Preaching without notes: Method II

7 06 2010

My second point:

2. Write the talk to be memorized. What I mean by this is that as the talk is being written, it should be constructed in such a way that enables easy memorization.

The most important element here is structure. Say the talk has three main points (for a change). The first thing I will be conscious of as I write a new talk is how easy it is for me to remember those three points. Does one lead to the next? Are they easily discerned from the passage being preached? Can I keep all three in my head at the same time? Apart from helping with noteless preaching, these checks ensure structural clarity for our hearers.

The second most important element is the “connectors” in the talk. Once you know what the three main points are (the skeletal structure of the talk), I need to know how to move from one to the next. At this point, I will write (and memorize) short little connecting statements: one at the end of point one, another after point two, etc.

After this, writing a talk to be memorized involves filling out the content of the main points. This is the hardest thing to do in a way that ensures memorization, but the rule is: keep it simple stupid. Not that the content should be simplistic, or lacking depth, or un-profound, but that the content should not be unnecessarily complex in its structure or logic. The logic and structure within each point ought to be clear; if it’s clear, I can remember it. Again, this kind of clarity makes for a good talk to listen to as well. And this does not do away with detail; I can remember details fine, as long as I know how they fit in the broader thing.

If you can write a talk that has these elements, I’d say you’re well on the way to noteless preaching!

Posted by Con Campbell

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