How to Give a Great Sacrament Meeting Talk – Part 5 of 5: Delivery

Part 4 (Memory) here. Part 3.5 (Using Analogies) here. Part 3 (Style) here. Part 2 (Arrangement) here. Part 1.5 (Sources) here. Part 1 (Invention) here. Part 0 (introduction) here.

Well, it’s been awhile, and despite the title, this is not the last installment.

Delivery is something that can be overdone, and when it is overdone, it ruins the talk.

I’ve seen people with horrid delivery move me to tears and plenty of well-versed orators have left me feeling cold.

The first rule is: The Spirit matters most. The second is: Don’t fake your delivery.

That said, here are some ways you can improve the delivery of your talk without faking it. You don’t have to be trained in public speaking (although that’s always a plus, when not overdone), but there are small things anyone can do to improve the delivery of their talk. And if you have the Spirit in your words, a well-delivered talk can move from very good to great (or even excellent). Continue reading

Chelsie Hightower’s Experience on SYTYCD

Chelsie HightowerFor those who may not know Chelsie Hightower, she was recently a semifinalist on the popular television dance series “So You Think You Can Dance.”  She made it to be one of the top three girls on the nationally syndicated show, which is quite an achievement.  She also happens to be a member of my ward.  In fact, in the first episode of her audition they featured a clip filmed in her home and the recreational areas of the same residential complex in which I live.  She also is an excellent ballroom dancer, a talent and sport which I have been involved with and have personally competed in for many years.

Chelsie was asked to give a talk in our sacrament meeting today.  Having shortly returned from filming the show live in Los Angeles, I can only surmise that they asked her to speak on her experiences dancing on the show.  The stake president was invited to the meeting and was on the stand presiding.  I’d like to share some of the things that she related which I thought were very thoughtful and honest.

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How to Give a Great Sacrament Meeting Talk – Part 4 of 5: Memory

Part 3.5 (Using Analogies) here. Part 3 (Style) here. Part 2 (Arrangement) here. Part 1.5 (Sources) here. Part 1 (Invention) here. Part 0 (introduction) here.

Sorry this is so late.

Anyway –

Memory is the most overlooked aspect of giving a great talk.  Write your talk out (whether by hand or on a computer) and you have it handy.  No need to memorize it.  At General Conference, the GAs even use teleprompters.  So, there’s clearly no need to memorize your talk, right?

Wrong (sort of).

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How to Give a Great Sacrament Meeting Talk – Part 3.5 of 5: Style (Analogies)

Part 3 here. Part 2 here. Part 1.5 here. Part 1 here. Part 0 here.

Analogies, metaphors, similes, allegories, etc. all can work well in a sacrament meeting talk (or gospel lesson). They can also be where the talk (or lesson) fails completely. Because Jesus taught in parables (which, when asked, Jesus interpreted allegorically), these types of teaching tools have the highest possible endorsement. But caution is also warranted.

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