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SOS: Starting Out Speaking for Beginner Speakers blog series

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Blog, Business, Faith, Spiritual Gifts, Travel

SOS: Starting Out Speaking for Beginner Speakers (The Ending)

Woman phone booth

Are you communicating clearly?
Motivate your audience

This is part 8, and the conclusion, of my SOS: Starting Out Speaking for Beginner Speakers blog series. You can read Part 7 by clicking here.

Part 8: SOS Starting Out Speaking for Beginner Speakers (The Ending, or Your Conclusion)

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” ~ Lao Tzu

Just like you can’t ever make a first impression again, you can’t make a last impression again. How will the audience remember you? What aha’s will they take away from you speaking? What are you trying to COMMUNICATE?

You want to WOW the audience with your conclusion. I love what Ibloom Founder/Speaker/Author Kelly Thorne Gore writes in her book Empowering Coaches: The Christian Coach’s Guide to a Successful Business on page 45:

“Conclude by summarizing and giving your audience a clear next step to take. I heard a very well trained pastor give what he called the message of his life. He unfolded his talk, gave stories, kept us interested, and had great information. But when he was finished, he simply said, “If I could only give one message before I died, this is what it would be.” Then he walked off the stage. We were all left with interesting information but we didn’t know what to do with it. You must let your audience know what their next step is as a result of listening to you speak.”

You aren’t speaking up front just to show off your cute new outfit and shoes or your sharp blue suit. You want to connect with their hearts and minds and for them to learn a new idea, to buy your product or service, or for something to happen as a result of them listening to you – to take a next step, to take action.

It is a great disservice to the audience to leave them hanging and wondering what to do now, not giving them any action step(s). They will be confused, or at the very least, they’ll walk out thinking, “That was nice. He’s lived an interesting life. But what was the point of his speech? Hey, do you want to go eat some Chinese? I’m hungry.”

You want to impact your listeners with God’s Biblical truths, your experience(s), and creative ideas that will practically help, transform, and improve their lives. You show them how your message, your products, services, or other offering can do that.

For example, event planners should hire me for their women’s conference because I am a passionate, Biblically-grounded, and humorous speaker who loves to encourage women to use their gifts for God’s glory, doing what they love. When I speak, I share how one of my books, Walking With God, teaches people how to develop a daily quiet time with God in the midst of their busy, hectic schedules and to hear His voice to fulfill their great purpose in life.

Shine and be the inspiring example for them. Your message should be shared in such a passionate, intriguing way that people are compelled to move from the unsatisfying place where they are now to a new, exciting place where they want to be! Help them to get unstuck with intentional, positive choices and to accelerate forward with their lives.

Impart encouragement, hope, and joy. Speak God’s love and truth into their souls. And when you conclude your presentation, remind them of the key points (no more than 3 to 5 points usually, or they will forget and ask their girlfriend, “What was the 13th point again?) and re-emphasize your one BIG point. (Please, you do have a point, don’t you?) What are you wanting to say?

  • Maybe it’s that God is a merciful, loving God who forgives sins – no matter what they’ve done in the past.
  • Maybe it’s that Jesus still heals today.
  • Maybe it’s that God has a purpose for their life. (So many people don’t understand or believe this!)
  • Maybe it’s that there is still life after divorce – even joy and happiness.
  • Maybe it’s that God wants to prosper their business and bless them beyond what they think or can imagine.
  • Maybe it’s that they can become a life coach, even if they’re working in a job right now that’s a totally different field…and to just take that next step of faith.

Whatever your big point is, communicate it clearly and motivate them to take the next step.

And leave them with a feeling of “WOW.”

Then your conclusion will be just the beginning….of a relationship between you and her/him.

“Stories are like fairy gold, the more you give away, the more you have.” – Polly McGuire

Come To The Edge (Christopher Logue)

Come to the edge.

We might fall.

Come to the edge.

It’s too high!


And they came, and he pushed, and they flew.


