Have you had that awkward moment where you lost your place on the manuscript and had to make a decision to look it up, tell a joke or a combination of both? I suppose the very worst thing you can say is, “I found it. There you are!” Handling a lengthy manuscript is no joke. It can cause unexpected and unnecessary elements of surprise. This goes for any carefully crafted public speech. We spend hours crafting words and coming up with clever phrases only to mess it all up in a moment of madness. How do we solve the problem?

  • Use different size fonts. Often speakers make the mistake of using the same size and style of fonts. The eyes then are attracted to all the words without understanding which ones are most important.
  • Using at least double space between lines. Speakers should use at least double space in between lines. This is important because when all the words are jumbled together into one big mess, it is impossible to read them, let alone deliver them in an effective manner.
  • Use color-coding. Many sermons can use color codes. This takes getting used to. For example, you can use yellow as transition points to highlight transitional sentences. You can use red for emphasis and so on. You however have to figure out in your mind what each color is supposed to represent first before you color code, but that should go without saying.
  • Use outline form and key words. A more personal style of delivery has to happen when we memorize the outline of our sermons. If we stick with the outline form, we can very much make eye contact with the audience and talk to them instead of reading AT them.
  • Use a plot line. Every illustration should have a plot. In order to tell a story well, you do not have to deliver it word for word, but you do have to place various elements in their places: beginning of the story, character development, climax. Some switch the elements around by having climax first and then retelling the story to get to its origin.

So, these are my tips this week for enhancing your preaching memory. I hope this works out well. If you have other questions regarding this topic, feel free to follow my Facebook page by hitting “like” and you can contact me there with your questions or suggestions.

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