Think about that question deeply for a moment. Why do you get up in front of a bunch of women and speak?
Perhaps some answers might be:
- I have a story I want to tell.
- I want to tell them about Jesus.
- I want to share what God has done.
- I want to bless others.
These are all good answers. But I don’t think they are enough. We need to go deeper.
The reason we speak, I believe, is to move people to a place where they are open to hearing from God. In other words, we speak to encourage change in people’s lives. Only God can effect that change, but we speak for the purpose of God working through us so that people are willing to let Him change them. Change is our focus.
If you are simply speaking to “share your story”, then you’re speaking to transmit information. Transmitting information is great, but just because someone knows something does not mean they are going to do something about it. You need to speak not just so that you share your story; but instead so that through sharing it, others are touched and want to go deeper with God.
We touched on this in the last post: you can’t sell the solution until you’ve sold the problem. One of the first jobs of a speaker, then, is to help people laugh at themselves and realize that they do indeed have a problem. Then you tell them the solution.
And then you play Nathan. Do you remember the prophet Nathan? He told King David this long involved story of a rich king who took a poor farmer’s only ewe lamb, his special lamb that this farmer loved, and killed it because he didn’t want to eat any of his own many thousands of sheep. And David was so incensed he ordered the rich man killed. But then Nathan turned, and looked at David the adulterer and murderer, and said, “You are that man!”
In our talks, too, we need to take the same approach. You’ve told people they have a problem. Now it’s time to tell people they ARE the problem.
For instance, in my talk about how we women are control freaks, trying to control every little thing in our lives, I get us to laugh at ourselves and admit that we do try to control things because that’s what our culture tells us to do. Then I show them how this is the wrong approach. And then I get to the conviction part of the talk:
I tell them, this controlling behaviour is making you miserable, and it will continue to make you miserable until you take it to God. It’s no one’s problem but your own. You are hurting yourself.
In the beginning you told people they had a problem, but you didn’t personalize it. Now it’s time to personalize it, and show people that they are the ones that are feeding this problem. It’s not the media’s fault, or your husband’s fault, or your family’s fault, or even God’s fault. You are doing it. And you need to stop.
You don’t have to do this in a super-serious way. I use a great illustration from Finding Nemo for one of my conviction moments in one of my talks. But it drives the point home: you are only making yourself miserable. You are only hurting yourself.
In your talks, do you make sure that people own the problem? Do they believe they have a problem, and then do you take them to point where they see they ARE the problem? If they don’t, it’s much harder for women to feel as if they need your solution. I don’t mean that we should do a major guilt trip; but it is a rare person indeed who decides to change without first realizing that what they are doing now is not working.
Before you speak next time, take a look at your talk, and ask yourself: am I spending time helping people laugh at themselves about the silly things we worry about or the silly things we do? Am I spending time showing people how hurtful this ultimately is? Or am I simply offering them a solution without ever showing them it’s a problem?
Make sure you’re being honest and creative about talking about the problem before you offer the solution, and I think you’ll find that more people will be moved to an honest, deep prayer time with God afterwards!
If you need help crafting a talk that takes towards that journey of change, check out my teleseminar, Crafting a Life Changing Signature Talk.