Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Answers to Your Questions: To Write or Rewrite a Message

 

Thank you, thank you to all of you who have participated in the Facebook Live session last week either in real-time or by watching the video after the fact! It was so much fun that I’m thinking I’ll start doing something a few times a year in the form of mini-breakouts. Any requests for topics you’d like me to cover?

If you missed the video, click here to watch the Q & A video and while you’re there, follow our Facebook page for more encouragement and resources!

One of the benefits of our time together is that you gave me enough questions to blog about for months. Some weeks I’ll tackle two with short answers, but most weeks I’ll answer one at a time. Feel free to add yours to the comments if one answer sparks another question for you.

Here we go…

Do I write a new series or tighten and update the seven retreat series I have?   ~ Sue

It’s possible that either option is the right answer to your question.

When I first started speaking, I felt I had to write a new message for every event, but I don’t do that anymore. There are good reasons for repeating messages:

 

  • Having 3-5 finely honed messages shows that you understand our ministry niche. Your niche determines whether you’re the right speaker for an event or not. None of us are qualified to speak on every topic an event planner might desire, so we shouldn’t say “yes” to just any topic that’s assigned.
  • Repeating messages allows us to rewrite and refine them. Just this weekend, I rewrote an ending to fit an event better, and I believe it made my overall message stronger. It made me more excited to deliver it.
  • I never just “dust off” a message and deliver it at the next event. I revisit that message prayerfully ahead of the event and ask God how it can be individualized for the women who will be attending. Having said that, having 3-5 messages developed allows us to improve our delivery as well over time.

Sometimes, however, I feel called to write something new for an event. I have one coming up in March for which I believe God is giving me a brand new message. I’m excited that God is using a lesson that He’s been teaching me to encourage other women!

Often, God will use “message fatigue” to show me that it’s time for something new. The first retreat that I ever led is still the topic I get asked to do the most. Last year I delivered it multiple times. While I still love the messages, I’m a little weary of delivering them, so I’ve de-emphasized them on my website and emphasized some others. I don’t want to delete it entirely, but I’m ready to move on to fresher pastures.

I hope this answers your question, Sue! How about you, Speaker Girls? How do you decide it’s time for a new message?

Note: We’ve got some changes in the works for the website, so hold on tight. We’re so excited!

This week, we’ve switched to a new email delivery service which may mean some glitches– possibly including the delivery of some past posts. That shouldn’t occur again, so please extend grace while we grow and improve for you. 🙂

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Join the Fun Tonight

 

Tonight is the night! This is our chance to be together via FB Live from 8:00-8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.  It won’t be the same without you, so follow your FOMO and make plans to join us! Here’s what we’ll be doing:

  • You can ask any question you’ve ever had about speaking ministry.
  • I’ll cover as many questions as I can in 30 minutes.
  • Some time between 8:00-8:30, I’ll be doing a giveaway for a FREE 30-MINUTE COACHING CALL. You have to be present and have commented to win!

Not sure about how participate? It’s easy. Here are some instructions:

  • Go to the Next Step Speaker Services Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NextStepSpeaker/) and follow us.
  • On Tuesday, January 24th at 8:00 pm Eastern Time, go to the page, and I’ll be there. Easy peasy! Note: I won’t be able to help with tech glitches but here are a few to try if you can’t see me or hear me…
    • Make sure to restart your computer before 8:00 and make sure you have a good internet connection.
    • Click on the video if you don’t have any audio.
    • Log out of FB. Log back in, and try again.
  • Have your questions ready to type into the comments. I’ll have someone helping me on my end so that I can answer as many as possible.
  • You can type questions and responses into the comments which creates a live conversation where you take part.
  • You can click “thumbs up”, hearts or the other reactions FB gives. I have to tell you that hearts floating by thrills my heart!
  • I’ll answer as many questions as possible in our 30 minutes together. Any that go unaddressed will be future blog posts.
  • Everyone who leaves a comment live that night will be entered into a fun giveaway! You must be present live to win.

If you can’t participate live:

  • When I finish the video, it will be posted to the page permanently. You can go to the page latter to watch.
  • You can submit your questions to me ahead of time by emailing it to me at amy@proverbs31.org. Questions submitted live will be prioritized, but I’ll get to as many as I possibly can. Any that go unaddressed will be future blog posts.

Will I see you tonight? Can’t wait to be with you! (Hey… and I’d love for you to share it up with you speaker friends too. Let’s make this a real party!)

Amy

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pick My Brain

I have a new love, and I want to share it with you…

Facebook Live!!

Although it’s a somewhat scary format (LIVE and all not to mention the tech part), I’ve fallen hard for this tool for communicators. I had the idea last week to combine two of my loves– FB Live and YOU.

So let’s get together, ok? I’ve been longing to meet many of you, and here’s our chance.

Mark your calendars… I’ll meet you on FB Live on Tuesday, January 24th at 8:00-8:30 pm Eastern Time (check your time zones before you write it down–I mess this one up all the time.) I’ll be there to answer any questions you have about speaking. Anything at all. (Except how much I weigh. I’ll tell you how old I am but not what’s on the scale.)

And here’s another goody… A Great Giveaway!!! One participant (you must be present to win!) will win a free 30-minute coaching call with me which values $115. We can talk about any speaker-y topic you choose.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to participate:

  • Go to the Next Step Speaker Services Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NextStepSpeaker/) to like us and follow us.
  • On Tuesday, January 24th at 8:00 pm Eastern Time, go to the page, and I’ll be there. Easy peasy! Note: I won’t be able to help with tech glitches but here are a few to try if you can’t see me or hear me…
    • Make sure to restart your computer before 8:00 to make sure you have a good internet connection.
    • Log out of FB. Log back in, and try again.
  • Have your questions ready to type into the comments. I’ll have someone helping me on my end so that I can answer as many as possible.
  • You can type questions and responses into the comments which creates a live conversation where you take part.
  • You can click “thumbs up”, hearts or the other reactions FB gives. I have to tell you that floating hearts encourage me greatly!
  • I’ll answer as many questions as possible in our 30 minutes together. Any that go unaddressed will be future blog posts.
  • Everyone who leaves a comment live that night and is present when the timer goes off (like musical chairs) will be entered into the giveaway for a FREE 30-MINUTE COACHING CALL.

