1. One of the first things you do is tell everyone that you don't think that your talk will be long enough. This puts people at ease and lets them know that you do care about getting out of there on time.
2. Start with an unlame joke. It must be a unique joke that is actually clever. WARNING: Do NOT start with a joke that makes everyone stand up or raise their hand. People are there to sit on their butts and zone out. Giving them an errand to do will make them resent you. I hate it when a speaker says, "Okay, everyone stand up." I always look around like, "Is he serious? He wants me to actually stand up?! What is with this guy?"
3. Tell a story that is not really spiritual and then relate it to something spiritual. You see, as soon as you delve into that "churchy" jibber-jabber, people will immediately zone you out. If you see the men's heads on the pew in front of them and the women looking at their Relief Society newsletters, you know you've lost them. Keep things moving with some non-spiritual spice that you will later spiritualize.
4. Grab both sides of the pulpit. This shows that you are in total control. I like to clench both sides like I am holding the thing up with my bicepts and I sometimes shake it a little. People respect that. They will respect you.
5. Don't make mention of the musical number that proceeds you. Don't say something like, "How can I follow that?" Come on man, have some confidence in yourself! Sure, the song was nice, but you are the main course. Make people forget the song even happened.
Following these five easy steps will make you the toast of the ward. (and by toast, I mean the breaded kind and not the alcoholic kind.) People will love you and may even ask you to speak at their funeral. (Has not happened to me yet, but probably soon.) Next time you are asked to speak, give it a try.
**This reminds me, one of my favorite church day activities is to pretend I am an American Idol judge. When a person comes up to sing for us, I love to sit back and pretend I am Simon Cowell. Then, when the person finishes, I love to mentally evaluate the person. "You sung it well, but it was a little pitchy in spots. Oh and SONG CHOICE! You can't underestimate this! Clearly, a better pick would have been 'A Poor Wayfaring Man' or 'Abide With Me'. But you went with 'Rock of Ages'. Really, what was going through your mind?! " Give it a try. It will liven up your meetings.