From our Wednesday night’s Toastmasters meeting (Feedbackers evaluation club): a quote from speaker Craig Valentine (1999 Public Speaking World Champion): “When you squeeze your information in, you squeeze your audience out.”
In preaching (as in all public speaking) we want to be content-rich. HOWEVER, there is a definite point of diminishing returns. We can cram so much information in that our speech or sermon is just a content blur.
People need to reflect on the content. They need to see it illustrated. They need to hear it stated in different ways. When we push one point and then another point, and then another point and then (before we close) one more point, most of those points will not be remembered. Are we trying to help our listeners truly understand and remember what we are saying, or are we trying to impress them by how smart and erudite we are and how hard we have studied in preparing for this speech?
If memorability (and follow-up action) are what we want in a sermon, then this is a case where less truly can be more.
(Thanks to Eric Winger (see his blog here) for bringing that quote & principle to light).