Are you an event planner? I’d love to speak at your women’s conference or event! Click here to learn more about my Speaking or contact me by clicking here.

woman driving car with scarf
Blog, Business, Faith, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, Travel

SOS: Starting Out Speaking for Beginner Speakers (Content)

woman driving car with scarfThis is part 7 of my blog series, SOS: Starting Out Speaking For Beginner Speakers. You can read part 6 by clicking here.

In the last blog post in this series, we covered your speaking bio, that the event planner will (hopefully) share to introduce you just before you enter the presentation area. Today we’ll talk about content ideas for your speaking presentation.

As I shared before in this series, there are 2 rules for speaking:

  1. Have something interesting to say.
  2. Don’t be boring!

As a Christian believer, I also add a third, which is the most important:

  • Say what God tells you to say and glorify Jesus. You can’t go wrong here!

Here’s what the Bible says in Jeremiah 1: 4-10, CEV: “The Lord said:  “Jeremiah, I am your Creator, and before you were born, I chose you to speak for me to the nations.” I replied, “I’m not a good speaker, Lord, and I’m too young.” “Don’t say you’re too young,” the Lord answered. “If I tell you to go and speak to someone, then go! And when I tell you what to say, don’t leave out a word! I promise to be with you and keep you safe, so don’t be afraid.” The Lord reached out his hand, then he touched my mouth and said, “I am giving you the words to say, and I am sending you with authority to speak to the nations for me. You will tell them of doom and destruction, and of rising and rebuilding again.”

After God gives you the main message He wants you to share with the audience, how do you get inspired to write your content? Here’s 5 tips for inspired content:

1. The Bible. God’s word is alive. Exciting real-life stories filled with adventure such as the Flood and the rainbow, Job a good man who had bad things happen to him, a young Jewish girl named Hadassah who God set apart for a great purpose as queen, David the shepherd boy who God chose to fight on the front lines of war and raised up to be king, Mary Magdalene who had 7 demons cast out of her, who was the first evangelist. Examples, both serious and humorous (like gloomy, doubting Thomas who said, “Let us go to Jerusalem, too, that we may die with Jesus”), that teach us important truths such as having strong faith.

Jesus’ stories and Solomon’s romantic poetry, the lonely but faithful prophets, the apostle Paul who was mocked for his faith in Jesus, the teen girl Mary’s faithful obedience, the wisdom of the Proverbs, the disciples who constantly screwed up, yet God used to spread the gospel around the world (which gives us hope!). There is so much meat in the Bible, which makes solid content for your speaking presentation.

2. Daily life. My family knows by now that practically anything they say or do is fodder for my speaking or writing! Your life provides some of the BEST creative material for speaking. Anything goes. Have an observing eye and a listening ear, and write things down in your journal for your next speaking presentation.

Your kids’ antics and conversations are so truthful and often funny and make wonderful anecdotes to share when you speak. Your husband or a friend may speak a word of wisdom (or of irritation!) that you can quote, like Ray saying to me last week in the car when I told him to stop trying to control me about a matter, “There is no controlling you! You are like a wild horse racing off a cliff with no one able to stop you!”

A financial crisis, health issue, career or ministry change, or fitness goals (such as our daughter Heather recently losing 25 pounds by cutting out sugar and running for exercise) can be shared as insightful lessons that help and comfort others.

What experiences have you had or what is happening in your life right now? Do you have 10 kids and/or do you homeschool your kids? Have you been a flight attendant or are you a jewelry artist? Were you in a nearly fatal car accident and God miraculously healed you like He did my friend Rochelle Valasek, one of the speakers for our RELEASED Women’s Conference on April 27?

You might not think it’s so interesting, but others may. People love to hear stories – yours and other people’s. Jesus used stories to teach truth. What stories can you share?

3. Travel. I love traveling so much and other than the Bible, it provides the most inspiration for my speaking and writing. Whether it’s flying internationally or driving on a fun road trip, listening to the radio with the wind in your face like in the beautiful picture above, going to a new place inspires you and taps into your creativity.

