1. Work with a Team to Plan Your Message – Sharing your notes and rough outline with a trusted team can help you identify the most impactful parts of the message and cut supporting material that doesn’t reinforce them.
  2. Boil It Down to One Main Point – Think quick: Can you recall the three main points of the last sermon you listened to? If you can’t, your congregation likely can’t either. Try boiling your message down to one big truth and then giving listeners practical ideas about how it should impact them.
  3. Cut That Introduction – Long-winded stories to set up your message can get you off track very quickly. We like to recommend a three minute introduction. Stories are powerful, but keep them short.
  4. Minimize Lists – Lists can add unnecessary length, especially if you comment on each point.
  5. Practice Your Message – If you take time to preach your message out loud, you will be able to test the length and potentially discover points that are confusing, too long or boring.
  6. Know How to Land the Plane – You don’t want to ramble at the end of your message and distract the audience from the main point you have been working so hard to make. Have a plan for how to wrap it up.
  7. Push Yourself to Critique Each Message – This isn’t easy for any speaker, but it makes a world of difference. You’ll catch crutch words you’re using too often. You’ll notice your rhythms. If you want to become a more effective communicator, there really isn’t a better way to help yourself grow.

Do you have other methods that help you keep your message short?