I heard from a friend that she falls asleep every time she is in church because the preacher reads his manuscript.  The problem may not have to do with the reading, but HOW the reading is done.

The preacher must learn to pause.  Many preachers make the mistake of not taking enough time to deliberate important points, especially regarding biblical principles and applications.  As a result, sometimes the audience remembers the illustration more than the main points.  Pausing between sentences has a dramatic effect.  Sometimes silence is more important than words.  Pausing can also allow the audience to take a mental breather.  In the case of a weighty matter, the audience can pause to think and absorb the full impact of the message before the preacher goes on the next point.  In the case of laughter, many preachers do not know how to use the audience’s laughter to their advantage.  Instead of allowing the impact of humor to drive home the point, the preacher hurries along to the point while the audience is still laughing.  Oddly enough, preachers can learn from comedians.  On TV, successful comedians have learned the timing of reentering the monologue in the midst of laughter.  The best time to do so is a second or so before the laughter totally dies down.  Again, the most important part of the application gets lost due to this lack of attention to such oratory detail.  For most preachers I have encountered, they can never pause enough.

What good will the pause do?  It does two things. First, it shows the preacher to be confident and in control.  Second, it allows the audience to take a mental breather in order to continue the journey of listening.  Everyone needs a break sometimes. Even the preacher.