When people ask me what I do for a living, my answer is usually three-fold: I write. I speak. I take care of my babies.
I spend most of my days in a pair of yoga pants and a trucker hat – and really, I couldn’t be happier with my daily outfit of choice. But occasionally, when a speaking engagement comes along, I’ll don jeans and heels and a colorful shirt. I’ll even bust out a pair of earrings and maybe even a necklace.
I love what I do. I love the preparation and engagement and critical thinking skills that come with putting together a talk or a sermon. I love standing on stage, with a Janet Jackson microphone attached to the side of my head. I love getting to speak about what I’m most passionate about – faith, issues of racial justice and reconciliation, the messiness of motherhood.
Then I love coming home, cozying up in my trucker hat and yoga pants once again.
So, for those of you engaged or interested in the speaking arena, head over to Christianity Today and check out “How to Prepare for Speaking at a Conference.” Otherwise, catch the first part of my words here:
All I remember is saying an emphatic yes—over and over again.
I couldn’t believe my luck: 23-year old me had been asked to be the keynote speaker at a weekend conference. But as months went by and the event got closer, my usual last-minute way of operating in life didn’t pan out. I spent the weekend stressed out, working long hours, and sleeping little, leaving little time to connect with the women at the conference. I vowed that if I was ever given the opportunity again, I would never approach another speaking engagement in that way again.
Now, almost 15 years later, I speak at churches, retreats, and conferences on a regular basis. Along the way, I’ve learned that preparation is key when it comes to speaking at an event. As a woman in ministry, there’s a good chance you, too, will get asked to speak at a gathering. My hope is these preparation tips could help you have a better start than I did.
Ready for a whole bunch of tips? Click here to read the article in its entirety; otherwise, no matter where you are in your speaking journey, keep on keepin’ on.
You got this!
So, what would you add, subtract, multiply or divide from the article listed above? What other tips have YOU found helpful in your public speaking journey?0