I was recently in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the NCFCA Region VII Regional Invitational tournament. In addition to judging several rounds, I watched the semifinal round of Apologetics and jotted down a few of my thoughts. Here are my thoughts on that round, in the form of a few tips for you in your own Apologetics speaking. (This is the first post of a three-part series.)
Personally, I believe that one of the most important aspects of Apologetics is passion. While watching one of the speakers in the semifinal round, I came up with another way to say, “be passionate”: have a pervasive excitement about your topic. Your passion should be pervasive—all throughout your speech. If the topic is truly interesting, you should be passionate about it consistently, not sporadically! And you should be excited—first, that you even get to speak. But second, because you get to speak about this topic! Every topic is interesting and exciting in its own unique way. It may take a little work, but you can find something to be passionate about.
If all else fails, then find an aspect of theology that you are naturally passionate about and work it into your speech. For example, say that you are speaking on the image of God. If you don’t know what in intrinsically exciting about the image of God, you can add in some comments about how Jesus came to restore the image of God that had been broken by the Fall. Slowly yet steadily, our broken image is beginning to reflect God’s image again. One of my favorite verses would work great here: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Look at how the image of God fits into the bigger picture of salvation! No matter the topic, there is always something to be excited about.
Out of all of the semifinalists, the speaker that I thought was the best had this pervasive excitement. She had great content, but the reason I really enjoyed listening to her was her passion. Her excitement shone forth, visible for all to see. The audience can tell whether a speaker really cares about the topic. And when the speaker cares, the judges will too.