Traveling alters your perspective by letting you see, hear and experience new things. Traveling makes me feel more alive than anything else. I want to travel all around the world, on every continent, before I die.

Where do you want to go? Where have you traveled that you can share about when you speak?

4. Nature. A gorgeous rainbow of tulips, Ireland-green grass, cherry blossom trees bursting into bloom in spring, the sun on your face, stars sparkling against a black night, the magnificence of the ocean – God’s creation is one of the greatest sources of inspiration for speaking and writing.

I’ve been thinking about having a beach retreat later this year and a dear friend wrote me an email this week which said, “I saw your thread on FB (Facebook) about a beach retreat! It does sound amazing, Beth. Really, by the ocean where the breeze blows your stress away and you see God so clearly in His awesome, powerful, beautiful creation – the ocean. It always makes me think of Goldie Hawn saying that her father told her that if she “ever starts to feel too big for her britches” to stand by the ocean and remember how small she really is.  The ocean seems to put things back in perspective.”

Another friend of mine on Facebook, Jennifer, said that as she’s been walking outside recently, God has been giving her exciting, new ideas to start a Creative Coaching business. Get out in the sun, the fresh air, and nature to be inspired with fresh ideas for your next presentation.

Share about your pets and others’ pets, animals at the zoo, like the polar bear with the thick, white fur who was pacing back and forth in the enclosure and looking so hot in the summer heat at the Kansas City zoo when Leah and I visited last year, or your fish that died from a friend’s child who fed it Oreo cookies’ crumbs. (A true story that happened to our daughter Leah’s  fish when she was a toddler.)

5. News, t.v. shows, and movies. I hardly ever watch the news and don’t watch t.v. I don’t have time and it’s usually so negative or crass. But once in awhile, I’m intrigued by something unusual in the news, my heart quickened by a great new movie, or am inspired by someone like Angie Miller on American Idol.

You want to at least be aware of what’s popular and share material that is relevant to your audience.

In my next blog post, we’ll talk about your presentation conclusion – it’s important to WOW! your audience with your intro and your conclusion, leaving them with a great take-away.

Woman speaking
Blog, Business, Faith, Spiritual Gifts, Writing

SOS: Starting Out Speaking for Beginner Speakers – Your Bio

Woman speakingThis is part 5 of my SOS: Starting Out Speaking blog series. To read part 4, click here.

If someone were to ask you who you are, what would you say?

  • a wife and a mom
  • an organic farmer
  • a volcanologist
  • a French chef on a cruise ship
  • a science fiction writer
  • a life purpose coach
  • an artist
  • an Indie musician
  • an underwater welder
  • an Alaskan Crab fisherman
  • a professional tea taster (yes, this is a real job!)
  • a celebrity look-alike.

Your who, your identity, isn’t what you do. But we often identify ourselves through our work, our education or knowledge, our gifts, and our accomplishments, and these things help others to know how to relate better to us.

When an event planner introduces a speaker before he or she comes to the presentation area, it “preps” the audience. Your audience must get to know you before they trust you. Your credibility doesn’t always get established by bragging about your credentials or having them introduced. If your audience feels like you care about them, they’ll listen to you.

  • How does your topic relate to them?
  • What problem can you help them solve?
  • What is something new they learned?
  • What need can you meet?
  • What hurt can you help heal?
  • What encouragement can you give them?
  • How did you bring a smile to their faces or make them laugh?
  • What “aha’s” did they take away from listening to you; what will they remember?
  • How did you impact and/or change their lives?

In my next post, I’ll share more about the bio – what it should say, and what it should NOT include.

Are you enjoying this blog series? Share your comments below. What do you want to know about a speaker before he or she starts speaking? What don’t you want to know?

Join me and 4 powerful speakers for the RELEASED! Women’s Conference in Belton, MO, on April 27. You will be incredibly blessed and walk away with empowerment to fulfill your purpose in 2013. Click here to save your spot and register today.