The way that the preacher speaks the sermon, his delivery, makes a big difference regarding whether people listen or not. Become aware of your style of speaking the sermon. Videotaping yourself can be interesting. Try to see yourself through the eyes of the congregation. Change your delivery for the sake of the Word if you must.
“Pulpit communication must always be heart to heart communication.” 
“Free delivery means that the preacher is thinking the thoughts he is expressing at the moment he is expressing them. … He is sharing ideas in a manner that suggests spontaneity not mechanically mouthing words” he has previously written. 
Do not read the sermon. Most preachers read their sermon when they have not taken time to learn it properly.
Eye contact with your listeners is important. Repeatedly looking at your notes or manuscript breaks eye contact. Do not look constantly at one area of the church, such as at a corner.
“Free delivery requires careful memorization of the sermon.” It is good to memorize the sermons line of thought, not word for word.
One method of memorization:
- As you are reading through your written sermon, underline chief points. Fix these chief points in your mind.
- Do not memorize one paragraph and then another. Memorize an entire part at a time.
- For some people practicing the sermon out loud is very helpful for memorization. Some pastors will even go to the church and stand in the pulpit while they memorize the sermon.
Pastor Baumann’s memorization method.
- After I have written the sermon, I outline what I have. This allows me to see if what I have written flows. I work on memorizing that outline.
- I remove most of the words from the outline, so that I have only a small outline of the key points. I work on my memory now relying upon the key points it I forget the line of thought.
As you memorize you find that a section is hard to memorize, think about why it is hard to memorize. You may want to rewrite that section to make it easier to memorize.
A KEY thing to remember, in your preaching you want to talk to the people as if you are having a friendly conversation. Each of us can do better at that as we practice.
What to take into the pulpit with you.
- Do not take the whole manuscript.
- Use only an outline. The shorter the outline, the better. I print out the Biblical verses that I will refer to when I’m preaching.
Regardless of what you take with you into the pulpit, do not become tied to what you have written. Memorize and speak to the people.
Getting a good nights sleep is important in sermon presentations.
The Role of the Voice
When preaching speak with the same voice you do when you are talking with others. Do not try to make your voice different from what it normally is. Some pastors have developed a pulpit voice – they try to sound like some professional speaker or another pastor they know, when that is not their voice.
Speak calmly. Some speakers voice gets higher in pitch when they speak publicly or get excited. A high pitched voice can sound as if someone is complaining. A high pitched voice can be hard to listen to. Some speakers [myself included] can talk to fast when they get excited. Be conscious of your speed of talking and slow down.
Evaluate your way of speaking and honestly ask, does my normal way of speaking help the message of God come to the people? Practice so that it does.
Yet, do not be overly concerned about your voice. If you are speaking as you normally do, you will be fine.
If you get nervous about your preaching, you are normal. All of us do get nervous.
Speak clearly and understandably. This is enunciation.
Speak with proper volume. Never speak so softly that people cannot hear you. Never speak so loudly that you sound as if you are shouting or angry. Change your volume of speaking according to the words.
Typically we will not use slang terms for preaching. Do not mispronounce words.
Good speaking will be fast at some times, and slow at other times. The speed at which we speak is the tempo. Do not always speak fast or slow. Vary the tempo according to what you are saying.
Good speaking will emphasize important words, phrases and sentences. Most of the time, our speaking will have an average emphasis.
Pausing before continuing speaking can be a good way to emphasize what you have just said or what you are about to say.
The Role of the Body
The preacher is not to stand like a statue and be unmoving. In normal conversation we move our hands and our bodies. That normal movement is what we want to do while preaching.
Our faces can express what we are saying. If we are sad, then our face will show it. If we are happy, then our face will show that. Be aware of what your face is showing as you preach.
Remember that preaching is the presentation of God’s Word. Do not use inappropriate gestures while in the pulpit. We are not trying to look cute or be humorous. We are preaching the word of God.
Being a bit dramatic as we preach is appropriate. If done too often, dramatic body movement may become distracting from the message.
Pulpit Procedures - Adjust the following for cultural norms.
Enter the pulpit early enough so that you can prepare to speak before the end of the hymn. (Bible open. Microphone on. Pre-sermon prayer.)alt
Congregation sitting or standing.
Greet the congregation. “Grace and Peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Or some other greeting.
Read the text or the appropriate section of the text. Seat the congregation if they have stood.
Present the sermon.
At the end, many congregations rise. May pastors will say “May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Others say something else.