All due to my awesome friend and her super great idea that I stole. Her kids have always given the greatest talks all on their own, even when they were/are Sunbeams, so I finally decided I should try her idea out (yes, it'd been at least a few years and yes, I am slow...a lot).
Simply put, she uses pictures to anchor the talk. Anywhere from a couple pictures to several and each picture has a sentence to go along with it. The kids remember the sentence because it is based on the picture. She usually uses the Gospel Art Kit pictures, and I did use a few, but I thought Josh would be excited to show pictures of himself doing what he was talking about (and he was).
For Josh's talk, I handed him a picture, he held it up for everyone to see and then he said his sentence. Just as a side note, what he ended up saying wasn't exactly what we originally practiced. He adapted my sentences into his own words and I let him.
The first picture was a photo of Christ and Josh said, "Jesus Christ loves us to follow the commandments."
"Jesus loves us to pray."
"Jesus loves us to obey our moms and dads." (He's making his bed, it was the easiest way I could think of to show this commandment)
"Jesus loves us to love our families."
"Jesus loves us to read the scriptures."
The last photo was a another picture of Christ, this time surrounded by children, which Josh held while saying, "If we follow the commandments, we can live with Jesus again."
It was very short and simple, but he was so proud of himself for being able to do it ALL BY HIMSELF! You wouldn't believe how excited and happy he was.
If you haven't tried the picture method yet, give it a try, you'll be amazed at how much fun it is for both of you (oh, and if you put the pictures in sheet protectors, they'll actually last through your week of practicing)!