audience uncomfortable. “

“Because David can’t handle hearing the unvarnished truth of his own crimes, Nathan shows him what they look like from a more objective perspective. The heinous injustice slaps the king in the face when he hears it described as a parable. “

“While you have a pantheon of polished communicators to draw on, ultimately you only need to communicate what you alone can speak into life. “

“Don’t try to be younger than you are or older than you are. Don’t try to be white if you’re black or black if you’re white. Don’t try to be who you think your audience wants you to be, needs you to be, or hopes you will be. “

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PART 5 The Meal in the Message

“As I shared with you at the beginning of this book, the prompting of Dr. Frank Thomas served as the catalyst for this book. The more he and I discussed its creation, the more I realized that maximum impact would be achieved with the rhetorical analysis only Frank could provide. “

“The idea of recipe as preaching metaphor emerged from a conversation Bishop and I had about the possibility of trying to understand his system from an academic perspective. He said that approaching his preaching this way was like asking your grandmother to create a recipe. “

“Just as Grandma’s cooking is imitated, the best preachers are imitated. “

“Every preacher has a constellation of cultural, family of origin, and ecclesiastical systems that raise and develop the preacher from the earliest stages of life. Such systems include categories of gender, ethnicity, social and economic locations of neighborhood and class, as well as conditions of physical and mental health. “

“every phase of Negro life is acted out and highly dramatized based in these rituals of cultural performance. “

“The desire for beauty, at its core, arises out of the same impulse in every person, for example, to wear jewelry, shape a sculpture, or decorate a house—the human urge, in even the most degrading and demeaning circumstances and treatment, to create and express beauty. “

“Storytelling is the ability to take abstract truth and place it in images of everyday life. “

“When you look at a people who have literally been beaten and a God who has been laid on a whipping post, when you look at a people who have been unjustly arrested and you look at a Jesus that they found no fault in, and yet crucified—he is kin to my history. “

“become a student of communication and connect it to the preaching gifts and strengths in your own culture and ancestry. “

“Her comment stirred my curiosity. “

“In the broadest sense, the tradition is a meaningful part of the history of the community and affords the community opportunities to perform new versions of itself without losing a sense of identity. “

“I’ve always been like this. I’ve never changed; I’ve always been a storyteller. “

“On a personal level, I know God is with me. “

“I know what it is to have nothing but hope. Sometimes when I was losing my job and had no money, hope was the only thing in our refrigerator! I would go gather fallen apples, which were free, to feed my family. My story epitomizes hope. “

“If you see it as an attribute and not a liability, anything is an asset. . anything is a tool. “

“This place we’re trying to go is so sacred that I can’t get there without them. “

“In much of the African American tradition, there is an emphasis and expectation of celebration, which often looks like seeking to leave people standing and shouting as principally the singularly and most effective close. “

“When you take the first bite of a scrumptious meal or a rich, decadent dessert, you savor the experience slowly and deliberately. You allow the blended flavors to emerge even as you experience and identify each separate ingredient’s unique contribution to the finished dish. “

“The political skill of the age was the ability to speak effectively for one’s interests. “

“I believe that enlightened discussion of many and various interpretations, from different life experiences and perspectives, helps us to approach the ‘meaning’ of the art piece, hence the term living art. “

“You leave the room a little bit larger in your thinking and understanding of what it takes to lead a diverse group of people. “

“When you are with people in trouble, you get to see who they really are. All the shades come down when the bleeding starts. “

“If you don’t want it bad enough, it will never happen for you. “

“In our roles as preachers, when we mount the pulpit or stage, everything about us communicates. “

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