This month in our Second Year Seminary training:
We will introduce the topic of giving inspirational talks.
A good inspirational talk includes a balance of illumination, illustration, and inspiration.
Illumination refers to there being some kind of educational dimension to the talk. You have a chance to shed light on your topic, to share a new understanding or perspective on a spiritual principle, teaching, or subject.
Illustration points to how to take what you're speaking about out of the abstract, theoretical realm of ideas and apply it to everyday life. It grounds what you are saying in stories or examples that help your listeners grasp the relevance and application of what you are sharing to their own lives.
Finally, the inspiration aspect of your talk calls people to potentially be changed by what you have shared; not simply to have sat there and had some interesting thoughts but to actually make some change in their lives by putting into practice what you have talked about and opening up to the new possibilities that can bring forth in their experience.
It's been said that the mark of a good inspirational talk (or sermon, message, or lesson) is not that people leave saying "What a wonderful talk," but rather "Maybe I can do something different in my life."