John Sibley is a volunteer at CAFOD and an experienced public speaker. Here, he shares his best tips and tells you everything you need to know about speaking at Mass for Family Fast Day. The message? Speaking at Mass can seem daunting, but all it takes is good preparation!
Why it’s important to speak at Mass
Family Fast Day is on 15 March. On that day and throughout March, people like you will be standing up in Mass to speak out for our global neighbours.
Speaking at Mass and giving a Family Fast Day talk is so important because it brings the struggles of our global partners into the pews in our parishes. This family fast day we are focusing on Bangladesh.
It is not always easy to speak publicly. Many of us aren’t natural speakers. Many of us aren’t confident standing up in front of others. With a little bit of practice it will be easy.
Speak up at Mass for Mahinur this Family Fast day
- Download a copy of the Family Fast Day short talk.
- Read our document called “Making the shot talk your own” under the section Fast Day Parish Tool
- Practise reading the talk. Read it to a family member or a friend, or even out loud to yourself. Watch Sam for some pointers!
- Arrive at the church early so that you can introduce yourself to the parish Priest, and sit near the front.
- Take a small bottle of water with you in case you get thirsty.
- Remember that it is normal to feel a bit nervous when speaking in public, but you are doing a great thing by speaking on behalf of CAFOD and our partners.
Prepare speaking at mass by attending our event
Join us at Romero House on 16 February 2019 for a workshop from 10:00- 14:00 that will help you learn the ins-and-outs of public speaking.
John Sibley, the facilitator, will help us to get ready to talk this Family Fast Day.
Remember to bring your own lunch and eat simply! Register for the event now!
Eight top tips to speak at mass
If you are not speaking at your own church, know where it is and where you can park the car.
– Speak much more slowly than you think you should be
– Meet or telephone the Parish Priest a few days before and find out if you are expected to talk in the homily spot or at the end.
– Decide what you are going to wear. Personally I prefer to look smart/casual – perhaps what I would wear to a christening. A young person may wish to wear a CAFOD t-shirt in there own parish. Speak much more slowly than you think you should be.
– Smile at the start and at the end. Look up during the talk if possible. The transformation we are enabling is a story of joy and hope. It also helps if you feel nervous!
– Use different intonations, you are telling someone’s story on their behalf.
– Feel free to change a few words here and there or add a line to two to make it feel more natural to deliver. The talk is written to make it possible to read as is, so don’t feel any pressure!
– Remember that although we may not have met the person mentioned, their story is real and they are happy that we are able to share it on their behalf.
– Each Mass you speak at will be different. The early Mass on a Sunday is usually very quiet, but the mid-morning service is busy and noisy. Generally I have found that the noisier the Mass, the easier it is to talk, but everyone is different.
My guess is that having spoken at Mass once, you will look forward to doing it again! Speaking at Mass is not easy but if you know your subject and what you intend to say it will be much easier. A few deep breaths and off you go!