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5 Stages of bringing your message to life

Training | Christopher Trodden | 10 October 2016
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5 stages of bringing your sermon to life
I've been giving presentations for over 18 years now and I find it helpful to think of the creation process in 5 stages:

  1. Heart (Mental mode: disciple) - this is the rhythm of life we live in as presenters and preachers. There's an old saying "you cannot draw out of an empty well". So the first stage in crafting any message is to live and breathe a life that is immersed in your subject matter. The aim in this stage is to discover a seed thought - a spark of life that can be nurtured into something great.
  2. Research (Mental mode: student) - next, I take that seed thought, that embryo, and begin to learn all I can about it. This generates an enormous amount of information and note taking. My aim here is to be true to 1. the original meaning of the text (subject) 2. accurately discover the tone of message and 3. find the most interesting angle to approach the idea in the writing phase.
  3. Story and Structure (Mental mode: creative and writer) - this is where all the creative energy juices flow. My aim in this section is to find the best flow for unveiling the information at hand. I'll think through questions like 'is this about transferring information and data?' or 'would this best be placed in a story' or 'what is the natural form to convey this message: biographical, through illustration, use of props?'
  4. Review (Mental mode: editor) - The editing mode one of the best and hardest things you can do. I've found that in every message I write, there's normally two or three other messages that are underdeveloped but are trying to hide themselves in there. When you write any presentation there is going to be so much you want to cram in there, the trick is to cut, cut, cut, cut, cut and then cut some more information out. Editing is different headspace than writing with a completely different outcome so it essential to separate the writing and editing process if you want to achieve the best possible flow.
  5. Delivery (Mental mode: artist and presenter) - In the final stage before delivery I undergo two main tasks. The first is to check that the visual tone of the message is congruent with my aim of the message. I spend time thinking through the visual noise I want to be creating: what colours to use, will I use PowerPoint or Keynote, do the images line up with message and are they striking enough to strengthen the intended outcome. The second thing I do in this stage is to rehearse. This is critical. The more I rehearse, the better the message will be. This inevitably leads to more editing and writing but that is a healthy step to take in order to bring your message to life in an engaging and memorable way.

So there you have it, my 5 stages of bringing your message to life. I hope you find it useful.

Blessings -
Chris Trodden

Resource Production Manager
Australia Southern Territory

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