Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Speaking Secrets of Joel Osteen

Carmine Gallo, Guest Author

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Pastor Joel Osteen by Carmine Gallo. Joel Osteen is Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. To read the entire interview, click here.

Carmine: “Now take me backstage at Yankee Stadium this summer where 50,000 people turned out to hear you speak. As you’re walking up the steps to the field, what’s your internal dialogue?”

joel_osteenJoel: “It was night and day from my first sermon. I now have 15 years of experience. A year or two after I started preaching I began to hit my stride. I started to say, ‘Okay, maybe I was meant to do this.’ When I walk on stage today I feel humbled and rewarded that so many people came out. I tell myself that I’ll give it my best and hopefully move some people in a positive direction.”

Carmine: “Most people would have a severe panic attack in the moments before speaking to a sold-out stadium. But today your thought process is different. It’s an attitude of ‘I can’t wait to share this message.’”

Joel: “Exactly. You have to talk to yourself the right way and believe you are the person for the job. When you’re prepared in your material and in your mindset, that’s important. I walk up to the stage telling myself, ‘Everyone here wants to hear me. Nobody made them come.’ I’m talking to myself the right way. You cannot get on stage with self-defeating thoughts like ‘I’m boring, nobody wants to listen to me, I’m going to forget my script. ’ That’s preparing yourself to fail.”

Carmine: “This reinforces one of the chapters in your new book, You Can You Will, where you reveal the eight ‘undeniable qualities of a winner.’ You say that having a positive mindset is one of those undeniable qualities.”

Joel: “That’s exactly right. Some people are just raised negative. They don’t think they’re being negative, but they go through life almost expecting not to do well. They’ll show up for a job interview not expecting to get it. I think you have to turn it around. When you get up in front of people, believe that they want to hear you. Act like they like you.”

Carmine: “You include a lot of stories in each sermon and each sermon seems polished and effortless. I know ‘effortless’ takes work. Please tell me how you choose your stories and how many times you practice?”

Joel: “I like to bring in stories of practical, everyday people and examples that the audience can relate to. I think it can get boring to have too much information without a lot of examples and stories. I have a list of stories and I write down what people tell me. I choose the story that fits the message. Getting back to my pastor side, Jesus used examples, and parables, and stories because they are more impactful.”

Carmine: “Now tell me about how you practice and how your rehearsal gives you confidence to be in the moment.”

Joel: “I spend Thursday and Friday writing and going over my 28-minute message. I write it out word for word. I’ll take three hours on Friday and three hours on Saturday and review it page by page. I deliver it Saturday night and twice on Sunday. The one people see on television is my third delivery.

Carmine: “Ah, so by the last sermon, which is the one people see on TV and YouTube, you’ve had hours and hours of refining the stories, the pacing, the delivery. Most people don’t practice once!”

Joel: “When I first started I just made some notes and thought, I’ll just get up there and do it. I learned that, for me at least, if I haven’t rehearsed the sermon, it doesn’t come out the way I think it should.”

Carmine: “Finally, Joel, what’s the secret to inspiring people to make radical changes in their life?”

Joel: “Be real. Be personable. Make it simple so people don’t walk away asking, ‘What’s the point?’”

Joel’s last observation speaks to the heart of inspiration. It’s very hard to inspire others if you’re not true to who you are. Even Osteen tried to mimic someone else—his dad’s preaching style. Osteen only came into his own when he freed himself from what others thought he should be and stayed true to who he was meant to be. “My calling was to plant a seed of hope,” he said. I believe all of us have ideas that are meant to be shared; stories that are meant to be told.

Too many people keep their ideas locked up because they have a fear of public speaking or a fear of being harshly judged for their ideas. The fear of speaking – the fear of speaking up – is one of the most common fears most of us share. The good news is you can overcome it and, as Joel Osteen has proven, do it in a big, big way.

CarmineGalloCopyright © 2014 – Carmine Gallo. Carmine Gallo is the communication coach for the world’s most admired brands, a popular keynote speaker, and author of several bestselling books including the Wall Street Journal hits The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and his latest Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets Of The World’s Top Minds. This article originally appeared on



Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at:

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Articles: Ten Lessons on Presentation & Performance You Can Learn by Watching Taylor Swift Speaking Secrets of Joel Osteen Speakers: Stay on […]

    Pingback by When Speaking ~ Be Brief | Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James — Tuesday, April 28, 2015 @ 7:56 am | Reply

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