Sharing Time: How to Prepare a Talk

    “Sharing Time: How to Prepare a Talk,” Friend, July 1986, 36

    Sharing Time:

    How to Prepare a Talk

    In the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how.
    (President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Conference Report, April 1951, page 154.)

    One of the ways that we can serve others is by cheerfully doing the things we are asked to do at church. Learning to serve willingly helps us to prepare for missionary work. We can help with service projects, offer prayers, and give talks. When we give a talk, we are teaching others. Teaching is one of the important things that missionaries do—they explain what they know about the gospel to others.

    Here is a four-part formula that you can use to prepare a talk:

    1. Opening—telling what your talk is about

    2. Example—scripture story or verse

    3. Use—how we can use the main idea of the talk

    4. Closing—a summary that includes your own feelings about the topic


    1. Cut out topic cards and picture cards along heavy lines; color pictures. On table, spread picture cards faceup and topic cards facedown.

      Gospel topics

      Illustrated by Shauna Mooney

      Obedience (Jonah 1–3.)

      Faith (Matt. 14:22–33.)

      Repentance (Luke 15:8–10.)

      Prayer (JS—H 1:5, 10, 14–19.)

      Forgiveness (3 Ne. 12:43–44; 3 Ne. 13:14.)

    2. Turn over a topic card and say, “My talk is about _____________.” Look up and read the scripture, briefly tell in your own words who the story is about and what happened, then look for the picture card that best illustrates the story.

    3. Explain why the main principle of your talk is important today. Describe ways of using that principle to improve your own life, and encourage others to make use of it in their lives. The most important part of your talk is when you tell what you know and how you feel. People will understand you best if you speak slowly and look into their eyes.

    4. Close by saying something like, “I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

    Sharing Time Ideas

    1. Adapt activity for young children. Invite child to choose topic card. Say “_______ (child’s name) is going to teach us about _______ (read topic).” Tell story, then ask child to choose picture that matches story. Have child briefly retell story. Ask all children to share ideas about how idea/principle could be used today.

    2. Read additional scripture stories. Have children decide what story teaches. Make topic card and picture card and add them to those on this page.

    3. Use new hymnbook in place of matching cards. Select a favorite hymn; read scriptures at end of hymn; have child explain meaning, apply message today, close; then have all children sing hymn.

    4. Sing related songs such as “Called to Serve” (Sing with me, B-85 or Hymns, page 249), “I Want to Be a Missionary Now” (Friend, October 1984, page 46), “Whenever I Think About Pioneers” (Sing with Me, E-2).