Preaching Without Notes

It can be done, but it’ll take some risk.

Have you noticed how speakers who don’t use notes seem smoother, more vibrant, more connected with the room? There’s good reason for that. Eye contact is critically important for people. We make a lot of judgement calls based on non-verbals, especially body language, and very especially eye contact.

Would you buy a car from someone who wouldn’t look you in the eye?

Would you believe someone was telling the truth if they seemed to always be looking down?

Could the same principle be at work when it comes to public speaking? Absolutely! Sure, we give grace for people who need to look down at their notes. But our subconscious picks up on eye contact — or lack thereof.

Pastor, it’s no secret that we have a ton of work to do each week, and memorizing a message is out of reach for most of us. However, preaching without notes — or, at least, preaching in a way that keeps your eyes up, not down — is a skill that can be developed. Given the importance of what we’re speaking, it seems like upping our preaching game is a no-brainer, right?

A preaching coach can help you develop your preaching to the point where you need a page or less of notes — or none at all. Developing skill always requires some discomfort, some risk, and even a few tumbles. It’s the same as learning to ride a bike.

Besides, if it totally falls apart… there’s always next Sunday!

Do you need a Preaching Coach? Check out and connect with a helpful ear and encouraging guide for local pastors.

Published by radamdavidson

When I'm not blogging, I'm hanging out with my family, pastoring a church, or listening to vinyl. I think and write about Jesus, music, communication, organizational leadership, family whatnot, and cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at, watch [RadCast], a daily 3 minute video devotional, or find me on socials (@radamdavidson). I also help Pastors in their preaching and public speaking (

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