Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another She Speaks answer

Hi Gals. I'm back as promised to answer the following question:

"My big question is this, just how do you start? In otherwords, how do you get churches, women's groups, etc. to see you as a viable speaker when your experience speaking is very minimal?"

I believe with all my heart that God wants you to share your story of His loving faithfulness and that He will orchestrate opportunities for you to do so.

That can be with people you already know, and with people you meet in the coffee shop or hair salon in your everyday life. It may also be with several people all at once in scheduled times like small group meetings or ministry events. Pray for God to open doors of opportunity all around you.

Meanwhile, volunteer for speaking roles in your own church - lead a women's Sunday School class, small group, or Bible study. Your local church is a valuable place to serve and gain experience, and your pastor and women's ministry director can recommend you to the network of churches they know. Word-of-mouth recommendations from people that have heard you are invaluable.

Also look for places outside your church to get involved and serve such as community bible studies, Christan support groups, or MOPS groups. These are places that provide speaking opportunities, but also that connect you with women from other churches. Let these women know of your willingness to speak at events around your area. You could ask them to take your business card to their women's ministry director.

Its been said you've got a good message that you're presenting well when one speaking engagement leads to others. Often times I will speak in one city and someone in that audience is visiting from another city or church. They will go home and tell their church about me. Then I'll be asked to speak for this church, sometimes even years later. So once the ball gets rolling, it can generate some momentum and create widening paths.

Some helpful tools to have in addition to the recommendations of others are a demo recording, a speaker bio sheet, and a place on the web where people can learn more about you. They aren't necessary at the start but will become needed as God expands your work. She Speaks can teach you more about this.

One of the inspiring things about attending She Speaks is meeting so many women - on that same path as you, with the same passion as you - and hearing their stories. Each one of us at Proverbs 31 and each one of the attendees at the conference have a different story to tell in answer to your question about getting started. But there is one common denominator in all those stories and in all of our "starts." That's God and His unfailing plans.

So again, I encourage you to pray to the One that created you for His pleasure and purposes. Pray to the One who gives you reason to speak. Pray and ask Him to bring about the good plans He has for your life as you seek to glorify Him in words.

And let me know how it goes at your first speaking engagement!