Here’s a great short video on how to avoid the five biggest writing (and preaching?) blunders. In summary:

1. Don’t bury the big news
Don’t build long case up to climax. Hit them with the big news first. Get the key points across early.

2. Don’t use unnatural language.
Using fancy and showy language diverts attention to the medium or the messenger rather than the message

3. Don’t overuse nouns
Use verbs much more. Not, “It is our suggestion…” but, “We suggest.”

4. Use shorter sentences
Cut down on “and” and aim for an average of 15 word sentences (also short paras)

5. Don’t use passive voice
Start with the “actor” then the “action,” not vice versa.

And if you really want to improve your writing (hence speaking) here is a great resource of 101 writing tips in a few pages. For this and three more free ebooks on writing visit Magneto.

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  • Scott@fb

    That’s some good stuff. I find my view of sermons is radically different with so many online sermons available. I catch myself annoyed by preachers who repeat themselves, who don’t have an outline and don’t stick to it, and ramble. I think this is because there are SO many sermons that I could be listening to something else more focused and to the point. I really catch myself sometimes getting annoyed by preachers saying the same thing more than once (although repetition is the key to learning), and preachers who say something like “I’ve already touched on this” (so you’re not sticking to your outline) and it’s really bizarre because none of these issues would even be noticeable except for an overabundance of recorded sermons. This is a fascinating area that probably ought to be studied (if a graduate student needed a project). How are online sermons changing the very nature of a sermon itself? Preachers now have to compete for ears – are they doing this, or just not worrying about it? Do the styles of preachers change when they know their sermons will be online?This reminds me that before recorded music, a person might hear their favorite piece of music half a dozen times in their lifetime … while I can hear something half a dozen times in one week. One side effect of this is shorter pieces – you don’t need to do the first bit of a sonata twice, because people already know what to expect, so it’s sometimes omitted.