“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12).

In v. 11, Jesus abruptly breaks the repetitive structure he had been using. He had been using the structure, “Blessed are…, for they (or theirs)….” Here he breaks that structure. His statements so far had also been short, but now his statement is much longer. He changed the structure and the length of his statement to emphasize his point. The abrupt changes made this statement stand out and so made it easier for the audience to get it and remember it.

Sometimes you may want to emphasize certain points in your teaching, the important points, the ones that you want your audience to particularly remember. You can emphasize your points by using auditory and visual tricks. If you have been using repetition, break the pattern. If you have been using short sentences, use a long one. If you have been using long sentences, use a short one. If you have been speaking softly, speak louder. If you have been speaking calmly, speak intensely. If you have been standing still or standing behind a pulpit, move or step out from behind the pulpit. The more tricks you combine, the greater the emphasis will be in the minds of your audience. The auditory and visual cues will tell your audience that what you are saying is important and will help them to remember the point.

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2 Responses to Emphasis

  1. Reading some of your other blogs that were much longer didn’t seem to sit well with me.

    This series has been shorter lengths between each topic/ post and that has encouraged me to continue to the next topic/ post. My attitude about reading a really long blog was… am I done yet, verses reading each post and then actually wanting to read the next one following.

    In the end, it actually does two major things for me:

    -I don’t have a dreadful feeling when I see a new email pop up saying a new post is available.

    -I end up reading way more over multiple posts than I would have if I read just only one long post.

    • Clayton Howard Ford says:

      Your comment is symptomatic of what has happened to your generation. Your generation has become used to everything happening in short sound bites so your attention span is that of a two year old. People used to stand for hours listening to a teacher of the law and did not complain one bit (Neh. 8:3, 5). A preacher once said that if we continued that practice, no one would fall asleep in church.

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