I’m taking some time off this summer, and I’ve invited people to send in guest posts about where they are on their speaking journey. Angela Mackey from Rethinking My Thinking shared this with me, and I thought it would really help you, too!
In junior high I had trouble standing up in front of class to give an oral report. In high school I decided to join the debate and speech teams because I had something to say and in tournaments judges have to listen. I never practiced enough and I rarely put in the work necessary to do well. I did mediocre and I moved on.
In college I began to feel the pull to speak. During chapels (I went to a private school), I decided I wanted to be on stage. I wanted to speak to others about God, but I didn’t imagine that would fit with my nursing degree very well.
After I graduated and married, the hunger to speak and teach about God grew. Yet it felt far away. I facilitated a few Bible Studies and ended up helping lead a MOPS group for six years. That is where the speaking bug got me good. I led Bible Studies, book studies, and spoke on a few topics that I felt qualified to speak on. Each time I stood up in front of those women, I felt God’s smile on me.
When it was time to step out of MOPS, I did it with trepidation. Yes I wanted to expand my speaking platform, but I was giving up a guaranteed gig. The growing pains and fear of the unknown shocked me, but I stepped out in obedience to God.
God gave me opportunities where I already was involved. I worked with the fifth and sixth graders at my church. God opened the door for me to speak to this group about once a month during the school year. Doors began to open and shut. God gave me steps to take each day, one after the other. As I obeyed He provided opportunities.
Here are some steps I took:
- I began a newsletter that I mail three times a year to women’s ministry directors at churches in my area.
- I e-mailed MOPS groups in my area and offered myself as a speaker.
- I started a blog that is also my website.
- I started a YouTube channel for video blogs and speaking excerpts.
- I recorded myself while I spoke and edited the video so I have excerpts of talks on the web.
- I asked for people to give me written referrals to include on my website and bio sheet.
- I started a Twitter account. When I tweeted about a speaking excerpt I uploaded to my blog, Sheila asked me to write this blog post.
- On Facebook I started a fan page in which I post prayers based on scripture, offer chances to discuss topics, and provide links to blog posts.
- I pray above all that God is glorified and that others are blessed as I obey Him.
All of these steps have stretched me. I used to feel like I was promoting myself, but now I feel like I am promoting the message God gave me to share. If no one knows it is available then who will hear the message? So I step out as God calls me. Each day doing what He leads me to do.
Have I arrived with a huge speaking platform? No. Am I doing what God wants me to do? Yes.
What are you doing to expand your speaking platform?
Watch this blog for the announcements of the Speaker Summer School that’s coming in August: we’ll talk getting bookings, publishing a book, and perfecting anecdotes!