How to read people’s faces during a talk

Bottom line – don’t do it.

It’s very easy to be unnerved by a twitching lip, a quirky grin, a shaking head, or a deadpan stare. I’ve had people fall asleep during my talks and yesterday I gave a talk with a disabled gentleman blowing loud raspberries at me. Awesome! It’s easy to get distracted – or even change what you’re saying – because you pop-psychoanalysed the audience and decided they were going to assassinate you by your conclusion.

Again – don’t do it. It’s not worth it!

Looks of furry, boredom, confusion, sadness, or even ‘a look of particular theological disagreement’ mean nothing. Genuinely. Why?

First, we are not Freudian psychiatrists with internal crystal balls that tell us exactly what individual facial expressions mean.
Second, people make all kinds of ugly looks for no discernible reason at all.
Third, facial expressions may have nothing to do with you! Maybe their cat died that morning, or they’re worried how they’ll get out of their parking space. Maybe they just broke wind.
Forth, it just won’t help you.
Fifth, it really won’t help you. Even if you’re right about what you see!

It’s important to stay discerning, and to know the people you’re speaking too; and it’s even important to make on-the-fly changes in reaction to what you think the Holy Spirit might be saying. That’s the key though – you make changes because God tells you to, not because people’s faces freaked you out. No mid-talk change should be prompted by fear – which is what were left with by trying to read people’s quirk-expressions.

Don’t give in to the temptation. Trust the words God has given you, and trust His knowledge of each person in the room.

Read peoples faces? Just don’t.

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