When I think of a communicator’s style I think about their notes, voice, and even map if you will. I may have lost some of you on these so I will hit them one at a time.
Rick Warren uses a heavily detailed outline while Craig Groeschel uses a very simple outline. Ed Young Jr. uses a mind map while some preachers use a full transcript. Andy Stanley doesn’t use any notes at all. It just goes to show that one size does not fit all. Find what works for you and perfect it.
I personally don’t use any notes and that works for me. Part of what led me to this style is the idea that if I can’t remember my message why should anyone else.
I’m not speaking of pitch. Some communicators are naturally funny but try and fight it because they feel preaching should always be serious. Don’t do it. It’s your God given voice and you should use it to the fullest. Although not my favorite style to listen to, some are yelling preachers. These people sound like they are excited even when they are reading the begats. If that is your voice then start experimenting on how to use it effectively. You are who God created you to be and you owe it to him to be great at it.
Kevin would say that my style is a cross between Jerry Seinfeld (although not quite as funny) and Al Gore (although not quite as political). I don’t know how I feel about that but if it gets the right message to the right people then I’ll take it.
This is at least how Andy Stanly refers to it in his book, “Communicating for a Change”. You might refer to it as your outline, blueprint, storyboard, etc. This is different from you notes in that your notes are WHAT you are going to say while your map is the order in which you are going to say it so as to bring people to the same destination at the same time. A map helps you connect to your audience, make your point, connect to your audience and make your point.
A simplified map that you’ve most likely heard before is to tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them. Andy Stanley’s map is ME, WE, GOD, YOU. WE. You can read his book for an explanation. My over simplified map goes like this. Make a connection between me, the audience and the topic at hand, let God’s Word address the real issue, and offer a challenge to follow Christ in light of what was revealed.
Whatever your style is; be it notes or no notes, loud or soft, 3 point outline or one single thought, my advice is this…find Christ, follow Christ, preach Christ.