Every pastor would like to be less reliant on their notes when preaching.
But let’s face it, taking the plunge and going without notes altogether is scary.
Here are some of the tips and tricks we have picked up over the years to help you make a move to preaching without notes.
Table of contents
Know Your Sermon Don’t Memorize It
Many church leaders make the mistake of trying to commit an entire sermon to memory. While some specific phrases you want to share in a particular way, most of your talk doesn’t need to be memorized. Instead, focus on really understanding your topic and the points you need to get across. In most cases, the rest will come together naturally.
Write it out
While you won’t be taking a manuscript up to the podium, most pastors find the process of writing their sermon out to be helpful. Writing helps you firm up the theme of your talk and recall points you want to make when you are in the planning phase. For some, writing things out means an outline, and for others, it is a more detailed account of what you would like to share.
Focus on Stories
Stories are great because they are easy to remember. We naturally remember stories, and that’s what makes them so great in sermons. Your audience will be more likely to remember your stories, and so will you. Jesus used them, and so should you.
Practice on camera with notes
One of the best ways to get comfortable with your talk is to rehearse it. Practice your sermon in front of a camera with your notes. Try as you do it to look at the camera as much as possible and rely less on your notes. Don’t be afraid to go through your sermon more than once. This is an excellent chance to time yourself for length.
Watch it back before you preach.
Once you have recorded yourself preaching, it’s time to do something with it. It probably won’t be something you want to share with the world, but it should be a helpful tool to make you better come Sunday. Many people are better at learning when they are listening or watch. Listen to yourself give a message is one of the best ways to internalize it.
Watch it back after you preach.
One thing that most Pastors skip is watching their sermons back after they have given them. For many of us, it makes us uncomfortable. But this is one of the best ways to improve. Watch your sermons back every week. Please don’t beat yourself up but make it your goal to find one thing to improve on. If you make just a 1% improvement each week, you will be 50% better in only a year.