A bottom line is one sentence that captures the main point of your talk in a catchy, memorable, sticky, repeatable, and tweetable way. For example:

  • Light of the world: Church is not just about getting something; it’s about being something.
  • Friends and walking with the wise: As they go, you go.
  • Your story and surrendering to God’s plan: You’ll never understand your story until you wake up to the one you’re already in.

Write one sentence that captures your one thing—the main point you want students to walk away remembering from your talk.

Say it 4-6 times throughout your sermon (especially at the end). Make it the centerpiece of your message.

Build everything around your bottom line: Illustrate it, tell stories about it, tell jokes around it, and show videos about it. Whatever it takes. That’s what it means to find your one thing. Now, you may be wondering, “Hey, isn’t this all a little too simple? Aren’t we being shallow?”

Actually, the goal is the opposite. Oliver Wendall Holmes has a great quote that I think helps make the point:

“I wouldn’t give a fig for simplicity this side of complexity, but I’d give my life for simplicity on the other side of complexity.”

Our responsibility as communicators is not to stay shallow and simple, but to wade into the complexity of the Bible—what it means and how it applies. And then, to emerge from that complexity by articulating it simply, one point at a time, in ways that students will understand and remember.

If you want more details or advice on how to apply this and others speaking tips to your communicating, go to SpeakingtoStudents.com to join the movement.

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