As one who speaks before a diverse audience on a regular basis, I find that two questions help me organize my thoughts:
- What’s my point?
- Why does it matter?
If I don’t know what my point is, there’s a very good chance that my audience won’t know what it is either. That seems basic — but it’s often overlooked. The clearer I can be about what my point is, then the clearer my presentation will be.
In the end, I also must answer the question “Why does it matter?” Another way of saying the same thing is, “Why does my audience need to hear this?”
This is where preaching differs from other forms of communication. How? Because it’s not just about information but transformation. The aim of preaching is not to fill the head but to change the heart. Having the right information is important; but if transformation isn’t provoked or encouraged or occurring, information alone is not enough.
What questions are you asking?