One of my students asked what steps I go though when I am preparing a lecture or a talk or a sermon or a speech. Obviously, the first thing I have to do is make certain I have something to talk about--I need to master the material, do the reading, wrestle through the ideas, allow the concepts to enlarge in my thinking, consider the various opposing views, and arrive at some Biblical worldview conclusions regarding the subject. Then and only then am I ready to start thinking about constructing a presentation.
But, once that is done, what guidelines do I try to keep in view as I start pulling my thoughts together?
Here is what I told him:
1. Have just one point.
2. Frame that one point with a strong introduction and a well-crafted conclusion.
3. Have a strong outline for everything in-between.
4. Use pithy or funny or poignant quotes—or perhaps peculiar facts that you can then hang each of your points upon.
5. Just be yourself--don't try to inject or project some other persona.
6. Don't read the talk--but don't memorize it either.
7. Have fun.
"A lecture should proceed apace from knowledge to understanding to wisdom--offering insights, delights, and always some element of surprise. Oh yes, and its passion should be outdone only by its brevity." Arthur Quiller-Couch