Phase 3

5 Steps to Preaching Like a Pro

“The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits.”
– Steven Pressfield

There is nothing wrong with someone being an amateur communicator, but I'm sure your not satisfied with being that yourself. An amateur communicator is okay with being just as good as when they started, or just as good as they became in that first burst of improvement. They have no real reason to get past that point. If you are going to take this role seriously and develop as a professional communicator we need to put a stake in the ground and put a plan in place that will move you from where you are to where you want to be next year.  

In order to get started on this journey of professional communication we need to break communicating into 5 phases. Each phase will exist to provide the structure for the next to lean on. Each has its place, and each will require you to master it or delegate it, but each must always be improving.

The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits.
— Steven Pressfield

These 5 steps or phases become a habits that push you toward more effective preaching. The trick is to break them into these separate manageable phases. This allows you to spend more focused time without having to go back to redo your work. 

Phase 1 - Calendaring

You've got 52 weeks of sermons coming up. What are you going to talk about? What issues need to be covered this year? What topics need to be covered every year? (See "You Are About To Create A Killer Teaching Series [From Scratch]" )

Phase 2 - Preparation

What does scripture say? What does your audience need to know?  This is the phase where you will unpack what your specific audience needs to hear as it relates to the topic/scripture. This phase is what separates the men from the boys. It takes some hard work, but this is where the great messages come from. (See "The Most Under Recognized Ingredient in a Powerful Message")

Phase 3 - Writing

The writing phase is the detail phase. It’s where a painter begins to add texture. Where the designer adds his detail. It’s where you organize your thoughts into a coherent and dynamic message. (See "Please Stop Talking, My Brain Is Full")

Phase 4 - Delivery

The delivery phase is all you! It’s where you take the stage. All eyes and ears wait in anticipation. It’s where all your work presents itself to the world. This is what people are waiting for, whether they know it or not.  

Phase 5 - Follow Through

Professional communicators know that the jobs not done when you leave the stage. They know that the real change happens once the message is over. And if you are going to get better as a communicator you’re going to need to get comfortable with follow through.

Mini Cycle

As an amateur you spent your time on phase 3 & 4. You would write your talk and deliver it. Then you would sit down and write your next talk. You would practice it and then deliver it, but this mini cycle just repeated itself. And it was hard work. It’s not as if these were your only responsibilities. Not many of us are fortunate to be paid just to teach for 30 minutes a week. There were many tasks on your plate.  And it’s likely that this hasn’t changed over the years. We wear many hat’s and speaking is only one of them.

Finding time to work on phase 1, 2 and 5 takes a sizable amount of ongoing effort, but it makes you a lot more effective. 

Question: Which phase do you enjoy the most?

Step By Step Guide to Using an iPad For Preaching

Some people prefer paper, some prefer technology. I’m guessing you prefer technology. If you’re deciding to try preaching from your iPad for the first time here are a few tips to help get you started. 

  1. Format
    1. Shrink your margins. When it comes to reading from your iPad margins are wasted space. Leave enough white space to add time stamps and last minute notes, but there is no need to leave an inch of whitespace around the border. 
    2. Increase your font size. You’re not reading a book here so don’t forget to increase your font size by a couple points. If your using an iPad Mini, increase it 1 or 2 more points. 
  2. Settings
    1. Turn "Do Not Disturb" ON. Last thing you want is a text message or email alert popping up in the middle of preaching. Forget to turn that on and you can almost guarantee your Student Ministry Pastor will send you something to throw you off your game. (Support Article)
    2. Turn your “Auto-Lock” off. Nothing worse than your screen going black and stumbling through entering your unlock code. (Support Article)
    3. Turn on “Find My iPhone”. In the event that you misplace your iPad on "Game Day” you will thank me. (Support Article)
    4. Turn down your brightness enough so that you can still clearly read your text, but not so bright that it leaves a glow on your shirt/chin. (Support Article)
  3. App
    1. Use whatever tool you prefer to write your speaking notes but when you’re done, export them to a PDF. Then use an app (next on the list) to finalize your notes. 
    2. The best preaching app so far is GoodReader (paid app) for two important reasons:
      1. First, it includes some fantastic mark up/annotation tools--everything from the ability to add time stamps, to highlighting sentences, to crossing out text. You can add last minute ideas or scratch thoughts that no longer seem to flow. This is a powerful feature. Use it! Highlight important sentences, add reminders, take full advantage of these tools. (Macworld App Review)
      2. Second, GoodReader stands above the rest is it’s ability to get out of the way. Once you are ready to take the stage there is no way to accidentally start marking up your text. Tapping the screen allows you to move the page just as you would any pdf. Because the annotation tools require you to tap multiple times to implement there is not risk of you accidentally modifying the text. Seriously, it’s a great tool. Download it. It's worth every penny. 

And just to make sure you don't miss a step come "Game Day", be sure to download the iPad Preaching checklist by filling out the form below. Let powerful life changing communication be your focus, not the tool you use to make it happen. 

IPAD Checklist
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