We are a group of writers who belong to CAN, the Christian Authors Network, who are passionate about writing. As published authors, we long to share our victories and struggles with regards to marketing and promotion. No one really ever told us about this part of the business of writing, so, like you, we are learners. Won't you learn alongside us?
Golden Keyes Parsons here, with a red face! Evidently when I "published" my column last month, I neglected to hit the right button to Save it -- and it never published! I apologize profusely for that. So I am starting over on this subject of Speaker Do's & Don'ts. ...
GOLDEN KEYES PARSONS here again. By the time you read this, I will be on the beach in South Padre Island taking a much-needed vacation with my husband. Although I grew up in Texas, I've never vacationed on Padre Island and am looking forward to it very much.
But for now, let's talk about how you develop a talk when, as a writer, you are asked to speak for a book club, a women's group or even a retreat or conference. We looked at the Introduction in last month's column, today we'll learn how to outline your speech.
Greetings from Golden Keyes Parsons here again, from 100 plus degree Central Texas, addressing the topic of writers who speak.It may be scorching outside, but we are going to be cool, calm and collected when invited to speak at a conference, right? You've attended a seminar somewhere that has given you some speaker's training; you've a few topics from which to choose--now you need to develop your speech. Where to start?
Greetings from Golden Keyes Parsons writing today on how to select a topic when asked to speak to a group. I had been speaking professionally for several years before I became a published author. Believe me when I say that choosing a topic as a published author. . .
Hi! I'm Grace Fox, author of Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day: Devotions for Busy Women. As a devotional writer and inspirational speaker, I help
audiences learn how to relate God’s word to real life. I often include a
personal anecdote to show them how I’ve learned to apply a spiritual principle.
The most recent example wraps itself around James 1:2-4.
“Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way,
let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance
has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully
developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything” (NLT).
This year started with a bang—in my left Achilles tendon.
Partially rupturing it landed me in a knee-high cast for three months with no
weight-bearing allowed. Nine days after that injury took place, my opposite
knee gave out and required surgery. Three months in a wheelchair ensued. Living
in a three-storey townhouse further complicated matters.
Life without the use of my legs became my faith test, and I
had to choose my response. Would I grumble through the pain, insomnia,
isolation, and inconvenience? Or would I apply God’s word and consider my
situation an opportunity for joy?
I chose the latter while hoisting myself backwards up the
stairs to my bedroom. It was the first night in my cast. I was exhausted and a
tad traumatized by the injury and subsequent hours in the ER, but I could still
think clearly enough to know that my immediate response was vital to my
effectiveness as a disciple of Jesus and communicator of God’s word.
Choosing to embrace my circumstances as an opportunity for
joy kept me from falling into self-pity. It also opened my eyes to see God’s
faithfulness evidenced through friends’ kind acts, and to witness His power as
He strengthened me to write and meet three book deadlines only six weeks after
the initial Achilles injury. It didn’t leave me feeling happy, happy, happy as
some Sunday school choruses imply believers ought to feel, but it rendered me
surrendered to God’s sovereignty and eager to learn whatever lessons He wanted
My physical healing continues. As it does, I find
encouragement in knowing that God wastes nothing. Learning to apply His truth
to my life in this situation serves to make me more effective in leading my
audience to discover how to apply truth, too.
Playing a role in others’ spiritual growth through writing
and speaking is my passion. If the decision was left to me, I wouldn’t have
chosen this particular process to provide fresh fodder. But the outcome, I
trust, will be worth every minute.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not
commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be
discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
FACT—According to The Book of Lists, the
fear of public speaking ranks number one in the minds of the majority of
people. Far above the fear of death and disease, comes the fear of standing in
front of a crowd.
Golden Keyes Parsons here writing an article on speaking to an audience of writers who speak--or is it speakers who write? Hmm, sound confusing? It need not be. I'll be posting a blog on speaking here once a month. We'll walk through the steps and hopefully gain some insight to becoming a dynamic speaker and promoter of your books.
In my early speaking years I didn’t use a contract. I assumed that it was unnecessary.
I was wrong.
Learning the hard way often hones your skills. Most of my events are conducted in a church. Therefore, the majority of my tips are geared toward that audience.
Here is what I suggest to include when creating a contract between a speaker and a host.
