Creative Leadership

One Big Thing: How To Get Your Message Heard

When you speak before a group, preach a sermon, or make a presentation in the office, there’s one mistake people make over and over:  too much information. They try to cover too many points, and as a result, the presentation simply bogs down in useless detail. One important principle in speaking or presenting is unity. As the title of one of my books suggests, what’s the “one big thing” or the “one big point” that you’re trying to make? Figure it out, and make sure everything flows in that direction.

Andy Stanley puts it this way: “What do they need to know?” Andy focuses on one-point messages. It’s not about showing off with your knowledge, depth of insight, or brilliance. It’s about presenting a message people will receive and remember. In that pursuit he gives some examples of one point talks:

“Your friends will determine the direction and quality of your life.”
“Purity paves the way to intimacy.”
“When you see as God sees, you’ll do as God says.”
“Submission is an invitation for someone to lead.”
“Choose the hard right over the easy wrong.”
“Everybody lives forever somewhere.”
“Acceptance fuels influence.”
“Good people don’t go to heaven; forgiven people do.”
“God takes full responsibility for the life fully devoted to Him.”

That’s it.  No Old Testament survey, no historical chronicle, and no deep intellectual thesis. All these things are important, but in another context.

It comes down to your priorities. Is your priority to impress the audience with your knowledge, or to teach a lesson they’ll never forget?

If you want to really change people’s lives, then keep it to one big thing.

And you can order my book here.

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3 Comments

  1. I have often suggested to my pastor husband that if that one take away point is something he wants them to especially remember, he should hand out laminated cards with that ONE POINT on them at the end of the service….

  2. Amen Phil. I get frustrated when I see speakers and pastors trying to make the message more difficult than it needs to be. For it to be effectively received, the messages need to be broken down to simple truths and principles that can be easily digestible.

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