The overview gives you your talk objective, guidelines and setting. It helps you understand the purpose of this talk and when and how it connects to the other parts of the retreat. Read through the overview first to get a general sense for this talk.
In each outline you’ll find two main sections: Talk Outline and Example Talk. You must cover every point in the Talk Outline as it is described. Before writing your talk, read over the Example Talk. While your talk doesn’t have to be exactly the same, it must capture the essence of the Example Talk.
We want to strike a balance between reading the talk as is and deviating so far from the talk that it no longer fits into the flow of the retreat. If you read the Example Talk word for word, it can become boring, impersonal and unconvincing. At the same time, if you get “too creative” and deviate too far from the Example Talk, your talk may fail to fulfill its role in the context of the entire retreat (i.e. presenting the kerygma).
Basically, we want you to help maintain the integrity of this retreat and at the same time be open to the creative ideas the Holy Spirit has given you.
Note: Please do not present videos or songs in your talk. This retreat intends to present the kerygma in a spoken form, just as the Apostles did in the early Church.
Regardless of your experience and confidence in giving talks, these additional talk resources are a helpful but optional collection of Scripture passages, quotes and other resources you may add to your talk.
Please, no "drive-by quoting." In other words, don’t simply throw in Scripture passages and Catechism quotes without breaking them down. Don’t assume your listeners are going to connect the Scripture or Catechism quote in the same way you’re intending.
These resources are for your personal formation and growth in knowledge and understanding of the content of this talk. They are not intended to be used in the talk you give on the retreat itself.
When you give a speech or a talk, you’re giving your audience information. But when you give a testimony, you’re giving them your story. Your story of how God has reached down and touched your heart and your life. It’s how you’ve experienced God, and therefore, how you know in the depths of your heart that He’s really there, and He loves you.
The early Apostles were called “witnesses” for Christ. Think about that. They literally witnessed Jesus Christ living, suffering, dying, rising, and ascending into heaven. So when they evangelized, they were witnesses by sharing their testimony of knowing Jesus. They shared their stories of Him, what He said, and what He did. In the Bible, the New Testament is filled with testimony, especially the Gospels.
Your testimony is important, just like it was for the Apostles. It’s one thing to know about Jesus, it’s another thing to personally know Him. We can and should tell people about Jesus. But then we need to take it the next step and introduce them to Jesus, our personal Friend, Savior, and Lord. We do that through our testimony.
Here are some practical tips for writing your testimony, including the three parts of a good testimony...
If you need help printing the talk outlines? Or maybe you want to be able to edit them so you can add your own notes and comments. We've got you covered here...