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To “Occupy the Time”? or to Teach and Bear Witness?

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 23, 2011

The Time was occupied this morning by the returned Salmon River Missionaries who all felt first rate. – Minutes of North Cottonwood Ward, 18 April 1858

Presidents Young and Smith occupied the time in the afternoon. – Deseret News, 24 March 1870

Attended the Ward meeting at 2 P.M. where we had a very enjoyable time. Bros Myres, Crosby, Steele & J.W. White occupied the time. – Volney King diary, 7 September 1879

At two o’clock attended the Tabernacle services, and was asked by Uncle Angus to occupy the time. – Abraham H. Cannon diary, 7 August 1892


At today’s services Prest. B.E. Rich and Elder John Neels Clawson occupied the time. – Letter from New York branch member to Deseret News, 1 March 1913

The Relief Society occupied the time on Saturday. – Minutes of Quorum of the Twelve meeting, 25 June 1914

Bro Joseph Holland of the High Counsel and Bro. Humphries were present as home Missionaries and occupied the time. – Minutes of Owendale Branch, Idaho, 9 December 1917

I shall call on somebody else to occupy the balance of the time. – Heber J. Grant, General Conference, April 1944

The bishopric will conduct the meeting and occupy the entire time of the joint assembly. – Instructions from PBO for Aaronic Priesthood programs, 1953

I have prayed for the blessings of heaven to be with me in these few moments that I occupy the pulpit here this afternoon. – Elder David B. Haight, General Conference, April 2001

The first discourse I ever delivered I occupied over an hour. – Elder Douglas L. Callister, General Conference, October 2007

“To occupy the time of a meeting” – meaning “to address a congregation” – was a familiar phrase to our 19th century brethren. The term was used often enough in the 20th century that hints of it still appear in the expressions of our older General Authorities in the 21st century. I’ve run across it so often in Mormon documents that it provokes a smile, a sense that I am among familiar friends whose language I understand intimately.

The affection ends, though, when “occupying the time” ceases to be a quaint phrase and becomes a too literal description of a speaker’s talk or a teacher’s lesson.

We’ve all been there, enduring the droning lecture from a teacher who never once invites a comment from the class, or the speaker who has nothing in particular to say but exceeds his assigned time in saying it. They occupy the time, and that’s about all they can be said to have done.

Recognizing that not all have the same gifts, we can all still be better speakers and teachers (and even testimony bearers) by knowing what we’re doing, beyond merely filling up the minutes.  What follows is a concrete suggestion for doing that.

If you’re a teacher, determine a specific purpose for your lesson, and write it out. Finding the words to state that purpose means you have a specific end in mind, not a vague general notion.

Sometimes the manual will state a purpose, but usually in terms that are too vague to be useful – most lessons in the New Testament manual, for example, have as their purpose statement some variation of “to encourage class members to become more dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ” (that is in fact the purpose statement for Lesson 9). But it’s too broad. It won’t help you organize your lesson or help your class members identify changes they should consider in their lives. You can’t just tell somebody to “become a more dedicated disciple” any more than you say “become a better mother” or “become a successful chemist”; you have to teach them what that means, and help them find specific actions leading to that end. That’s true whether you’re teaching the gospel or secular knowledge.

You can develop a better purpose statement by deciding which of that lesson’s elements to emphasize:

1. Matthew 6:1–6, 16–21. Jesus teaches his disciples to do alms, pray, and fast in secret and to lay up treasures in heaven instead of on earth.

2. Matthew 6:7–13; 7:7–11. He shows his disciples how to pray and teaches that Heavenly Father will bless those who ask him for what they need.

3. Matthew 6:14–15; 7:1–6, 12. Jesus teaches his disciples to forgive others, to judge righteously, and to treat others as they would like to be treated.

4. Matthew 6:22–34; 7:13–29. He teaches his disciples that they will be blessed for serving Heavenly Father and doing his will.

and then identifying a purpose tailored to that element. If you choose the first or fourth, your purpose statement might be: “Class members routinely provide service in their families, church assignments, or otherwise. I will encourage them to recognize service as a deliberate choice to follow the Savior, and to find joy in increasing that service.” If you choose the third, your purpose statement might be: “To encourage class members to identify three situations in the coming week where, instead of reacting with anger or impatience, they could consider the situation from the other person’s point of view and act according to the Golden Rule.”

