How to teach from a conference talk

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Here are 6 ways to help you teach from a General Conference talk:

  1. Teaching in the Savior’s Way
    First of all, start by studying the manual, Teaching in the Savior’s Way. If you can,…
  2. Doctrine or Principle
    Once you’re given the talk that you will be teaching, read through it and decide on what is the…
  3. Gather Stories and Examples
    It’s always a good idea to have…

Full
Answer

How can I teach from General Conference?

Digging into quotes, by discussion or by using supporting scriptures, can be a great way to teach from General Conference. A whole lesson could be built around the Elder Renlund quote above.

What makes a good general conference talk?

General Conference talks are almost always centered around a specific gospel topic. I think it is important to identify and understand which doctrine or principle is being taught. This allows you to complement the general conference talk, rather than follow the over-used technique of “read, discuss, repeat.”

What should I expect from a Friday talk at a conference?

Because the conference is held at a community college, you can expect the Friday audience in particular to have a large number of students. If the audience will be a mix of experience levels, you can’t assume that they’ll have the background to understand your talk from the outset.

Should I propose my presentation to other conferences?

Propose your talk to other conferences. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into crafting your talk, so don’t just put it on a shelf and never present it again. Improve your return on your time investment by proposing this talk to other conferences. If it was of interest to one audience, it’ll be of interest to several.

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Why is it so difficult to teach a conference talk?

Teaching a lesson using a conference talk is challenging. First, it requires careful study to get a sense of the theme and the important points used to build the message. Second, there is hardly any supporting material or teaching suggestions available anywhere online or offline to help teachers because the talks are so new.


How to make a talk about a theme?

It may seem obvious, but for some talks this is harder to do than with others. The theme may or may not be the same as its title. Take apart the talk to see what pieces were used to build up the main theme.


How to understand the pieces of a lesson?

2. Look at stories, analogies, and extended metaphors. They are often the most memorable part of talks and have lessons attached them.


How to teach youth the importance of seeking after that which is good?

For example, to teach youth the importance of seeking after that which is good, you might focus on Elder Wirthlin’s statement that “we have so much good from which to choose that we need never partake of evil.” Supporting ideas could include that we must actively seek after good things and that we can seek the Lord’s help as we do so.


When you prepare lessons from these resources, should you follow the suggestions in “Preparing Lessons”?

When you prepare lessons from these resources, you should follow the suggestions in “Preparing Lessons” (pages 98–99). As you do so, the Spirit will guide you in your decisions about what to teach and how to teach it.


Can you teach from a book in the Church?

A structured lesson manual is not provided for every teaching occasion in the Church. In some settings you may teach from articles in Church magazines or from general conference addresses. In other settings you may teach from a book that includes study questions but no lesson plans.


How to discuss a conference message?

If you’re looking for a creative way to discuss a conference message, invite a few members in advance to bring objects from home that they could use to teach something from the message. Ask the members to explain how those objects relate to specific parts of the message.


How to encourage families to learn from conference messages at home?

Prepare a lesson to teach at home. Here is one way to encourage families to learn from conference messages at home: Ask members to work in pairs to plan a home evening lesson based on a conference message. How could we make the message relevant to our families?


What is a conference message?

Most conference messages contain related scripture passages—in the message itself or in the endnotes. Members could read a scripture passage referenced in the conference message and discuss how the teachings in the message help them better understand the scripture passages. Find an answer.


How to deepen your understanding of a speaker’s message?

To deepen your understanding of a speaker’s message, look up the scriptures and prophetic teachings referenced throughout the message and in the endnotes. Look for …. There are a lot of things you can look for as you study general conference messages. As you study, consider looking for the following: Jesus Christ.


How to apply teachings to family?

Apply teachings. After studying a conference message together, discuss different ways the teachings relate to experiences your family is having. Then decide as a family what you will do to live what you have learned.


How to help your family learn gospel principles?

Review stories. Find stories in conference messages that will help your family learn gospel principles. Members of your family could take turns telling their favorite stories, or you could act them out.


How to find deeper meaning in conference messages?

Members will find deeper meaning in conference messages if you ask questions that prompt pondering or application of the gospel principles taught in them (for help, see Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 31–32 ). You could ask members to select a question and use the message to write an answer. Invite them to discuss their answers in small groups.


Choose the right service

The type of conferencing service you choose will depend on your needs for teaching or training. You can ask yourself the following questions to determine what software might be right for you:


Facilitate learning

Crucial to any instructor is how much the students and trainees are getting out of the material, of course. Many shy away from the distance that virtual meetings put between teacher and student.


Track and manage

Once a web or phone conference is done, you don’t need to be left wondering if learners will really follow up with questions, required assignments, and a true grasp of the material.


What to do if your audience is mixed?

Therefore, consider having a slide or two of introductory information to lay a knowledge foundation and provide context for the less experienced members of your audience.


