It's never too late.
Concerned about plummeting attendance at IBLP conferences, Bill Gothard is taking public speaking lessons. The decision to pursue professional training came after his advisers observered several people sleeping at a Basic Seminar.
For years, close friends have urged him to take courses, but he has always refused, saying that basic principles govern the rules of public discourse, and new fads are not useful. "When you present truth, as I do, people don't care how you do it," is his common retort.
He finally relented when a speech trainer visited Oak Brook to speak to the headquarters staff. Mr. Gothard agreed to a few private lessons.
"These courses have been tremendously helpful for Mr. Gothard," said an IBLP spokeswoman. "He is learning speech techniques such as voice modulation, employing humor, and effective body language. He has discovered how to tell stories that actually illustrate his point. Most important, he is learning to speak convincingly on subjects he knows nothing about."