The direction your lesson takes with one purpose statement will be completely different from the direction it would take with another. Your purpose statement will determine which scriptures you read, what stories or case studies you present to the class, what questions you ask, and what you include in your wrap-up to the lesson. That purpose statement will keep you on track; you won’t ramble and wander aimlessly – you won’t merely occupy the time. Your ward members will leave class knowing what they talked about, and not just knowing that they talked.

Other manuals do not suggest a purpose at all – you’re entirely on your own. There is no purpose statement for the next lesson to be taught from the Gospel Principles manual, for instance.

That lesson is “The Lord’s Law of Health” – the Word of Wisdom, and more.  Are you going to talk about health in general, jumping from listing the do’s and don’ts of the Word of Wisdom to statistics about premature death to that study you read about  the benefits of exercise?

I hope not. And I hope that unless your class is stuffed with brand new converts you don’t occupy 40 minutes telling your long-term members nothing more than that they shouldn’t smoke or drink.

Instead, after considering your class and their needs, choose one or more specific areas to emphasize and write a definite purpose statement. “To discuss with class members the need for both adequate rest and adequate physical activity, and to identify practical ways of overcoming the barriers to rest and exercise.” “To review the eternal importance of these physical bodies that will be ours throughout eternity, and why it matters how we treat our bodies in mortality.” Or any other aspect of “the Lord’s law of health” that you are inspired to emphasize.

Then, teach to that point. Ignore elements from the manual that aren’t directly related to that goal. Choose scriptures, find stories, write questions, solicit prepared statements from class members – whatever teaching activities reinforce the point, omitting whatever distracts from that point. Again, this will keep you on track – you won’t merely occupy time, and your class members will know they have deepened their appreciation for the Lord’s advice on these bodies He created for us.

Ditto, with regard to talks: If the bishop assigns you to speak about “hope,” or about Elder Somebody’s talk from last Conference, don’t ramble from one aspect of hope to another; don’t do a book review on Elder Somebody’s talk. Identify a specific purpose for your talk – how hope is related to faith and charity, how you learned what hope really meant after your personal tragedy, how you gained a testimony of the principle Elder Somebody addressed in his talk. Then choose scriptures and excerpts, stories from your life, and a concluding testimony that illustrate your purpose; cut out the jokes and the extra scriptures and the dictionary definitions and the paragraphs you found from articles at lds.org, if they don’t have a direct bearing on your purpose. Focus!

Bearing testimony on Fast Sunday may be a little different, if you believe that you must speak without preparation and solely as the Holy Ghost directs. But even so, your purpose for bearing testimony is always to bear testimony, to tell the congregation what you know and how you know it. Your purpose is not to occupy the time because you would be ungrateful if you didn’t stand, or because your nephew was just blessed, or because there’s been a minute of silence, or because you’re in love with the sound of your own voice. Bear testimony, then sit down.

I guarantee the time will pass regardless of whether or not you occupy it. If you’re going to occupy it, give your class or your congregation what they came to church for: a meaningful worship experience.

Please: Let’s not compile a catalog of the worst talks and lessons we’ve endured. Instead, suggest additional ways to improve our speaking and teaching, and tell us of successes you have witnessed. Let’s make this helpful and not bitter.



31 Comments »

  1. I know that reading “Teaching by the Spirit” by Gene R. Cook completely changed the way I look at teaching.

    I absolutely love this post, Ardis. There is so much good that could be done by improving our teaching.

    Comment by SilverRain — February 23, 2011 @ 7:14 am

  2. “Occupying time” indeed! Why is it that nowadays, when thoughtful, Spirit-guided talks and lessons are so essential, we tend to gloss over the importance of focus and preparation to the success of said talks and lessons? (If we address it at all?) Thanks for the timely advice. I have also learned over the years that if I am really intent on teaching what the Lord would have me teach, then I can’t be dogmatically devoted to my prepared outline. Sometimes a meaningful comment from a class member leads to a Spirit-filled discussion that is WAY better than anything I had planned – and I don’t need to hit every bullet point (and usually can’t) to reach the objective of the lesson.

