7 Steps to Empower Your Team to Give Great Talks

Part of our job in ministry is to equip others to evangelize. One of the ways we can help our volunteers do that is to have them give talks at our youth nights or on our retreats. You have the potential to empower and equip your volunteers to give great talks. This will help them become better evangelizers and open up avenues to connect with the youth in new ways.

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So, without further ado…

7 Steps to Empower your Team to Give Great Talks

1. Get your vision

First things first – you need to figure out what your vision for the talk will be. If it’s a youth night, what’s the lesson focusing on? If it’s a retreat, what’s the theme? Think about the key things you want the youth to walk away having heard. Those main points will become your topics for each talk. Then, think about how one talk will flow into the next talk. You can’t delegate your sessions to other people until you’ve nailed down a vision to share.

2. Make content and expectations clear

Once you’ve identified the main points you’d like each talk to cover, summarize them. Write a paragraph highlighting the things you want said. This is what you will give to your volunteers, so that they can see what each talk will be about.  But, when you write out these summaries, do not write the whole talk. If you do that, then it’s like your volunteers are puppets just giving your talk for you, which means authentic evangelizing isn’t taking place. Mission not accomplished. Again, a paragraph or two at the most. After the summary, add some of what I like to call “launching points” – things that would enhance the talk, so things like Bible verses that would be good to reflect on or cite during the session, or saints associated with the topic being presented on, or songs or videos that have a similar message. These things will help spark ideas and enrich the planning and presenting.

3. Figure out who’s speaking

There are a variety of ways to discern who will be giving what talk. Some ministers prayerfully discern and then seek out speakers for each talk. Others give out the summaries and then have the volunteers pray with them and see who requests which talk. Neither of these options is better than the other. You could even do a combination of both of them. Figure out what works best for you. Just be sure that there is prayer and discernment surrounding your decisions about who’s giving what talk.

4. Check in on the brainstorming process

After you figure out who’s giving what talk, follow up. Two weeks out from when the talk is scheduled to be given, meet up with whoever has been assigned to present, and see how the ideas are flowing. This gives you more than enough time to see if any changes need to be made, or if they really need some help. Maybe they’re stuck and don’t know how to make the talk their own, or maybe they have a good idea, but have no clue how to present it. You’ll never know if you don’t ask – so ask and check in on them.

5. Be open to change

During this entire process of brainstorming, be receptive to change. You could meet with someone, and they might have taken the talk in a direction different than anywhere you ever would have. This is them truly making the talk their own, and different doesn’t mean bad. This is where the Holy Spirit does His best work. He’s going to lead the talks where they need to go. Just trust Him and the work He’s doing in those who are preparing the talks.

6. Preview the talks

One week out, meet with your speakers and have them give you their talk just as they plan to give it to the youth. You get to affirm the good things about the presentation, while also pointing out the areas that might need some tweaking. Maybe the flow of their ideas would be better if it were re-arranged a little. Or maybe they pace while they talk or repeat the world “um” over and over again. Or maybe their powerpoint could really use some work. Somebody’s got to tell them, and that’s your job. And it’s really going to help them. You know those launching points I talked about earlier? You are their greatest launching point! Be the source of enhancement they need you to be!

7. Pray and encourage

Throughout this entire process, be interceding for those giving talks and offering them continuous encouragement. It can be difficult to get up in front of others and share personal parts of your relationship with God. You are their side-kick and biggest asset, second of course to God Himself. Support them and lift them up in prayer.

We all have unique stories of faith that need to be shared. Do whatever you can to get as many people as possible to share their faith with your youth. You never know who God will use to impact your young people and help them grow in love and relationship with the Lord. –Trim Costs

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