Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tips for Beginning Speakers

Most weeks I pass on speaker tips for what I’m learning right now. I’m in the trenches with you, Speaker Girl! However, this week I want us to back up and remember back to the very beginning of our speaking.

What were we learning then?

What do we wish someone would tell us?

Here are 10 tips for beginning speakers:

  1. Speak as often as you can. Set a numerical goal to try to reach–ie. three times a month. Count every time you speak including doing Sunday school announcements, a church greeting, or leading a small group. Nothing is too small. It all counts!
  2. Create a planning document with all the questions you want to ask event planners so you can record their answer. The devil is in the details (and being able to remember all of them).
  3. Adopt an attitude of service. Although speaking may seem glamorous from the outside, it takes a servant not a diva to do it well.
  4. Tell your friends and family that you’re speaking. I know. It’s terrifying. I remember whispering, “I’m a speaker” at the beginning because I was so afraid to say it out loud. Letting people who love you and believe in you know is the best way to get invitations in the beginning.
  5. Pray for attendees. I only started doing this a couple of years ago, but it’s one of the most powerful tools I use now. Ask event planners for the names of all the attendees, and pray for them by name. The Holy Spirit does some powerful connecting before you even arrive at the event.
  6. Volunteer to help an experienced speaker. You could do anything from helping with social media to traveling with her to manning a resource table. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned are as I’ve traveled with other, more experienced Proverbs 31 speaker team members.
  7. Flip 1/2 as much. I put my notes in a 3-ring binder back to back with the blank pages together. If you’ve got a printer that will print both sides, that’s even better. Having pages face each other means I have to flip pages 1/2 as often. (See the picture below if that’s confusing.)IMG_0642
  8. Practice. Practice. Practice. I never have gotten over hating practice, but it helps with 2 things. It helps you to internalize your message. It helps you know that you can stay within your time. I even practice with a timer on facing a full-length mirror sometimes. I feel like a goof-ball, but it helps me to practice calming my wild hand gestures.
  9. Don’t ever go past your time. It’s always better to leave people wanting more than wishing you had stopped 10 minutes ago. Also, it’s courteous to stay on time so that the other people in the program get their fair time.
  10. Craft and memorize 3 sentences. Your first sentence should start with a bang and get everyone’s attention. Your second sentence to craft and memorize is your sticky statement–the one main idea of your whole message. The last sentence you say should also be crafted and memorized. A great ending is obvious and invites applause.

How about the rest of you? Please leave a tip for all our sisters who are just at the beginning of this journey we’re all traveling!

Note: If you’re a subscriber with friends who are just starting to speak, would you share this post with them and maybe encourage them to subscribe? I made a list of things for which I’m thankful this morning, and “Encouraging women in ministry” was on it. I’d love to reach as many women with encouragement as possible!

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