Want to be a high-impact speaker? After training hundreds of presenters, I’ve found several tips that can take your speaking to the next level.

My last post focused on the importance of telling your own remarkable story. Now, here’s how to make your presentation to any audience really shine.

1. Make 1 point. Reduce your message to one sentence. Then deliver on that. Forget everything they told you about three-point sermons. Those of us in the audience aren’t going to digest all that stuff. You are extremely successful if you send us home with one well-presented, memorable point. It might be something like “the hardest to love are those who need our love the most.”

2. Make them laugh, make them cry. Engage a range of emotions in your audience. Delivering data and documentation are good, but ultimately your audience will be moved through their emotions. That’s why Jesus provoked emotion. He sparked wonder with his miracles, fear with the storm on the lake, conviction with the woman caught in adultery, and delight with a coin found in the mouth of a fish.

3. Involve your audience. Let them actually experience the message. If you’re speaking on Jonah, fill the room with the odor of a stinking fish. If you’re speaking on guilt, ask your people to walk across the room with a pebble in their shoe. Then engage them in debriefing the experience, drawing parallels to real life.

4. Understand and honor how people learn. Most speakers and preachers seem to assume their people are all auditory learners. Only a minority of an audience processes communication primarily through their ears. Most are visual learners. So, create presentations that connect through all learning modalities. And mix it up every few minutes. Attention spans, even among adults, last only a few minutes with one mode of communication.

Effective public speaking, the kind that changes lives, is part art, part science.

You can learn more–and experience how to become a truly effective communicator–at a fun, concentrated course offered at Group Publishing’s headquarters.