30 Tips to Help You Preach Better Pt. 1

Here is a few tips that i have written down over the past few years that have helped me out and i hope they help you out as well. I am definitely not an expert in the area of preaching but it is something i love to do and am always trying to find ways to improve the craft. These tips could also be applied to any public speaking situation in some way.

1. Know your audience (what ages are there, what status (mostly single, married, teens…etc)… if you are guest speaking somewhere this may be a good question to ask your hosts. knowing the answer to this question should change the way you approach your message (its not a one size fits all)

2. Plan…again – Obviously you will need to plan what you are speaking on… but the tip here is to plan and plan again, go over your message a few extra times so that you are confident in the content and delivery… (one thing that will lose your audience is a lack of confidence)

3. Practice – Yep thats right… practice your message before you are on stage, do it out loud if you can. Why is it that churches expect worship teams to practice but not the preacher? (eh…i’ll just wing it)

4. Preach to every row – A lot of preachers will preach to try to impress other pastors or those that are theologically more mature. Remember why you are up there… to preach the gospel to the lost. Don’t try to teach calculus to those that are at an addition and subtraction level. They won’t get it…Keep it simple and understandable.

5.Use Details – Don’t just tell a story… paint a picture. Use vivid details to bring bible or personal stories to life. Allow people in the audience to get a picture of what you are preaching, it will help the point stick much better.

6. Edit – Just because the message was long doesn’t mean it was good… usually just the opposite. Go over your notes and edit out anything that isn’t adding to the message. (Ask yourself… How can i say this in half the words)…Better to be shorter, more focused and to the point, than to drag on until you begin to lose people.

7. Narrow the Focus – I once heard a message that had about 10 – 15 main points in it (i don’t remember any of them). Find one main point that you want people to leave with and reinforce that one point with everything else you say, every verse you read and every story you tell. Better to remember one truth every service than forget 10.

8. Break it up – Find ways to intentionally (practiced) break up the message…use verses, voice inflections, jokes, vocal dynamics (raise or lower volume), visuals, props, Video, music…etc to break up the message. Imagine listening to a song that sounded the exact same from beginning to end (yes…that song would be lame).

9. Be yourself – Don’t try to preach like someone else, Allow God to speak through you. Look at other great speakers for inspiration & teaching but develop your own speaking and teaching style that flows out of your own personality. This will ultimately allow you to be the most confident and effective.

10. End With Hope – leave the audience challenged and with hope, Not condemned, guilty & hopeless. We always end the service with a chance for people to respond and make a decision for christ, as well as a word of encouragement and hope for the future. (if people are convicted thats fine… but we do not simply try to guilt people.)

(This is part 1 of 3… the next 10 tips will be posted tomorrow)


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