“Tips for Talks,” Ensign, Aug. 1989, 71
Every now and then, you’re going to be asked to speak in a Church meeting. It’s inevitable. But do you feel a bit uncomfortable about your ability to prepare and present interesting talks? Following are several simple steps that can help you prepare for a successful experience.
Select a subject—or focus narrowly on the subject assigned to you—considering your audience and their interests and needs as well as your own.
Identify your purpose. What do you want to accomplish by speaking about that subject?
Research the subject. Gather scriptures, stories, quotations, analogies, statistics, testimonies, etc., that support your subject.
Organize your material simply and logically.
Introduce the subject with a scripture, story, example, question, or other attention-getting method.
State the purpose of your remarks.
Develop each idea that supports your purpose with an analogy, illustration, or explanation. Expand your material to fill the amount of time you have been assigned to speak.
Conclude by repeating the point simply and directly.
Practice your presentation. Get someone to listen to you, or practice in front of a mirror. As you rehearse, anticipate the reactions of the congregation.
Even though you may still feel uneasy, adequate preparation will make your speaking experience a more positive one.