How to keep the congregation awake during your presentations

sleepy man

As program planners for sabbath school or AY. You may at one point or another had someone fall asleep during one of your programs. It may have had nothing to do with the content of the presentation. Perhaps, the person had a long hard week with very little sleep. I will share with you a few tips to keep your audience engaged in a long presentation.


Present useful and relevant information

The first and most crucial point is to ensure that the information you are trying to share is useful and relevant to your audience. A young audience may not be very receptive to a program addressing the best health practices to prevent Alzheimer's disease. Even though this is useful information, a more youthful audience may not be very receptive.


Use illustrations

When we talk about the use of illustrations, many people think about multimedia: images, sounds and video presentations. Multimedia is just one form of illustration and can be very effective as a means to increase engagement. However, illustrations can include captivating stories, poetry or using volunteers and members of the audience to perform a task that illustrates a point. 

For example, in the topic of evangelism, you can ask a volunteer to go throughout the audience and touch the shoulder of one individual as you call out the year, each touch represents one conversion. The converted person should stand after being touched. If you start by calling out from 2021, 2022, 2023, etc. by 2030, a single evangelist will convert ten persons in ten years. Do this step then ask everyone to sit.

In the second run, ask the same person to go again, and this time they are only allowed to touch the shoulder of two persons, as you count up the years. Each person that is touched must stand and can only touch the shoulder of two other persons, one per year as you call the year. Unless you are in a megachurch, everyone in the church will be standing by year number 7. At year ten 2,047 persons would be touched if your congregation was that big. 

This activity gets the entire church involved, and vividly brings across the point by illustration.


You can use this strategy to help share and grow the work Sabbath Programs is doing by sending this link to other church leaders in your district or conference. Thanks!


Add an Intermission

Certain topics are intense and require what may seem like long and monotonous explanations, especially when delivered through verbal monologues. Break up your talk with a change in your presentation method. In the middle or at intervals, do a pop quiz on the concepts already covered or on questions related to the topic. Invite a panel to do a short discussion or interview a person who is knowledgable about or impacted by the issue. Start a song service and sing hymns or choruses related to the theme. This will stir things up and refresh anyone who may have been dozing off.


Use Group Participation

Sometimes the best way to learn is by hearing the contribution of others on a topic. Group learning not only diversifies the information, but it also keeps all the members of the audience engaged. Use creative methods to get groups involved, ask them to make short presentations on theme-based questions. Ask groups to quickly research a topic and return with relevant bible verses for the topic. Ask them to write and sing a song as a choir. The possibilities are endless.


We hope these tips will reduce the number of people who slumber and sleep in your programs. Feel free to use these same tips for your sabbath school lesson classes as well. If you need resources to make your class more engaging, check out our sabbath school lesson resources.



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