This post was written by my sweet friend, Lynn Cowell. Please don’t miss out on the information about her newly release book for teen girls His Revolutionary Love.
He started at the bottom; squeezing out all the toothpaste forming a mountain. “Try to put all the toothpaste back.” he instructed; handing me the flattened tube. I just stared at that blue blob and wondered “How?” He knew it was impossible. Still he chose to watch me sweat it out. After a minute, he gently said, “That’s how words are. Once, they’re out; you can’t put them back.”
Though that example happened to me years ago, the fact that words cannot be retracted has stuck with me all due to the power of props. That’s the type of “sticking” power that I have tried to create when I have only 35 – 40 minutes to speak to a group.
Our goal when we speak is to create life change. How can life change be created though if our audience forgets our message? Leading teens and their moms to find their completion in Christ is my passion. As women, we desperately need to be filled by Jesus and find our value in Him and Him alone. For many, though, this concept is vague; one that could be easily forgotten. Completion? Value? What does that really look like? When I speak, I need some way to make my spiritual point concrete. I need to make it stick. Props do that.
Here is an example in my talk, “His Revolutionary Love: Jesus’ Radical Pursuit of You”. Using props, I create a visual of what it means to be filled with Jesus. Feel free to skip up to 9:47 in order to just watch the part of my message using props.
When using props, here are a couple of helpful hints:
1) Be sure that your props are elevated enough, allowing everyone to be able to see. There is nothing more frustrating than feeling like you are missing out on something!
2) If possible, try to give your audience a take away that will remind them of your prop. I have a message where I used a spinning top toy. I then purchased online miniature tops to give to each attendee.
3) If you are going to need your event coordinator to supply the props (I have to do this when I am flying), be sure to give her ample time to collect the props as well as locate an appropriate table. Be sure to not spring this on her last minute.
4) When using water, try using food coloring so that they can see it more clearly.
5) Keep a running list of prop ideas when they come to mind. It is a lot easier to write them down as they come then when you have an event coming up.
6) Invoke the help of friends. Maybe you are like me and don’t consider yourself very creative. Ask a friend who is creative to read your talk and help you to come up with a prop.
What props have you used when you speak? Let’s take some time to share with each other ways we have found to make our messages stick. Just click on “comments” below.
Lynn Cowell’s heart is to lead teens and their moms to find completion in Christ. Between carpooling and sleepovers, she speaks and writes for Proverbs 31 ministries as well as magazines such as Susie and Focus on the Family. Her first book, “His Revolutionary Love; Jesus’ Radical Pursuit of You” was just released. She and her husband, Greg, also have a college age son, Zach. Lynn loves sushi, anything that combines chocolate and peanut butter and well-worn sweatshirts. You can connect with Lynn on her blog at www.LynnCowell.com and on FaceBook at Lynn Martin Cowell.