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Rob Parsons – The Heart of Communication: How to Really Connect with an Audience

Hodder and Stoughton 160 pages Price £12.99 ISBN 878 1 529 37341 7

Hearing Rob Parsons on his Heart of Communication tour was a highlight of last autumn for me. It was always a well-oiled and thought through event, with great refreshments and worthwhile content.

I remember sitting next to a friend of mine at a previous Rob Parsons event; I was surprised to see him there, as it did not seem to be his kind of thing. Yet as he said: “Rob always makes me laugh and cry; he has the ability to connect with the whole of me.”

If I were to summarize this book in one word, it would be the word: “connect.”

For Rob Parsons this is the heart of communication. Without this vital connection we are like a sophisticated computer system, that has got the wrong wires.

Rob Parsons has a unique ability to make everyone in a room think that he is only speaking to them. A brilliant communicator; he has spent a lifetime speaking to crowds in both secular and Christian settings.

What impressed me about this book is his continued desire to learn how to speak in public. Here is an opportunity to look over the shoulder at a man who knows how to connect with people effectively. RT Kendall hits the nail on the head in his comment on the cover blurb: “A Masterclass in Public Speaking.”

Yes, that is what you get with this book. It is interesting that it has been published at the same time as preachers throughout the country are wrestling with the task of communicating with their congregations digitally at a time of lockdown.

Many preachers have found that with all the benefits of live streams, pre-recorded services and Zoom, something vital is lost in the process. It requires imagination and skill to make a remote event more connected and intimate. How do we make people feel there? Read this book and learn to connect.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex

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