I came across this video from TEDS, which is a genius, think-tank kind of place. Some of the speeches on TEDS are simply amazing. But this is not specifically for preachers or even for religion. But Mrs. Duarte gives some great advice about giving a memorial presentation. Her principles in general can be applied to we who preach and teach.
Listen to it until the end. What I see in these principles is the A. where we are (sinful, with problems), B. bliss is where we want to be (pleasing to God), and how to go from A to B. “Changing the world is a big job.“
One of the “good points” of this talk is that this lady presents us “you have the power to change the world”. Isn’t this really what we are doing as pastors? You have to communicate your idea to others (your people), and that is the problem, you have to “communicate an idea that resonates”.
Her talk focuses on limiting your talk to a single idea. This “idea” is the same thing as your sermon’s topic. I like the use of the term “idea” because a topic is very general and can be abused very easily. An idea is a communication from God to you. This is God’s message to you, and you should look at your sermon as a communication activity, and so very often, sermons as “communication activities” just fail. What this lady is dealing with is how to make a communication succede in the purpose you give it.
Story: She explains the magical function of stories to be remembered and absorbed. We physically react when we listen to a story (if it is a good story and is well told). She examines why that doesn’t happen with a presentation. The presenter is not the “star of the show”. The audience is the hero. If they don’t “get” the idea you are presenting, then you are not effective. Making the audience the hero gets them personally involved, which is a big step towards their receiving “your message”.
The presenter is the person who helps the audience to move from where they are, to get the idea working in their life.
1. Likeable hero, with a desire.
2. Roadblock, in which the facilitator helps the hero to get through it.
3. They emerge transformed.
What is (past, problem). What could be (future, solution).
How to get from what is to what could be.
This is a contrast of what is bad about the present, and what is your idea (the solution), and the going back and forth between the two causes the audience to desire the solution. The zig-zag between the two causes an energy to build (if you present it well) that results in the audience taking you solution or idea to solve this problem of their’s. “You capture the resistance coming against you, and you use it to convince your audience.“
If you look for this dynamic in Scripture, you will find speakers who present the evil of sin (what is), and then the solution of God (what could be). The dynamic of going between the two of these is the exhortation part of a sermon, making what could be come to pass.
A Call to Action.
You need to form the vision of the world with your idea. Show the utopia of living with the solution.