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In the last post, I shared about how to know you’re called to speak. Hearing from God is essential, but it may be the easiest step of your speaking journey since you have nothing to do with it. Calling is our great God’s glorious work!
So once you’ve heard God’s call to speak, what’s next?
Here are some simple, early steps to take, but even if you’re already down the road a bit, I encourage you to read them. It’s easy to skip the basics when you’re excited to charge forward.
Gather a Team
You may not be part of a formal ministry, but everyone needs support. In addition to our P31 family, I have a prayer team of friends who pray for all of my speaking events. They are as important (or more!) than my part standing in front. Ministry is a blessing but can be hard. You’ll need people to have your back who love and understand you. Make sure to include a gentle truth-teller in the group too.
Build a “Holy Confidence”
In an oldy-but-goody book for speakers, The Reason We Speak, my friend Lisa Whittle used the term “holy confidence”, and I’ve come to love it. Early in my speaking, there was some part of me that embraced my insecurities as a sign of humility. I agonized over those insecurities for years, but now I realize that what masqueraded as humility was actually a twisted form of pride. I was so focused on myself that I didn’t embrace what God intended to do through me. I now embrace confidence in Him that brings new joy to ministry.
Walk Through Open Doors
Although it’s important to pray about each speaking opportunity, I trust God that He brings each event my way. That means that early in my speaking days, I took opportunities that might not have looked like the obvious choice. For example, a local band director asked me to teach a group of his students about leadership. That’s not usually my thing, and a group of teenagers scares me to death! I said “yes”, though, and received a huge blessing from teaching that group. It was an incomparable learning experience.
Be open to out-of-the-box opportunities in order to strengthen your speaking muscles. Teaching a class, doing the welcome at church and creating a talk for a local civic organization all “count.”
Pay Attention and Learn from Great Speakers
Really listen to the sermons at church. Download podcasts and listen while you clean or exercise. Attend conferences. Watch videos. Read books. Our eGuides, Creating a Message that Connects, that I wrote with Melanie Chitwood share methods that have dramatically changed and improved the way I speak. Speaking is a craft to be studied just like writing, so treating it as such will create growth.
These are some of the steps I took when I stepped into the calling to speak. What have you done that’s been beneficial? Let’s help each other grow!
One of the things we strive to do with Next Step is to have resources for speakers and writers with every budget.
- Free– 8 years of blog posts right here to mine for every speaker-y and writer-y topic!
- Inexpensive– This posts contains links to books that are valuable, and we try to do that often.
- Investment– There are Video Courses and individualized coaching for a range of budgets.
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