4 Tips for preaching from a colored manuscript

Dave Stone offers 4 benefits of using colored highlighters to mark up your preaching manuscript:

1. Improve eye contact. I select key words throughout the manuscript to help guide me as I tell the story. I highlight them in orange. This allows me to glance at my notes for shorter periods of time, which enhances my eye contact with the congregation and increases the impact of what I'm sharing.

2. Find your next point quickly. If you're accustomed to reading your outline or manuscript a couple of times before you deliver your sermon, then the colors will help you even more. Your eyes won't need to frantically scour the page in search of your next phrase. You will know where to look.

3. Be more persuasive. Think of it this way: Why don't you like to change Bibles every five years? That answer is simple: You've learned where certain verses are on certain pages, so your eye naturally looks there. In the same way, you can learn to associate colors with their placement on the page and what they represent. The less attention your notes require, the more persuasive you can be.

4. Present a balanced message. At times, highlighting has helped me to see whether or not my material is balanced. Too much pink and very little blue informs me that I've skimped on Scripture; I have an entertaining speech instead of a sermon. (The colors can also help in editing. If I have two stories that illustrate the same point, and they are in the same color, it may cause me to consider dropping the weaker of the two.)