2020 is in full swing! Melanie and I hope that you’re rested from your holiday season and in a mindset reset. A new year is a wonderful time to assess your successes from last year and plan for growth in the coming months.
If you’ve been with the blog for awhile, you probably recognize this list. With a few additions and tweaks, it’s our best advice. From two communicators to all you others, we hope that you’ll choose some new action items as you strategize a new year.
Here’s how I suggest that you use it:
- Copy this list, and paste it into a Word doc.
- Pray, and ask God to show you which of these items are for you this year.
- Pray-oritize your personalized list into an order that God directs.
- Tackle one task at a time.
- Don’t forget to check each one off as you do it. That’s the best part!
Speaking and writing are a never-ending learning curve of stretching to always communicate in a clearer, more compelling way. No matter where you are in your speaking and writing–a beginner or a seasoned veteran– you can take tangible steps to grow your ministry.
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Tips for Your Heart
- Create a retreat with Jesus. 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. Write down what God shows you and ask Him to help you pray-oritize your steps.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pray before you speak, “Lord, help me to love You first and to love these people as you love them.” Watch your focus change and your nerves subside as your focus shifts away from yourself.
- Before your events, ask for a list of the attendees, and pray for them by name. You’ll be amazed by how the Holy Spirit works to connect you to your audience before you even meet them.
- Develop a collaboration with another speaker or writer. We’re always better together! After writing Exhale with Cheri Gregory, I’m determined to never write a book alone again. Our speaking events together have also been dynamite. Collaboration is that powerful!
Tips for Your Mind
- Purchase a book that will challenge you in your speaking and implement at least one new idea in your next message. My top two suggestions for speakers are Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley and Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. Both also have concepts that will strengthen your writing.
- Start saving your pennies and attend a conference this year. Melanie and I will be teaching together at She Speaks in 2020, and we’d love to have some face time with you this year!
- Record/video yourself (smart phones make this super easy) and 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. Watching yourself will alert you to areas that need work like nothing else will.
- 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.
- Listen to great speakers and analyze the structure of their messages. A few of my favorites are any of my Proverbs 31 sisters, Jennifer Dukes Lee (a former coaching client), Andy Stanley and Ravi Zacharias.
- 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: Reshma Saujani, Diana Nyad, Bill Gates, Jane Fonda, Amy Cuddy, and my all-time favorite, genius TED Talk by Jane McGonigal.
- Listen to podcasts for communicators. Communicator Academy, co-hosted by Kathi Lipp and Michele Cushatt, has shows on topics for both speakers and writers. I don’t miss an episode!
Tips for Your Business
- Lay aside a percentage of each of your speaking fees or advances for reinvestment back into your ministry.
- Schedule time each week to work on your ministry–studying, writing new messages or working on marketing tasks. Put it on your calendar and protect the time.
- 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”.
- Create and implement a contract. I can’t stress how important they are. If you’d like a copy of a contract along with other documents that will help the business side of your speaking, click here to purchase my video course, The Business of Speaking.
- 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 produced for me last year.
- Choose 12 of Tracie Mile’s marketing ideas, and implement one each month this year.
- And last but not least…use Next Step Coaching Services to help you individually with message development, editing your writing, message evaluation and developing marketing pieces. There’s nothing like walking through one of the steps above with a trusted coach. If you’d like to schedule a Free Consultation Call click here.
Melanie and I are here to be your cheerleaders for all of 2020! We’re in this growth process right alongside you, so let’s take some next steps together.
Which of these tips will you add to your pray-oritized t0-do list?
Two Additional Notes:
- Exciting news!!! As of yesterday, Amazon is offering Exhale in Kindle form for FREE to Prime members. Download it in your Kindle app today! If you love it, would you share a copy with a friend?
- Thanks to all of you who are patient with my tech-challenged ways. Because of my user-error, you weren’t able to see my pre-Christmas message to you. It’s visible now, and I think it would still encourage you in the new year if you click here to watch it. 🙂