How to make eye contact in a speech?

Make eye contact with your audience, allowing your gaze to float around the room and meet the eyes of various people in the room. Don’t get stuck looking at only one or two people (even if they’re your friends). Keep that gaze moving around. Keep your posture tall and your stance open.


Do you read slides when you deliver a talk?

Delivering a talk is a performance. When you do deliver your talk, don’t read from your slides or speaker notes. Practicing can help a lot to prevent this, since you’ll be more comfortable delivering the material and won’t need to read your notes.


Can you present a talk without knowing the material?

It can help you become more familiar with the material, yes, but presenting a good talk requires more than just knowing the material. You also must be comfortable delivering it. You can’t gain that comfort without actually delivering the material out loud, just as you will to your audience.


Do you tell the audience at the start of a talk?

Your preference may change depending on your talk topic and format, but whichever you pick, please do tell the audience near the start of the talk. This sets up their expectations and allows them to write down their questions or otherwise change their questioning tactics.


Can you practice presenting a talk?

Simply stepping through your slides and reading them to yourself is not practicing. It can help you become more familiar with the material, yes, but presenting a good talk requires more than just knowing the material. You also must be comfortable delivering it. You can’t gain that comfort without actually delivering the material out loud, just as you will to your audience.


Is delivering a talk a performance?

Delivering a talk is a performance, therefore you should practice as you’ll perform. Get an audience if you can—a meetup, friends, your family, your pets—but even if you can’t, then at least go through the same motions you would if you were presenting before an audience. It really does make a huge difference in your final performance and your audience will appreciate it.

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New Curriculum

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Starting in January 2018, the curriculum for Priesthood and Relief Society will change. One of the changes involves teaching from General Conference talks. Instead of once a month, and selected by Stake leaders, we will have Gen Con lessons twice a month, and they are selected by the general Church leadership. I …

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Identify The Underlying Doctrine Or Principle

  • General Conference talks are almost always centered around a specific gospel topic. I think it is important to identify and understand which doctrine or principle is being taught. This allows you to complement the general conference talk, rather than follow the over-used technique of “read, discuss, repeat.” Knowing what the underlying doctrine is also allows you to put a personal touc…

See more on bettergospelteaching.com


Identify The Concern Or Issue Addressed

  • Many General Conference talks come about as a result of current issues that the church faces. Church leaders are actively involved in current, real-time concerns. They travel around the world and meet with local members. Through these meetings, local concerns are discussed, contemplated, and addressed. This provides the leadership with a ground level perspective, and …

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Quotable Quotes

  • Perhaps more so than any other time, we live in a world of quick information. We want more information in a shorter amount of characters. General conference is full of powerful quotes. Here are just a few from the April 2017 conference: Elder Dale G. Renlund taught, “We must guard against bigotry that raises its ugly voice toward those who hold different opinions.” Elder Neil L. …

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Teaching in The Savior’s Way

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First of all, start by studying the manual, Teaching in the Savior’s Way. If you can, try to attend some of these counsel meetings that should be taught in every ward/branch. I have learned a lot each time I go! Take the counsel very seriously where it teaches us to pray for guidance and help from the Holy Ghost. Having th…

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Doctrine Or Principle

  • Once you’re given the talk that you will be teaching, read through it and decide on what is the main point of the talk. Every talk I’ve ever heard in General Conference has an overarching theme to it. And good news – with every theme ever taught in General Conference, there have been many others that have also taught that same theme – including scr…

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Gather Stories and Examples

  • It’s always a good idea to have your own personal stories or experiences to use when teaching a specific principle. The whole lesson should definitely not be about you, but sharing your own stories will hopefully help others feel comfortable sharing their stories. Also gather stories or examples from the lives of our Savior and prophets if applicable, including those in the talk you’r…

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Gather Pictures, Objects, Videos and/or Activity Ideas

  • If you are familiar with our lesson packets, then you will know that we like to always include some sort of object lesson or attention-getting activity to start a lesson. There are many resources available to help you come up with an object lesson if you struggle with this! Start with looking on LDS.org and search your topic along with “object lesson” in the search bar. The New Era has won…

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Teaching Methods

  • With the new style of teaching with Come, Follow Me, we need to learn to use a variety of teaching methods. There is a fantastic article on LDS.org by our General Sunday School 2nd Counselor, Brian K. Ashton, called “In Striving to Be a Christlike Teacher, Being a Moderator is Not Enough.” If you’re struggling with how to teach a lesson, there are many ideas in this article!

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Challenge Question/Invitation

  • Always end your lesson with your testimony and an invitation. Think of what you’d like that invitation to be before you teach. If your lesson is on prayer, for example, you could challenge your sisters to say their prayers each morning and night for the next month without skipping any days! Then the next time you teach, invite them to share their experiences with that challenge! I have f…

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