    Comment by kaycee — February 23, 2011 @ 7:41 am

  3. I think it’s crucial to consider the individuals in the group you’re going to be addressing. If you’re familiar with them, as you more than likely would be in teaching a Sunday School class or giving a talk in sacrament meeting, think about them and try and be in tune with what the Lord knows they need as you plan and present your remarks. When preparing lessons, I usually attempt to imagine or predict who is going to contribute, and possibly forestall irrelevant comments, as well as anticipate difficult questions.

    Ardis, your advice about approaching class members in advance with an assignment addresses something I believe we’re too lazy about in the church. Why lift the phone or drop someone an e-mail to ask them to participate with a personal experience? I’ll just throw it open to the class and hope that not everyone will be stunned into blankness when they’re invited to tell of a time when they . Thanks for this post, it’s well needed.

    Comment by Alison — February 23, 2011 @ 7:42 am

  4. Ardis, outstanding thoughts. I’m reminded of the old Teaching No Greater Call manual that called for “behavioral objectives”. Great stuff.

    Comment by Paul — February 23, 2011 @ 8:06 am

  5. Last fall, when the Primary was in its two-week rehearsal phase for the annual Sacrament Meeting Program, I found myself with a class full of already-turned-12 Primary graduates who had no lesson plan provided (the Primary manuals take into account this 2-week rehearsal phase, and thus has two fewer lessons than other manuals). So, knowing that part of the passage out of Primary meant being called on as a youth speaker in Sacrament meeting once or twice a year, I developed a two-week lesson plan on preparing and giving talks, where we actually practiced the process. At the end of the second week, the children each gave a 3 minute talk in front of the others, and they listened kindly and offered helpful suggestions after each one.

    In teaching this, I developed a simple and rememberable outline for the kids to use both in class and later in life. I have since seen the kids use it in their actual talks. Although it is somewhat simplistic, I think it fits with Ardis’ point here of improving and personalizing our gospel scholarship, and perhaps others might find it useful.

    The P.O.T.A.T.O. Method of Giving a Sacrament Meeting Talk:

    Pray and Prepare
    Opening on Topic
    Tell Two or Three examples of the Topic
    Answer why or how this matters
    Testify
    Over

    A couple of comments. First, in class we identified different kinds of “Openings” and the kids agreed that the common openings (a pointless joke, or an apology for being unprepared, or ribbing the bishopric member who called you) were not as meaningful as starting right in on a story, poem or (yes) definition that was on Topic.

    Second, I pointed out to the children that there are lots of sources for their “tell two or three examples”. We had piled up on a table in the classroom a Hymnal, a Children’s Songbook, the scriptures, Preach My Gospel, Gospel Principles, For the Strength of Youth, The New Era, The Friend, The Ensign, True to the Faith, and a journal. I made a list of the topics the bishopric was likely to assign over the next three months (which, since I’m also ward music chair, was easy) and we found three different resources for each topic. I encouraged the kids to include at least one example from their own lives. I also encouraged them to think about what order their examples should go in.

    The “Answer Why” is aimed at telling about how living the principle helps us/develops Godlike qualities/furthers the purpose of the Church, etc.

    “Testify” is not about the standard four-point testimony that the kids have figured out since childhood, but rather a testimony of the principle discussed.

    And “Over” means, well, come to an end. You’ve said your bit, so finish.

    Comment by Coffinberry — February 23, 2011 @ 8:22 am

  6. Elder Marvin J. Ashton once told me about being at a stake conference, where a speaker who was assigned 10 minutes spoke his ten minutes. Instead of sitting down, he poured himself some water, drank, and continued speaking. He did this for 45 minutes before sitting down. Elder Ashton leaned over to the man and asked him how many hours he got on a gallon of water?
    Elbowing him in the ribs, Sister Ashton told him he was being rude. Elder Ashton’s response: “That’s not being rude, that’s being bored!”

    Comment by Rameumptom — February 23, 2011 @ 8:22 am

  7. Occupy the time. That reminds me of the very distinctive language of prayer that I have only ever heard from Saints from the Little Colorado Region of Arizona. I have a written sample, and reading it takes me right back to my childhood.

    On the topic of teaching, I was recently called to teach the Beehives, and being used to teaching other age groups, I am finding the interaction to be much more difficult than teaching Sunday School or Relief Society or nursery.

    Perhaps some of the difficulty is the constant struggle with the manual, which has a mixed reputation for good reason, but is somewhat improved with the addition of the Resource Guide.

