How to Prepare – Practicing the Sermon Out-Loud

As Reverend Harris notes in his helpful article, we should re-read the sermon before we can believe that we have prepared. I wish to make a small addition to that suggestion. When you read it, you should read it Out-Loud. Our inner voice can hide many issues that only show up when you read it out-loud.

Many professors emphasize that reading out loud is an important component of editing, but far too few preachers or writers take the time to really do this. Why does reading out-loud help?

  1. It engages more of the senses of the speaker – As you read the manuscript out-loud you exercise all the senses of silent reading plus you use the vocal muscles which employs speech. In addition, you hear the sermon thus employing hearing.
  2. It is more like the preaching event than reading silently
  3. It allows you to practice the preaching event while editing

Simply put, if one is going to read the manuscript to edit it, one might as well read the manuscript out-loud and gain the added benefit of a more accurate simulation of the preaching event.

Sherman Haywood Cox II

Vanderbilt Trained Minister (MDiv), Univ. of Alabama Trained Software Developer (MS), Author, Blogger (, Husband, Son, Brother, Father.

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