This week’s Church-Hacker idea comes from BCC reader Gdub:
This is something that a former bishop of mine did, which greatly improved the quality of speakers in our ward.
Speakers would be called far in advance, and given instructions on how to prepare and deliver sacrament meeting talks. They would receive these instructions, along with a letter, in the mail. Although some rules were given, it was mostly full of counsel from church leaders in magazines and conferences on how to speak by the spirit. These instructions also urged the speaker not to simply use a previous talk from a general authority and merely parrot large quotes.
As for the speaking topic, usually the choice was left up to the speaker. However, on some occasions, topics were also given, but these were generally not some trite phrase like “keeping the commandments.” They were generally outlined in the letter in terms of the bishopric’s concern, or what their motivation was in the assignment.
Similar idea I was going to post: send prospective speakers a link to a good TED talk, so they can see the power of a good, prepared, rehearsed speaker.