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speaking on stage

Hair Spray
Blog, Faith, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, Writing

Spraying your hair big to hide the white shoes

“How many times do we rely on the promises of God to take care of us one minute and then take matters into our own hands the next? Because we are unable to control things, we become insecure and open to Satan’s traps. God wants us to trust His goodness and concentrate on boldly doing good, for that is something we can control.” ~ Lysa TerKeurst, , p. 112, Who Holds the Key to Your Heart?

This is the new book I’m reading this week. Lysa is the President of Proverbs 31 Ministries and is an excellent writer and speaker. I found this section of the book particularly comforting and funny, because Lysa was being transparent about a mishap that happened to her once, when she had a speaking engagement in front of hundreds of women at a country club.

As she writes, “Although I feel very comfortable speaking, I’m not exactly a country club girl. Oh, I’ve got the country part down just fine; it’s the club part that intimidates me a bit.”

She spent extra time in her closet that morning trying to find just the right outfit and chose a light purple suit. That’s when her shoe dilemma started, and after trying on several pair, she chose a pair of bone-colored high heels. As she drove to the engagement, she realized that they were too small because her feet started to hurt. She decided to stop at the only place open at that time of the morning, Wal-Mart. She writes that she was excited to find a pair of comfortable white heels on the clearance rack and bought them. Lysa writes:

Hair Spray

Hair Spray – http://www.mythirtyspot.com/2012/01/10-unusual-ways-to-use-hairspray.html

“Everything seemed great until I walked into the country club and noticed that not one other person was wearing white shoes. These were the kind of women who did not wear white shoes in the wrong season. I was so embarrassed. All I wanted to do was run away as fast as my little white shoes would carry me. But since running away was not an option, I decided to head to the bathroom and spray my hair really big. I figured if my hair was poofy enough, maybe no one would look at my shoes.”

“Then I discovered that this country club provided spray in the bathroom. What a wonderful surprise. So I flipped my head over and sprayed and sprayed. It wasn’t until I flipped my head back over that I realized the convenient spray was actually deodorant….Panic started to set in as I realized I had no time to fix this mess I was in. Thank goodness Jesus spoke to my heart and reminded me of Who was in control. So I brushed as much of the deodorant out of my hair as I could and walked out of the bathroom and up to the podium.”

This was so funny to me, especially since Lysa is the President of Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Her book Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions* about how she loses it sometimes with her husband, kids, or in other stressful situations personally deeply ministered to me! She’s not perfect, either!

Her humbling yet funny story above about her speaking engagement reminds me of my speaker friend Rochelle Valasek, who fell off a stage once while speaking.

Luckily just her pride was hurt. She reacted with quick wit, jumping back onto the stage, saying, “TA DA!” (Just as an aside, Shelley is one of the most anointed, amazing speakers I’ve ever heard!)

Lysa’s story about her speaking engagement also reminds me of the time I went to an event where everyone on the ministry team was wearing solid, black suits and I showed up in a black and white, checkered dress. Talk about standing out!

When these things happen, we feel like quickly disappearing. We feel insecure.

We feel out of control. And control is so important to us, isn’t it? At least it is for me.

Then we try to wrestle for control in the situation ~ like spraying your hair big to hide the white shoes.

Or we try to hide.

Instead, we need to let go and trust God.

As a child, I had no control over what was happening to me when I was being sexually and physically abused. I’m thankful that although I had no control, God was still in control. He spared my life physically and kept my sanity intact.

Then He did what only God could do ~ He healed and restored me. He turned this situation around 180 degrees for His glory.

Like Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused of wrong-doing, put into prison, and then raised up by Pharoah to be second in command in Egypt, God is creating a masterpiece out of my messes.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” – Genesis 50:20, NIV

God has used my story of abuse to minister to many women who have been through the same painful things in their lives. He truly has given me beauty for ashes. (Isaiah 61:3)

Sometimes when we feel totally out of control, God is right there in the thick of it, about to show off Jesus in and through imperfect, stand-out, falling-down you.

***

Don’t miss the webcast with Lysa and Women of Faith speakers June 25, 2013, at 8 p.m. Central Time/ 9 p.m. Eastern Time, when they share a message on how to overcome feelings of rejection, insecurity, and fear to embrace a deeper understanding of our significance in Christ. You can sign up for this free webcast by clicking here.

