Mormon: Tips and Tricks of Inspirational Speeches

Following my earlier theme of giving a talk in sacrament meeting, or as some call it delivering a sermon. offers this important suggestion, "Pray that the Holy Spirit will be with you as you study and deliver the talk." I again adapt from an article the Tips and Tricks of Inspirational Speeches found in the Toastmasters magazine June 2008. This is a side bar associated with the article My Day in Prison by Susanne Riehle ACG, CL. Susanne helped run a Toastmasters club in a woman's prison.

Topic Selection - usually provided by the Bishop or his counselors
Local: Look for topics in your own world. The best inspiration is that which surrounds you.

Personal: Look for topics that are meaningful to your audience.

Vibrant: Look for ideas that can be explained in a vibrant and emotional way.

Structure differences
Persuasive speeches have an opening, a few supporting points and a closing.

Inspirational speeches have an emotional theme: Use a few emotional arguments that build in strength and close with a strong emotional comment.

The difference between a statement and an emotional argument
Statement: "Everyone in this room could donate a pint of blood."
Emotional argument: "If all of us in this room each donated a pint of blood, we could save 20 lives!"

Take your delivery up a notch, or more using these techniques:
  • Make strong eye contact
  • Use personal stories
  • Use picture and story words
  • Use pauses: A well-timed pause underlines the statements.

If at all possible, state your first point in a way to elicit nods from the audience. You are speaking to the head and the heart; it's always good to get both on your side!

Better speaking is a skill that not only benefits your church, but also all those with whom you associate.

1 comment:

appreciable said...

Dear Fleeting_Thoughts,

Thank you for more great suggestions. Our Stake President joked that it takes him seven or eight minutes just to get his name out. He does speak quite slowely as he speaks to the Stake in Stake Conference. Interestingly he does use many of the things that you suggest and because of this, I can remember almost all of what he has taught during the last five years. (Other speakers (who talk fast, don't use personal stories or pause to underline points) messages are gone from my memory.) Perhaps the true test of a sermon is not how much we say, but how much is remembered and applied.

With love,

-Appreciable Goodfaithpoet