Teaching Tip 353 | “Plain Speaking – organising and sculpturing your material” | Malcolm Cox

Here is your 2-minute tip based on chapter 2 of the book, “Plain speaking: How to preach and teach effectively” by David Bercot.

“If you want to be an effective speaker, you have to organise your material. Otherwise, your listeners won’t be able to follow where you’re going… If it isn’t organised it will…sound to the congregation as if you’re just rambling.” 52

Two steps are necessary according to Bercot:

  1. Organise your material into three parts: An introduction, a middle and an end.
  2. Review your material and divide into main points and minor points that support the main ones: Throw away anything that is not relevant. It’s what writers call, “killing your darlings”. Can you insert ‘therefore’, or, ‘and’ between your points and it make sense? The diamond shape can be a useful model.

Bercot uses the illustration of making a sculpture. At the beginning a sculptor has a block of material and his or her job is to cut away everything that is not necessary to the final form.

Next time we will go on to speak about introductions and conclusions

Has today’s tip been worth two minutes of your time? I hope so.

Next week: rousing introductions and conclusions

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Remember to keep calm, and carry on teaching.

God bless, Malcolm