When using an illustration or a humorous story, you need to keep the focus on the point of the illustration or story.
What point are you attempting to make through this illustration or through a humorous account of what happened?
An effective way to do that is to “sandwich” the story between a repeated statement of the point, before and after.
The audience does not need to catch the first mention of “the worded point.” It is not initially necessary that they recognize the “point” you are making and which you will continue to make with the illustration or story.
It may be that as you tell the story that they come to realize what you said previously is the “point” you are now driving at through the story.
Suggested Template (based on the actual example below):
√ pause —- slightly before you state or restate the “point” of the story
√ restate the “point” immediately on the heels of the story or illustration
√ restate the point using identical or very similar words
√ drive the point — push, restate, repeat, and/or develop that point a little more using other words
(Audio clip of Paul Sheppard, from “Obedience Is Necessary To Reach The Promised Land” – @ 8:21 minute mark of original message)
And some of us are standing here
trying to get God to bless us here
but if there is a there* that God has spoken to you about in His word or by His Spirit — and you have not responded — it’s not going to work out for you — because the bless is there
[Now his personal illustration – story]
The Lord sent me in 1989 from Philadelphia to California.
He promised that I would lead a ministry and he would bless my desire to be a soul-winner and help us to raise up a ministry that would reach thousands of people for Christ but the promise was tied to the there
I couldn’t stay in Philadelphia and claim the promise.
It wasn’t a Philly promise for me
They’re other people called to win thousands in Philly
I was called to Northern California — God said go west young man go west.
I could have stayed in Philly all I wanted
I’m sure there would have been some measure of blessing in my life but there would have been a great deal more unfulfillment because God’s plan was there.
I had to get in the car kiss my wife and kids and go there
I didn’t put them in the car I had to drive 3,000 miles
I wasn’t trying to do that with Meredith and a kid – five and another one – three
wasn’t gonna do that — I said baby I’m gonna just fly y’all out let me get there and get everything situated and then I’m a I’m a fly y’all out
and she thought I was being very considerate — I was
I was considering her comfort and convenience — all you gotta do is fly five and a half hours she’s there — and I was considering mine too
cuz I wanted to roll I wanted to if I got to go 3,000 miles a brother want to get to it.
I want to drive about ten hours a day stopped at a hotel when I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.
I was trying to get there
Had my CB — you know back in those days we had CBs in the car when you’re gonna ride the road for thousands of miles have my CB I’m gonna run with the truckers find out where the cops are
I’m just confessing that’s all I’m just confessing
no future in front that’s exactly what I was doing
find out where the cops are
I was rolling with the big boys and there was no blessing until I got there — had to wait and get there
you got to find out you’re there
where does God want you [restatement of there]
what is the place what is the position God has called you to be in [restatement of there]
you’ve got to be there
not just geographically but in terms of your decision-making
who are the people God is ordained to be in your life — you got to make sure you are there
to have them in your life to have them speaking into your life
to have them helping you fulfill the will of God for your life
don’t drag here people — there
some of us got some here folks and we trying to transport them there — not going to work
don’t drag people into your life who aren’t ordained to be there
don’t drag people in your life who don’t want to be there
don’t get God — to try to get in cahoots with you to make them come [restatement of there]
Again, it is not that what Paul Sheppard does in this example is not also done by you and/or many others, but it is valuable to consciously quantify what is being done so that a preacher or speaker thinks through what he is doing. It is beneficial to remember how to do it effectively, and to consciously grab hold of this template and/or rhetorical technique!
(Audio Clip — Tony Evans “Life’s Greatest Pursuit” — @21:36)
I was asked by a member a few days ago.
Have you seen “Avatar?”
I said yes, I have — but not in 3-D.
When I went, it wasn’t a 3-D showing.
To which he responded, then you haven’t seen Avatar.
He says, until you have seen it in 3-D, you’ve not seen what it really is.
I ran into another gentleman who said — have you seen Avatar.
I said, I have seen it — but not in three D, but I heard I need to see it in 3-D — to really see it.
He said, Well, 3-D is OK.
But he said, I went to see it in IMax 3-D!
He said the movie came off the screen
and I had to look behind me to see what was behind me — and I had to look cause that stuff was all over me . . .
Not it really was out there but
because of the fact that I was looking at it from a different dimension
because I had a different set of glasses on
because I had a different perspective
because I was looking at it differently
It leaped from back there — and it was all over me
God is saying, I’m not satisfied with the regular viewing of Me
I don’t even want HD viewing of Me
You better get Me some IMax Attention.
So that I’m all over you.
When you get up in the morning — I’m all over you everywhere you look
You’re running into God — you going to bathroom — I can’t even go to the restroom — without running into God
I go eat breakfast — and I’m running into God
I get into my car — and I’m running into God
You’re just all over me.
He wants an experience with you today.