We’ve all seen this happen. The preacher walks up to the stage with a Bible, some pieces of paper, and a binder. He spends the first few seconds placing everything on the podium. While he’s doing this the audience is mostly looking at the top of his head as he looks down.
As he begins speaking he reads from one piece of paper, looks up, finds another one in his binder, reads it, looks up again, and then looks down for his next idea. Aside from the sloppiness and the seemingly un-prepared vibe this gives off – it also risks not engaging the audience.
Let’s contrast that scenario with the preacher who gets up on stage and speaks with clarity and command of the room, engages everyone with eye contact and energy, and you never see him look down, fumble through pages, or read from anything but the Bible.
From a communications perspective, the preacher in our first scenario is far less likely to connect with his listeners. He is missing a vital aspect of capturing people’s attention immediately.
Considering the fact that I’d like to avoid making the fatal mistakes the preacher in the first scenario made, I began to be intrigued with this idea: What if I could train myself to not need notes at all? What if I could prepare in such a way that I could deliver a message and never look down, but maintain eye contact and physical engagement with my listeners from start to finish?
What if you could, too?
In this episode, I want to share with you how I've trained myself to preach without looking at my notes.