Tuesday, February 24, 2015

She Speaks Testimonials

Have you attended She Speaks in the past? I’d love to share your story here.

If you’d like yours included, please send it to me at  by Sunday, March 1. Use three-four sentences to describe what you love best about She Speaks, and I’ll share with the Speaker Sisterhood right here next week. I’d love to have a pic of your gorgeous face too, but it’s not a requirement. :) I’ll hyperlink your name to your website too if you’ll include it.

Thanks! I can’t wait to read your stories.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Freshen Up: Part 4

Just recently I’ve made a new friend. Cary is a multi-gifted woman with a strong, entrepreneurial spirit. Since the business side of ministry isn’t my strongest suite, I asked Cary if we could barter some time for her to take a look at the Next Step site and give me suggestions.

It was such an eye-opener to sit down beside a knowledgable friend to look at the site together. The most interesting thing was that the items she encouraged me to refresh were the exact same things I’d probably tell you if I was looking at your site. But you know the saying… cobbler’s children with no shoes and all that!

After making a list of updates based on Cary’s expertise, I asked my business savvy friend Holly to take a look. I specifically asked Holly to try to look at the site as if she had never visited before. She had another list of fabulous insights which I added to Cary’s tweaks.

Finally, I called my nephew/techie genius, Jake, to ask for his input. Some of his suggestions overlapped with the others, but he also had some additional ideas based on his knowledge of what’s possible and what’s new in the web design world.

Now, I have to say that sometimes these assessments are discouraging to me. I’m starting to understand that web design changes just as quickly as fashion design. Updated sites have much more open space and go from one side of the computer screen to the other. Since I don’t have the time, energy or finances for a complete overhaul, at first I thought maybe I shouldn’t bother.

But in the end, Jake helped me to achieve a fresh look with minimal changes. I hope you’ll click here to view the website!

Following the suggestions of my fabulous friends, here are some elements I used to achieve a more up-to-date look:

1. We added a slider. Some of my most important information was buried on tabs people may not visit or way down in the sidebars. Although one techie friend told me that sliders are outdated, I love them for putting focal points front and center.


2. We highlighted Proverbs 31 Ministries. Holly pointed out that P31 is my strongest qualification for coaching speakers and yet it was almost nowhere to be seen on the site. I’m so proud to feature a ministry that I love so much!

lysa slide

3. We updated the social networking icons. Mine were functional but a little tired and not at all visible. Jake found some that I love and added them. If you haven’t joined us on either Facebook or Twitter, I hope you will today!

sn icons

4. We made the “subscribe” button more visible. By simply changing the color and adding it to each page, we made it easier to find and made it draw your eye.


5. We made the font bigger. Many of you probably won’t notice this change if you get your posts via email, but recently my old eyes were protesting when I read posts on the website. I’m thankful for a 15-year-old who helped out this old lady!

6. I took down some outdated content. When we worked on this project, I went through every page with a fine-toothed comb and found some references to Karen and Suzie. Although I still love them dearly, but they haven’t worked for Next Step for over a year. It meant that a video I once loved (and paid to have produced) went away, but I want new visitors to have correct information.

Have you taken a look at your website with fresh eyes recently? I’m resolving to do it yearly now. I highly recommend starting this week on a refresh for your website. Enlist the help of some friends with sales/business/tech backgrounds.

Note: I’m so pleased with the new and improved Next Step site! Subscribers, if you’re viewing this in email, I’d love to invite you to take a peek.

If you have some friends who you think would benefit from the weekly tips or the coaching, would you send them a short email right now and let them know about Next Step? It’s been like doing spring cleaning, and now I’m eager to have new guests! :)

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Freshen Up: Part 3

Have you used the series to take a fresh look at your messages? Have you developed a sticky statement? Made sure all the essential elements are in place? In this last post about freshening messages, I want to challenge you to replace any tired stories with some new and fresh ones.

Stories are important, because stories have power.

Stories bring theory to life, and they make messages memorable.

There are two kinds  of stories you can use in your messages:

  • Somebody else’s stories– Watch for current news stories or fresh stories from reading or the internet to use. These are stories in which our culture engages, so they’re stories that connect with our audiences. There’s are a few cautions about using others’ stories, though. Be very careful to give credit where credit is due. A pastor at a friend’s church was exposed for telling others’ stories as if they were his own. Not good. Very embarrassing. If it’s not yours, then it’s a form of stealing to not give credit. Also, make sure this isn’t a story that has been forwarded into everyone’s inbox. Find something that people haven’t heard before. Finally, if you’re at an event with multiple speakers, listen to their messages. Karen Ehman tells about being at an event where the second speaker skipped the first message. What she didn’t realize was that the first speaker ended with the story in her opening. Oops. Painful.
  • Your own stories– It’s important for speakers to become students of our own lives. We need to constantly watch for updated stories of God’s hand for use in our messages. For me, this is sometimes challenging. I tend to go on auto-pilot, living life by the seat of my pants. To think back and glean stories, I try to think of times I’ve been goofy or times I’ve failed. I don’t consider myself a funny speaker at all, but I’ve found that humor is an essential connection to my audience. Although I’m not naturally funny, I’m often inadvertently goofy, so I share my faux pas which make people laugh. I’ve also found that sharing my weaknesses rather than my strengths showcases God’s hero status in my life. Stories of my failures redeemed by God’s goodness make powerful lessons.

Do you have some favorite stories to tell in your messages? Which category do they fall in?

Make sure not to miss next week! I’m going to talk about the steps I’ve taken to freshen up my websites.


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Monday, February 9, 2015

Freshen Up: Part 2

It’s that time of year! I couldn’t be more excited to announce that the registration for She Speaks is OPEN!!

she speaks button

Before you click on the link to visit the site, I need to issue a warning. You’re going to want to go. There are fabulous new breakouts and guest speakers that you won’t want to miss. So start saving your pennies. It’s an investment that you’ll never regret. Promise.

Last week, I started a series called “Freshen Up” about freshening elements of your ministry. We’re covering messages first, and this is actually part of the information that Karen Ehman and I delivered in a She Speaks breakout last year. Today’s post is great teaching that Karen shared. (Wanted to give credit where credit is due!)

Great messages have four major elements:

  • Information– Anything factual in your message would be information. This can include many things including statistics, outside studies, an explanation of the problem embedded in your topic, or information from experts.
  • Inspiration– Stories and quotes are elements that provide inspiration. Any part of your message that motivates or supplies “want-to” to your audience can be counted as inspiration.
  • Revelation– Teaching from scripture is the revelation part of your message.
  • Transformation– Application points, challenges, and practical steps toward change are included in  your transformation portions.

To refresh your messages, do an inventory exercise. Choose a different color highlighter for each element. For example, go through your message and highlight all the information with yellow. Then follow and highlight the inspiration with pink, etc.

When you’re finished highlighting each element, ask yourself:

  • Do I have all four elements represented in my message?
  • How is the balance? This isn’t completely straight-forward because you don’t have to have an equal balance. In fact, different settings need a different points of emphasis. If you’re teaching a Bible study class, it’s still advisable to have all four elements, but the revelation is going to be heavier. If you’re speaking at a fund-raiser, the inspiration will have the most weight.
  • What element(s) do I need to add or strengthen?

Once you have a sticky statement (click here to read last week’s post) and all four elements of a compelling message, you’re well on your way to refreshing your message!


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