It’s a new year, so let’s start well with a fresh beginning! 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 sixteen tips for 2016:
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. 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. We’ve got some great suggestions in our reading list on the sidebar! I’ve gotten half way through Platform by Michael Hyatt and Resonate by Nancy Duarte. Finishing them and implementing what I learn is at the top of my personal list.
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.
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 (digital recorders are worth the investment) or 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 a friend produced for me last year.
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. There are tons of free podcasts. A few of my favorites are any of my Proverbs 31 sisters, Jennifer Rothschild, 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: Mandisa, Diana Nyad, Bill Gates, Jane Fonda 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. And last but not least…use Next Step Speaker Services to help you individually with message development, message evaluation or developing marketing pieces. If you’d like to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION CALL click here.
I’m here to be your cheerleader for all of 2016! I’m in this growth process right along with you, so let’s take some next steps together.
Will you use any of these tips? I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’re planning your speaking year!