*This is an affiliate link. I only recommend products or services I’ve personally used or highly recommend.

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Blog, Faith, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, Travel

SOS: Starting Out Speaking Tips For Beginner Speakers

Beth Jones, speaking at Women of Destiny Conference, Bahamas

Beth Jones, speaking at Women of Destiny Conference, Bahamas

Have you always dreamed of speaking on stage, but the dream has never become a reality? Do you want to start speaking publicly, but don’t know how to get started? In my last post, I wrote about when I first started speaking. It wasn’t my idea; I was real shy and terrified to speak in front of even a few people! But God had other plans. 🙂

I’m so glad He did because now I LOVE speaking! It energizes me and makes me happy. My desire is to glorify Jesus and share about God’s love and the great plans He has for women everywhere, to use their gifts for Him and doing what they love.

Recently in a Facebook forum, a fellow peer thanked me for sharing encouragement with other beginner speakers. I’d like to share some here as well.

SOS: Starting Out Speaking Tips for Beginner Speakers

1. Speak whenever and wherever you can. The way you get speaking gigs is to speak, or as Speaker/Author/Success Coach Cheryl Pullins says, “Let them experience you.” Speak at churches, Bible studies, Rotary Clubs, MOPS meetings, workshops, and whatever door opens for you. Tell everyone you know that God put this desire in your heart and that you are now available for speaking and scheduling events. Email family and friends to let them know. Share about your availability at church, your kids’ schools or homeschool co-op, with neighbors, your husband’s co-workers, your best friend, and your in-laws.

Remember if you don’t take yourself seriously, they won’t either. It doesn’t matter if anyone thinks you aren’t “qualified” to speak. God is the one who has called, qualified, and anointed you! The good fruit from your life will be evidence to them after awhile. People can’t ignore the fact that doors are beginning to open for you from God!

2. Pray (being very specific) for speaking gigs. Jesus told His disciples, “You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” (Matthew 21:22, NLT) How can you receive if you aren’t even asking?

Be specific in prayer and ask God for whatever number of speaking opportunities you desire per month or year. If this is really your gift and what God wants for you to do, you’ll get speaking opportunities as you walk in obedience to Him. Every speaking engagement I’ve ever received, they have come to me to ask me to speak! “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.”– Proverbs 18:16

3.  Speak for free. Initially you may have to speak for free. Yes, nada. I know, it burns, it burns! That is what I did, and what so many speakers do. Get your pride out of the way and first get some experience and credibility! You aren’t going to be paid the big bucks when you’ve only spoken a couple of times!

In fact, if your motive for speaking is the money, you might reconsider another career or ministry!  Yes, you can have a successful, profitable speaking business. But it takes TIME. And if money is your motive, it’s probably not going to work.

YES, I am a fiercely passionate advocate of Christian Speakers being paid. It makes me bristle when I hear people say that you shouldn’t “charge for your ministry.” Really? So every pastor in America needs to get another full-time job so they can earn a paycheck! Christian Speakers are one of the only professions/ministries I know of, who hear this objection to their pay. This is not just my ministry; it is my home business, my “career,” the way I am helping to bring in income to our family (you know, like the Proverbs 31 woman who bought a vineyard with her earnings!).

If you know a lawyer, doctor, CPA, nurse, preschool teacher or any other number of fields, you wouldn’t expect him or her to go to work and not get paid, would you? Then why is it any different for Christian speakers? This has always made me curious! I believe with all my heart what the Bible says, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (1 Timothy 5:18)

But when you’re first starting out, you may have to gain experience first before you can start charging. And sometimes, even after you’ve been doing this awhile, there may be situations where you still speak for free or for less than your normal fee, such as an honorarium or love offering.

After you’ve gained credibility and much experience, you have to make a decision about whether you are still willing to speak for free (or less than your fee, an honorarium, or a love offering). As my friend Diane says, “You can’t pick my brain for free because my brain is expensive! I’ve invested a lot of money into this brain, learning new things!” Sometimes the benefits you gain from the opportunity are better than money, such as the opportunity to travel somewhere new, the new audieence you may be reaching (which may mean even MORE speaking opportunities for you in the future), or greater exposure for your business.