    Perhaps some of the difficulty has to do with identifying the needs and personalities of the small class of girls, most of whom have just come from Primary, and one of whom speaks very little English.

    One of my sisters recently recommended an article on asking questions from the January 2008 Ensign. I am going to have to spend some time with your post, Ardis, and the Ensign article and consider the needs of this little Beehive class.

    Comment by Researcher — February 23, 2011 @ 8:22 am

  8. Wow. This is getting a much better response than I expected. Thanks for your comments — they’re all right on target, and much appreciated.

    What is common to all the comments is the practical advice — be willing to adjust your lesson if it takes an unexpected (but appropriate) turn; considering the specific members of your class; the availability of resources like “Teaching, No Greater Call” that is itself packed with practical advice; the usefulness of breaking down a complex activity like writing and delivering a talk into understandable steps; the importance of knowing when to end — and then ending!; and a recognition that different types of class groups require some serious adjustment from what may have become comfortable to a teacher, as well as recognition that even something as familiar as asking questions has technique.

    I almost wish you hadn’t spelled out your plan in such detail in a comment, Coffinberry — it would make an outstanding guest post. Maybe you’d consider writing it as a post (maybe with examples of topics and resources your young people actually chose, and a description of how one of them did when giving a talk to the whole ward?) A complete post would be easier for readers to find later when they want to follow your lead and do something similar. Please?

    Alison, I’ve actually planned questions for specific class members, too. There was one woman in my ward, for example, who seemed to have a real need to say something that ran against the grain of the expected responses. Sometimes that came across as contradicting a gospel principle, or at least was somewhat jarring. So I deliberately planned a question to ask near the beginning of class where her expected contrariness was an asset. I called on her to respond, she did, and then was happily willing to participate in the rest of the lesson in a more typical way.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 23, 2011 @ 9:15 am

  9. It’s easy to “occupy the time.” Teaching by the Spirit requires far more effort.

    It takes work to write a purpose statement, or call class members ahead of time to participate, or prayerfully ponder the needs of individual members, or find a way to teach the Word of Wisdom to long-time church members.

    Comment by Clark — February 23, 2011 @ 9:36 am

  10. Teaching, No Greater Call

    Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook for CES Teachers and Leaders

    I wish Teach Ye Diligently, from which Teaching, No Greater Call is largely extracted, were available online. It’s worth buying.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 23, 2011 @ 9:38 am

  11. But boy howdy, don’t we all notice it when a teacher does prepare, especially finding a way to give new meaning and interest to familiar subjects!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 23, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  12. Ardis, Teach Ye Diligently is available online at half.com as a used book. There were several copies out there ranging from $0.75 to $28.72 new. Amazon.com had some new as well.

    Comment by Cliff — February 23, 2011 @ 10:13 am

  13. Thanks, Cliff. At those prices, every teacher could have it at home.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 23, 2011 @ 10:23 am

  14. Well, only 25 copies were available at the time I looked.

    Comment by Cliff — February 23, 2011 @ 10:31 am

  15. Now that Ardis has thanked all for their positive contributions, I suppose it’s time for me to chip in:

    There must be something about that Little Colorado country. My dad, who grew up there, told about their two-hour sacrament meetings, with speakers called from the congregation without advance notice or preparation, who almost without variation began their talks with “Well, I really don’t have anything to say, but I’m grateful to have been called upon to occupy the time . . . .”

    That story, repeated often enough at the dinner table, left a powerful impression. Thanks, Ardis, for your excellent reminder!

    Comment by Mark B. — February 23, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

  16. Thanks for the thoughtful post Ardis— it’s a topic close to my heart. I’m only 27, but have spent about five years teaching Gospel Doctrine (off and on). I love it. For me, it’s the perfect calling. With that, here are some of the things that’ve improved my teaching:

    1) Prepare at least a week ahead of time.

    I know it sounds like work, but if you’re doing a weekly lesson, just shift the weeks you *begin*. One hour’s preparation on Sunday is the same amount of time as one hour’s preparation last monday.

    The benefit of preparing before hand is that you get plenty of time to observe the lesson principals in life. For me, this helps formulate more poignant questions. It also develops a better awareness of just how this principal applies to a particular class. Just as observing life through x-ray or ultraviolet light changes what you can see about reality, living a week with a principal changes the lenses through which you view your associates in dealing with them throughout the week.

