My earliest preaching mentors taught me that every sermon needed four things: a compelling introduction, a body that included two or three points of biblical exegesis, illustrations to make it memorable, and a conclusion that helped people apply the truth to their lives.
Boy were they wrong.
Three points and a poem may have worked at one time; not anymore. Listening habits have changed, listener attitudes have changed, and the environment of the preaching event has changed.
Today, every sermon must do these seven things to capture attention and motivate life change.