4. Ask for testimonials right away after you speak from the church’s women’s ministry leader or the event planner.  That way you are freshly in her mind, and she will remember how well it went. Testimonials help to establish you as a reputable speaker. Canadian Speaker/Author Sheila Wray Gregoire has excellent advice for speakers on her blog, Becoming a Christian Women’s Speaker.

5. Be easy to work with for event planners. Please, please, don’t be a difficult, high-maintenance speaker. If you want to have a successful Speaking Business, you must be professional! Don’t whine about how few attendees are in the audience, the lousy mic or sound equipment, or the food the meeting planner serves you that you just can’t stomach.

Arrive in plenty of time for your speaking presentation, so the event planner isn’t biting her nails, wondering if she’ll have a no-show for her important event. Communicate when needed with the event planner after being hired so she won’t worry (without your boundaries being violated, which is another post!).

Have your bio printed out for her when you arrive, in case she forgot hers. I learned from Speaker Felicia Slattery several years ago that you do not want to start your speech with saying your name, talking about the weather or the building, or any other inane comment or you are going to instantly LOSE your audience. Those first few seconds are crucial to your audience tuning into you. Start and end your presentation with power!

Turn OFF your cell phone at the meeting and have your notes, visual aids or power point, Kleenex, and cold bottled water ready when she introduces you. You don’t want to be totally disorganized, sweating, and fumbling around with your index cards or papers, shouting, “Just a minute! I’ll be up there in a sec! I know I put that quote somewhere!”

Don’t be unreasonable and demanding of event planners, asking her to make 100 copies of your revised handout five minutes before you speak or to asking her to display 75 copies of your book on the back table just minutes before the meeting time so you can make more money there with back-table sales.  Be pleasant and polite to her and the attendees. Remember that interacting with your audience is key to success!

6. Dress for success. Please don’t show up in a short skirt or shorts and flip flops, or something more suitable for night clubbing with your cleavage generously spilling out. You also want to make sure that you don’t wear dated clothing or this can cause the audience to not be able to relate to you, and they won’t take you or your message seriously. Most importantly, be beautiful on the inside, preparing your heart with prayer!

A good rule of thumb for speakers is to dress one notch above the audience. A man wearing a black tux to a men’s retreat? A little much. A chic dress and wedge sandals at  a women’s retreat when the attendees are in jeans or pantsuits? That’s great. Some women are much more comfortable in pants when speaking.

On stage, it’s a good idea to wear more makeup than you usually do because your features tend to “disappear” from a distance. Someone on the back row can’t see your sheer pink lip gloss from where she’s sitting. You’ll look like you have no lips or very thin ones. Learn some tips from a makeup artist, such as outlining your eyes with darker eyeliner or outlining your lips before putting on lipstick or lipgloss. Make sure that at least your eyes and your mouth stand out with some pretty color.

A great tip I learned at Upper Class professional speakers’ training was to make sure my hair didn’t fall into my eyes or face as I looked down at my notes and spoke. Your audience will become distracted if they are thinking, “I really wish she’d get her bangs out of her eyes!” or you are hiding under a lion’s mane of permed hair. Be sure to have good hygiene (shower, bath, brushed teeth with fresh breath, clean hair) and a good hair style and cut.

7. Talk to the attendees before and after your presentation. A mistake I made last year happened when I had to rush off after a speaking event because I was flying out of town the next day. In retrospect, I should’ve stayed for the lunch they had prepared for the meeting and connected heart to heart with the women and the men there, talking to them. I had so much on my mind about my trip that I neglected to be fully present in the moment.

Actually, I love being able to pray with women after I speak to pray for their needs and to give them words of encouragement. This is often when the greatest ministry occurs.

If you seem unfriendly or unapproachable in some way, it could damage your credibility and reputation as a professional paid speaker. Smile, take pics with attendees, ask questions, pray with them, and listen intently to what they have to say. Don’t just try to sell yourself as a speaker or sell your books, but build relationships. You aren’t there just “to be in the limelight.”  You are there to serve God and them. Walk humble. You are there for God’s purpose on a Divine Mission. Make new friends!

These are just a few tips I have for you if you are starting out speaking. I’ll continue with more SOS tips in the week ahead. I’d love to hear your questions or for you to share about your own speaking experiences, both good and bad! Leave your comments below.

  Are you an event planner? Learn more about my Speaking by clicking here.

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