Preparing a Talk for High School Students

Public speaking to teens: a favorite pastime of … no one. But somebody has to do it, and with some prayer and preparation, your talk can be a great opportunity to change hearts and minds—just look at the fruits that come from Steubenville Conferences.

Dave “Father of Wildlings” VanVickle and I go over how to prepare a talk for high school students that will bring the house down.

We want to hear from you! Email us at with your story, question, or comment—or if you’ve got a new nickname for Dave.

Snippet from the Show

“Christ is the one who destroys the walls of hostility that we keep building up. Every new barrier we put up, Christ is the one who tears them down. God is pursuing us.”


How to prepare a talk for high schoolers

  1. Select a piece of Scripture: The Word of God is the only thing that gives real clarity in the world.
    1. Sit and read it and pray through it.
    2. Look at differences between Gospels.
  2. Be yourself: teens appreciate authenticity
  3. Speak to their experience.
    1. For example, talk about the reality of identifying yourself by your social media footprint or the feeling of being an outcast.

5 Practical Tips

  1. Find three narratives where Jesus pursues (or talks about) going after someone outside and brings them in. Write down your thoughts and observations.
  2. Take a half page and try to write a tract that you think would be compelling to bring someone to the Lord.
  3. Ask someone in your life to pray for you and your call to evangelize.
  4. Reach out to someone in your life and compliment them on some part of their life.
  5. Pray for the RCIA team and the adults to be baptized in your parish.

Resources from the Show

Meet Your Hosts

Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael has been leading evangelization and ministry efforts for the past ten years, both as a full-time parish staff member and as a speaker and consultant for parishes, dioceses, and Catholic campus ministries.

He is also the founder and creative director of, and the producer and cohost of a Catholic young adult podcast Catching Foxes, which discusses the collision of Faith and Culture.

He is married to his college sweetheart, Shannon. Together they have about 1,000 children and get about 3 hours of sleep a night, which is alright by him.

David “Dave” VanVickle

David “Dave” VanVickle

Dave VanVickle fell in love with the Lord at the age of fourteen. Since then, he has dedicated his life to bringing others into a radical relationship with Christ.

He is a speaker and retreat leader. His programs focuses on proclaiming the universal call to holiness, authentic Catholic spirituality, spiritual warfare and deliverance. Additionally, Dave has over ten years of experience assisting Priests with their ministries of exorcism and deliverance.

Dave resides in Pittsburgh with his wife Amber and their five children: Sam, Max, Judah, Josie and Louisa.

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