    2) Dig a deep well.

    The more depth you have in the given scriptural passages, the more there is to be drawn up by the Spirit. Look up the etymology of words; examine the original Hebrew or Greek. Examine social circumstances. If you’re studying the talk of a General Authority, search their activities and sermons in the prior six months. This can inform you as to a deeper understanding of their goal.

    If I’m struck by a particular passage, I will search on either google or lds.org for those who quote it. That gives me a broader spectrum of its meaning.

    I have had the experience over and over again of having a student ask a question, or make a statement which sparked a remembrance of something I’d studied. Quite often, that has lead to a real answer to somebody’s prayer.

    3) Handouts are your friend.

    Handouts make it easy for everyone to see what we’ll be covering at a glance, so they can anticipate thoughts or questions. It gets student’s mental juices flowing.

    If you’re only going to cover a brief chunk of scriptures; put them down on the paper. This cuts down on the time spent turning pages, etc. Also, there are always students who forgot their scriptures. This leaves them without excuse.

    At the top of my handouts I list my class rules: Prepare, Pray, Participate, Practice.
    At the bottom I write the same phrase: What are you going to do because of what you’ve learned today?

    I try to also provide space for notes to be taken. This turns the handout into a physical reminder of spiritual promptings. It’s a link from the class to the student’s bedroom, car, or trashcan. I’ve had numerous students tell me this simple thing changed the way they live.

    Comment by Gdub — February 23, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

  17. RE: #11. Yes, we do notice. It’s especially apparent in the lessons you prepare and then post here. Just sayin’.

    Comment by Ellen — February 23, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

  18. “Occupying the time . . .”
    One of the benefits of the 3 hour block is that meetings now have a set ending time instead of continuing indefinitely. But I’m always puzzled why, when speakers don’t use up all the time, we feel obligated to fill up the rest of the time. Usually the bishop adds some remarks or assigns spontaneous testimonies or declares a few extra hymns. Why can’t we just all be grateful for a serendipitous extra 10 or 15 minutes for socializing or going home? Is there a policy on this?

    Comment by Amy — February 23, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

  19. Amy, if we did that in our ward, the other ward wouldn’t be out of the classroom meeting spaces yet. Nothings more of a confusing mess than two wards filling the hallways, with one ward trying to get out of the primary room or RS room while the other is trying to get in. So we have to go all the way to the end of the time allotted.

    Ardis, I’m tickled. I’ll think about it, ‘k?

    Comment by Coffinberry — February 23, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  20. A couple of quick notes:

    I train students who want to be professional broadcast journalists. I often use the example of the boring high councilman talk to prove a point. Writing things to be read is very different than writing things that are to be heard. We are trained (at least in the U.S.) since elementary school to write in a way that works for the eye. Presenting a verbal message to people, whether in front of the camera or from the pulpit, sounds odd if you use a writing-for-the-eye style to prepare your copy then use words to deliver it.

    You can use more complex sentences; that is, sentences with more words, breaks in flow to further explain such as when introducing a new concept of vocabulary term, dependent clauses which, for the time you steer away from the main sentence, actually force the listener to try to hold information in his/her head that eventually, when you’ve made your clarification, you will come back to since, as the reader as the luxury of going over your sentence again and again if necessary he or she can eventually figure out all the levels of complexity to which you, a person writing for the eye, can ascribe.

    When writing for the ear, shorter sentences work better. The ear can only hold onto so much meaning at a time, so finish one thought before moving onto the next one. Writing for the ear also should point you toward conversationality. Write using the words and patterns you would use if you were saying the passage aloud. Pompous, high-falootin’ words are seldom conversational. Reading your copy aloud to yourself and editing for conversationality is invaluable.

    Recognizing the differences in these writing styles will go a long way toward helping you convey your meaning more effectively, as well as help keep an audience’s interest. People won’t be able to explain it to you per se, but the will recognize how effectively you communicate compared to the other speakers.

    Comment by Chad Too — February 23, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

  21. Chad, I recognize what you’re saying from papers given at conferences. A speaker who reads a chapter from his dissertation almost always loses an audience no matter how interesting the topic sounded. On the other hand, a successful conference paper reads as informal and unfinished if it isn’t revised before publication.

