4. You Didn’t Express an Old Idea in a Fresh Way
For the record, Solomon was right, there isn’t anything new under the sun.
None of us truly speaks about anything new.
As a result, it’s easy to fall into cliches and common descriptions of issues everyone’s trying to address.
For example, I almost called point 2 of this blog post “You’re answering questions nobody is asking.” But I realized that as you skimmed the article you would think “I’ve heard that a thousand times” and tune out.
So I changed the expression of the point to “Focusing on what people need to know, not on what people want to know.”
It’s a little fresher.
Again, that’s not a brand new idea, but it’s a more unique expression of it.
If your ideas are simply retreads of other people’s ideas, people will tune out.
5. You Haven’t Crafted Your Words Well Enough to Make Them Memorable
I spoke to a couple a few weeks ago about a series I preached four years ago.
They’re in their 20s, so that’s almost one-fifth of their life in the past.
They quoted the bottom line of that series to me and asked me to use it again at their wedding.
The bottom line was simply this: Like is an emotion. Love is a decision.
It’s hard to believe someone remembers something you said four years earlier, but it happens.
They then told me they want their life together to be built on a decision to love each other, not an emotion they’re feeling. What’s so powerful to me as a pastor is that single line contained the direction for an entire six-part series whose ideas they were able to recall. (If you’re wondering, that isn’t available online right now. It might be again soon.)
The power of carefully crafted phrases is that they’re memorable, and memorable phrases keep going to work years after you’ve finished speaking them.
How do you craft memorable phrases? I outline the process here.
6. You Don’t Personally Own the Message
There was a season when cool church was enough.
But people are tired of slick. They’re suspicious of polish.
In many ways, authentic is the new cool.
One of the keys to authenticity is personally owning everything you say. People want to know you believe what you’re saying.
In a world of spin where so much is sold, people are looking for real.
When you own the message—when it comes from the core of who you are—it resonates.
So own your message.
That means you’ve processed it deeply enough that it has become part of who are, not just something you say.
7. You’re Relying Too Heavily on Your Notes
In public speaking, people won’t believe you own the message if you’re reading it.
It comes across as a press release. Or a statement someone else prepared. Or something you think they should believe, but you don’t believe yourself.
I know that’s tough for people who are tied to manuscripts.
Please hear me: Reading from your notes doesn’t mean you’re insincere, it just means people often think you are.
So is there help? You bet.
If you want to learn how to free yourself from speaking with notes, I shared a five-step method on how to do that here. It’s exactly how I got freed up from my notes.
Want the heart of it?
It’s this: Don’t memorize your talk. Understand it.
You don’t memorize your conversations before you have them because you understand them.
So understand your next talk.
You can always talk about things you understand.
Want Some Specialized Help?
Ever wish someone could come along side you to walk you through the finer points of the art of better preaching?
That’s exactly what Mark Clark and I do in our brand new course, The Art of Better Preaching, which releases in June of 2018. We’ve even got a full unit on how to leave your notes behind the next time you give a talk.
Every week, Mark and I preach to thousands of churched and unchurched people, Mark at Village Church in Vancouver B.C., and me at Connexus Church north of Toronto. We have very different styles, which means this course is not a preach-just-like-me approach preaching.
You can customize it to help you preach better messages, and it draws from the rich tradition of different approaches that actually connect with unchurched people. Plus, we share our best secrets on how to craft the best messages we know how to create.
In the course, Mark and I cover:
- The Why and How of Preaching
- How to Preach to the Unchurched
- How to Give a Talk Without Using Notes
- Crafting a Killer Bottom Line So People Remember Your Talk Years Later
- How to Stay Fresh over the Long Haul
And much more.
Interested in getting inside access and information?
Join the waitlist here and be the first to know, and be eligible for exclusive insider bonuses as the course launches.
We’re so excited to help you become the best communicator you can be.
In the meantime, let’s share some learning. What are some other things you’ve seen that lose an audience?
This article originally appeared here.