When my mom taught me to write 5 paragraph essays they always went like this:
- Introduction; body paragraph one, two, and three; conclusion.
She taught me the purpose of every essay is to argue the thesis – the point I am trying to make.
It doesn’t change when you speak. The purpose of every kind of speaking I know of is to persuade action, life change, or something similar. My speaking experience is preaching… but good speaking is good speaking. (I just think preaching is the highest purpose!)
Here is the outline I learned from Andy Stanley that helps me follow a Rule of 5 when preparing talks:
Me (Intro): How do I give my hearers a glimpse into me and intro the topic? How do I create community?
We (Tension): How does the topic addressed affect my hearers? What is the tension created by the topic? No tension – no talk!
God (Authority): What does God have to say about the issue? If you are not preaching, what is your authority? What is the meat behind what you have to say? What light, insight, and wisdom do you bring to the tension?
You (Action): What do you want your hearers to DO? How can your hearers do something to address the tension you have built? Keep it simple. Shoot for AN action – simple, clear, and concise.
We (Vision): How will life change if your hearers adopt the action you are advocating? How will their families, businesses, churches, souls, or bank accounts be different? Paint this picture clearly but don’t overpromise!