If you can’t participate live:

  • When I finish the video, it will be posted to the page permanently. You can go to the page latter to watch.
  • You can submit your questions to me ahead of time by emailing it to me at amy@proverbs31.org. Questions submitted live will be prioritized, but I’ll get to as many as I possibly can. Any that go unaddressed will be future blog posts.

I hope you’ll be there live with me! Have you marked your calendar? Let me know if I can watch for you!

Amy

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

17 Ways to Grow Your Speaking Ministry in 2017

2017 has begun! Do you feel the anticipation of a fresh start? Or the dread of feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities?

I loved Melanie’s post last week on choosing one resolution. I felt myself relax and sigh in relief at the weight of self-imposed expectations lifting off of me. I hope it gave you a sense of hope too.

One of the ways I have to approach growth and change is to make a pray-oritized (prioritizing under God’s direction) list, and I’d love to give you some ideas that you may want to put on your list this year as you seek to grow your speaking ministry. Having a list helps me to keep me from being overwhelmed as a work on one item at a time.

Speaking is a never-ending learning curve of always stretching to communicate in a clearer, more compelling way. No matter where you are in your speaking–a beginner or a seasoned veteran– you can take tangible steps to grow your speaking ministry. Here are my top seventeen tips for 2017:

  1. Spend a day (or as much time as you can carve out) in a quiet place with just your Bible and a journal. Worship, pray, and read God’s Word. Ask Him to speak to you about His agenda for you for the year. Write down what God shows you and ask Him to help you pray-oritize your steps. Read this blog post for more details about a retreat with Jesus.
  2. Pray before you speak, “Lord, help me to love You first and to love these women as you love them.” Watch your focus change and your nerves subside.
  3. Lay aside a percentage of each of your speaking fees for reinvestment back into your ministry.
  4. Purchase a book that will challenge you in your speaking and implement at least one new idea in your next message. My top two suggestions are Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley and Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath.
  5. Schedule time each week to work on your speaking ministry–studying, writing new messages or working on marketing tasks. Put it on your calendar and protect the time!
  6. Seek out someone who lives very differently than you as a friend. One of the ways God is expanding my horizons and teaching me new things is through some friends who do ministry in different arenas as well as two friends who live with significant handicaps. These friendships and the lessons we learn through them impact our messages significantly.
  7. Start saving your pennies and attend She Speaks. It’s a feast for your mind and soul! Registration will open early March. You can go the website today to sign up for an email alert when registration opens. Last year there were 1,000 women on the waiting list, so if this is your year, please, please register early so that you don’t miss out.
  8. Prayerfully set a goal for how many times you’ll speak this year. Be open to all kinds of venues for speaking (including making announcements, emceeing events, teaching Sunday school, etc), and speak as often as possible. Pray for chances to share God’s message and exercise your “speaking muscle”.
  9. Record yourself (smart phones make this super easy) and ask to be recorded each time you speak. Then, listen to yourself. I know it’s excruciating, but you’ll identify more needs for improvement by doing this than by any other single thing.  Video is even better (worse?). Watching yourself will alert you to areas that need work.
  10. Create an updated sample speaking video for your website this year. I went years and years without a video on my website until a friend of mine who is an event planner said, “I would never hire a speaker without seeing a sample video!” It should be short and contain your best moments. Click here and scroll down a little to watch the video produced for me last year. I’m in the midst of working on another one this year. It’s that important!!
  11. Subscribe to blogs that will give you information about being a better speaker and getting the word out about your ministry. We’d love for you to subscribe here for our free weekly speaker tips, of course!  We also have additional information posted on our Facebook page.   Also, I recommend Micheal Hyatt’s blog as well as signing up for Rob Eager’s Monday Morning Marketing Tips.
  12. Listen to great speakers and analyze the structure of their messages.  A few of my favorites are any of my Proverbs 31 sisters, Jennifer Dukes Lee (a former coaching client), Andy Stanley and Ravi Zacharias.
  13. Watch TED Talks to fill your mind with challenging ideas and the opportunity to listen to some fabulous speakers. Here are a few of my favorites: Reshma SaujaniDiana NyadBill GatesJane FondaAmy Cuddy, and my all-time favorite, genius TED Talk by Jane McGonigal.
  14. Choose 12 of Tracie’s marketing ideas, and implement one each month this year.
  15. Get out and live a bigger life. Take a day-trip. Ride your bike. Play with children. Cook international food. Break out of your rut, and do something different! Not only will it energize you, it will give you material for your messages.
  16. Listen to podcasts for communicators. Communicator Academy by Kathi Lipp and Michele Cushatt has shows on topics for both speakers and writers. I don’t miss an episode!
  17. And last but not least…use Next Step Speaker Services to help you individually with message development, editing your writing, message evaluation, developing marketing pieces. If you’d like to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION CALL click here

Melanie and I are here to be your cheerleaders for all of 2017! We’re in this growth process right along with you, so let’s take some next steps together.

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’re planning your speaking year! Which of these tips will you add to your pray-oritized t0-do list? How about copying this list and putting it into your own Word doc so that you can add, delete, and change the order according to your pray-orities?

Amy

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