Although this tip is aimed at participants in Speaker Evaluation Groups, it’s advice that’s changed my speaking for the better overall.
Last week on the She Speaks Attendees 2011 Facebook page, there were some questions about the 3 minute and 5 minute presentations. How in the world are you supposed to share anything in that amount of time? I feel your pain! There’s a way to still make an impactful message in that short time, however. Here’s the key:
There should only be one main point.
I actually write my 45 minute messages with one main point now. I was introduced to this idea through Andy Stanley’s book Communicating for a Change. I know I reference this book all the time, but I promise I’m not getting any kind of commision from Andy. 🙂 I just think it’s a must read for speakers.
For every message I create, I ask myself, “If my audience doesn’t remember anything else, what is the one thing that I want them to take away from our time together?” I then work on crafting one concise, memorable sentence that is the linch-pin of my message.
Our Lysa is the master of creating these sentences. Her Friday night message from She Speaks last year is a perfect example. She created a sentence that stuck with me all year–“Your reactions determine your reach.” Lysa had Bible teaching, powerful personal stories and application points that all illustrated and illumined this theme. Having that one memorable point helped me to remember the majority of her message, and it’s changed the way I think as I faced adversity this year.
If you will craft that “one thing” for each message, it’s much easier to see how to weave your story around it. In Made to Stick, the Heath brothers emphasize this point about the “one thing”: It should be simple in the way a proverb is simple. A proverb is easy to remember but profound and filled with meaning.
Here’s the order that I usually create a message:
- Pray–Asking God to show me in His Word where He wants to teach the audience.
- Study–Study that passage in depth. I want to start with what God has to say before I have my say!
- Create–Start working on my “one thing” sentence. Sometimes it’s rewritten over and over before it works.
- Write–Write the rest of my message with the scripture and “one thing” as my focus.
I hope this helps! If you’d like to ask any questions about the speaker eval groups, feel free to do it in the comments, and I’ll try to address all of them. Also, don’t miss the call with Zoe and Micca, because they’ll be wonderfully clarifying as well.