    I hadn’t really thought about that in terms of church talks and lessons, but I’m sure you’re right.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 23, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

  22. My husband has often suggested a new calling of “public-speaking coach,” required to meet with all speakers at least once before they give a talk.

    Comment by Amy — February 23, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

  23. Excellent advice, Ardis. Whenever I’m asked to teach I feel an obligation to at least try to make it worth the audience’s time. In practice I’m sure my particular approach doesn’t work for plenty of people, but I believe the attitude that the teacher owes the class something (rather than viewing acceptance of the call to teach as a favor to the bishop or whomever) is the key to generally better teaching.

    I think Chad’s point is also well taken, though I would still prefer to listen to someone deliver a coherent text meant to be read than what seems to be the default setting of tangents interspersed with unrelated anecdotes.

    Comment by Peter LLC — February 24, 2011 @ 5:45 am

  24. Gdub, I can’t agree about handouts. I used to use them a lot when I taught, they made me feel good because they were a sign that I was a teacher who was not only prepared but engaged. But over the years I noticed two things. First, I never felt the same way about handouts I received in someone else’s class. They were just another piece of paper to stuff into my books or toss on the way out of class, I didn’t value them at all. Second, I noticed how many of my precious handouts were tossed in the trash or just left in the room as everyone exited. Now I save the trees and ditch the handouts. I don’t feel as good as a teacher but I’m positive that no one else has noticed.

    Comment by KLC — February 24, 2011 @ 8:58 am

  25. I like the public speaking coach calling as an idea, but actually implementing it without hurting feelings might be difficult. And the high counselors who need it the most may figure a lowly ward member beneath their dignity to meet with. But I like the idea.

    I’ve long thought that if I ran the circus, I’d require all high counselors to join the Toastmasters’ Club. After all, their most visible responsibility is public speaking.

    Comment by Clark — February 24, 2011 @ 9:39 am

  26. KLC,

    I suppose that the real benefit of handouts for me is to have the quotes and lesson outline in front of the students so that they can read over them again. I’ve found it greatly enhances their comprehension, and I generally get much better feedback. Perhaps it’s because some are better visual than auditory learners.

    As for them getting left in class or thrown away—I couldn’t care less about that. That’s the student’s choice, and everyone is different. I don’t see them as “precious”, and strive to keep them minimal so as to not be a distraction. They’re just a low-threshold tool to give class members an opportunity to be engaged in the lesson.

    And, for what it’s worth, I love having those quotes used in lessons from other teachers. I love looking up the talks and finding more information about those topics that piqued my interest. For me, it helps the lesson carry over into my scripture study throughout the week.

    Comment by Gdub — February 24, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

  27. I don’t know how many regular readers of this blog are in positions where they assign sacrament meeting speaking slots, but i’d like to put in a plea for a bit more preparation from that side of things, too. This is especially the case given the ongoing trend of assigning a speaker an entire general conference address as their “topic”—i mean, you take someone without any training in rhetoric or public speaking or whatever with something like that as a text, you’re just setting ’em up for failure (or, perhaps worse, the specific failure of saying “This speaker said it better than i ever could, so i’m just going to read it to you”).

    Seriously, if you’re going to assign topics, some better guidance for speakers would be useful. Please?

    Comment by David B — February 24, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

  28. Amen David!

    I’m so sick of those talks. As somebody who actually does his own study of them, it makes it really difficult to get anything out of their talk.

    Comment by Gdub — February 24, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

  29. The “Teachings for Our Times” teachers have to turn conference talks into lessons every month. We’ve been pretty lucky in our ward, most of the time, to have teachers who can teach the doctrine of a talk without merely cutting the talk into strips and asking “Okay, who’s got Number 7? Number 7? Would you read Number 7 to us now?”

    Speakers don’t usually have the practice that a TFOT teacher gets, but the process would be much the same.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 24, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

  30. Yeah, I was a TFOT teacher for about a year, and it was fairly difficult, but very rewarding.

    Comment by Gdub — February 24, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

  31. PeterLLC, please don’t take my advice as meaning that rambling is at all acceptable in a teaching situation. Writing a well-prepared presentation in a manner that is designed for the ear is pleasing and effective; logorrhea is not.

    Comment by Chad Too — February 24, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

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