At the Top Host Details
Your name, title, web address and contact information
The host name, address, web site and phone number
Event address if different from host
The host’s contact person or event coordinator/ chairman, phone numbers, and e-mail.
Name and phone of transportation person if different.
Date and time of each presentation
Number and length of presentations
Title of speaking topic (s)
Speaking fee to be paid for these presentations-If an honorarium I state “Laura agrees to waive her normal speaking fee in lieu of an honorarium.”
That air travel, lodging, airport shuttle and meals are in addition to the speaking fee
Logistical Details-I list exactly what we have agreed upon for me this includes:
A microphone and sound technician (I can’t tell you the number of times I have arrived and there is no mic, or there is a mic but no one knows how to turn on the sound system)
Each participant will receive a handout (I send a master before the event and host is required to duplicate)
2- 6 ft book tables located in a high traffic spot near my event.
A volunteer to work the table who is able to arrive at least 30 minutes before the event.
All sales and receipts belong to the speaker (some events /churches expect you to give them a percentage)
My messages may NOT be duplicated or sold. (Selling my messages is how I make my living therefore I do not allow other duplications unless previously agreed upon.)
Deposit : I book my own flights. Therefore, I request a non-refundable deposit that will cover the flight amount should the host cancel.
Cancellation Policy: If host cancels event less than 60 days out I request a $500 payment. This doesn’t leave time for me to book another event, therefore they are paying for taking that date off my calendar and keeping me from earning income.
If they cancel less than 30 days out they pay the entire speaking amount plus any costs that have been incurred (such as shipping product).
I added all of this after a very large church I had spoken at 3 times invited me back to speak for 5 days, each day to a different large group. (Singles, women, divorce prevention, divorce recovery). 4 days before I was to fly there one pastor called and cancelled—all of it.
I had purchased and shipped a LARGE quantity of product, which cost me a great deal of money. That huge financial loss taught me that I had to protect myself. I send out a special thanks to author and speaker, Mary Southerland, for her encouragement and advice during that season. I almost stepped off the speaking platform, and she sent the comfort and insight I needed.
I include the phrase “This agreement transfers to new leadership and must be signed by a staff person, not a volunteer.” (Churches often change staff and you want to make sure the commitment is honored even under new leadership.) I once had a volunteer sign, then the church would not agree to pay. She did not have the authority to hire a speaker.
Signature of Staff Person/ date-signed and printed.
I include the date the deposit must be paid, that the balance is due the day I speak, and my fax number and address so they can send original with the deposit check.
I pray this has helped others to create or fine tune their own contract. It brings peace of mind, limited surprises and it allows everyone involved to clearly understand the commitment. www.LauraPetherbridge.com
"Room service," a voice said.
I hurried to let her in. “Only need fresh towels,” I said. “I’ll be fine.”
She brought them in and I smiled at her. “Thank you. What’s your name?”
We chatted about mundane stuff. But when I told her why I had visited her city, she was open to hear about my ministry.
I reached for my suitcase. “Got something for you,” I said.
I put a CD in her hands.
“This is for me?” she asked, her voice gasping a bit.
“Sure it is,” I said. “Hope you like it and it inspires you.”
Two days passed, and I had delivered a message to 500 women on three different occasions during the weekend.
On the last day, as I entered my room, a voice got closer. “This is Rachel.”
“I want to tell you that I heard your CD. It was so wonderful. And I gave it to my friend who really needed to be encouraged. She loved it too. Thank you.”
Her words filled with emotion made my heart leap with gratitude.
I had traveled to address an audience, but he Lord had me minister to her.
What a sweet thing. Every opportunity, every moment, every person we meet on the way is planted by the Lord.
I had developed a sort of crazy habit. Before I leave hotel rooms, I steal the already used soap, place it in a plastic bag and bring it home. I place it on my soap dish in my bathroom. Each time I use it, I say a prayer for the person I met that touched my heart.
This time it’s Rachel, the housekeeping lady who helped me clean my perception. She changed my view of why the Lord sends us speakers to faraway places. It’s not always for the crowd but for the person who knocks at our heart unexpectedly, deliberately and so timely.
Heavenly Father, keep me humble, keep me open to the people you put before me. Keep me mindful of your lead and your prompting to reach those that brush our lives even for a moment.
Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.