Saturday, July 09, 2011

Giving Good Talks

I think all of us get wandering minds in the middle of listening to someone's talk. We feel the talk has bogged down and is no longer interesting enough to keep listening (if it ever was). Do you get like that? I'm sure you do.

So I took note of what makes me suddenly listen to what someone is saying and the type of talks where I'd be lucky to hear much at all. Naturally everyone is different. Yet when I have given talks I must say that I get a good response from people telling me they enjoyed it. Also I look out and see people mostly looking at me in interest. So what's the trick to a good talk?

The main thing is that YOU find it interesting. If you find it interesting then you are more likely to convey that feeling to the congregation. If the subject stirs you then you have more chance to stir them with that passion.

I have noted that where a person is almost entirely reading out what some GA has said I'm lucky not to fall asleep. Why? Because it isn't really the thoughts and feelings of the reader. The reader may almost just as well be quoting Shakespear. Perhaps they completely agree with the GA. But it still doesn't come over with that same passion as when written in your own words.

When a person opens up their heart in part of the talk (usually done on a personal experience) I suddenly listen. And will keep listening until they revert back to quoting some other GA.

Also another thing that turns me off talks is when a person seems to just deliberately quote GAs. For example one member said, Elder Some B. Oddy of the Council of Twelve said, "love one another." Well, I'm glad he informed me that one of the 12 said it, now I can know its fact. Is that a bit of cynicism I detect there, Doug? Jesus Christ obviously wasn't enough of an authority for this person. Perhaps if we referred to him as "President Jesus Christ" he might get more respect out of this guy.

If I feel a bit nervous then I focus on the importance of my message to the congregation. This takes my mind off myself and puts it on the subject. That additionally helps it come over with feeling.

Of course if you are going to write your own talk then you need to do some research. You also need to pray for help and the Spirit to guide you. And this is imperative for a good talk. This means you learn and develop a closer relationship with God. Another of the benefits of writing your own talk.

And finally, throw in a bit of light, on subject, humor here and there.

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