Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday--The Writers' Porch

Speaking Platform

Last Friday I received a question about building your speaking platform. “How do you get your foot (or even your little toe) in the door?”

My recommendation is to start small. Begin with your local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group or any other type of mom’s groups. Contact local churches to find out if they have a group. If yes, call the group leader and offer to speak for their group. They are usually in need of speakers and looking for a variety of topics. They may not have the budget to pay for a speaker, but the experience and exposure is invaluable.

Another way to begin is volunteer to speak at your home church. (It will be the hardest audience you will ever face.) Offer to teach a Bible study. Lead a small group. Teach Sunday school. Every bit of experience in front of an audience will help you to hone your skills. I started with leading a home Bible study and gradually my speaking skills led to a speaking ministry with Proverbs 31.

Record yourself and then listen to it. (This is not fun!) But as you listen to yourself you will hear the “um's”, the “really's” and all the other little mistakes we don’t recognize until we hear ourselves speak. Unless you are very thick-skinned, I do not recommend a spouse critique. I think we are too close to our husbands for them to advise fairly. Plus our feelings get hurt. My husband once said, “You sound like you are on drugs.” Thanks, honey. (BIG SMILE).

In the beginning, prepare one or two messages and concentrate on content and delivery. Then pray for the Lord to open the doors for you to get your little toe in the door.

5 comments:

Kelly said...

Susanne,
Thanks for your tip. I agree that your home community is the hardest to speak in front of. I have a friend in another state who invited me for June for a women's group. Yes, a little toe in the door...
Kelly J Eveleth

Marybeth said...

When you wrote that comment about being on drugs in your submission for The Reason We Speak, you never mentioned that it was your HUSBAND who said it!! I am surprised he survived!!

Josey Bozzo said...

Susanne,
Thank you so much for the Writer's Porch section of your blog. Last Friday (May 1), you posed the question "Do you feel you have to write?" My answer to that question is YES! I feel I have to write. But what I'm having trouble with is getting the words out. I just can't seem to get stuff out of my head in some sort of cohearant way.
HELP! Any advice?

Susanne Scheppmann said...

Hello from Minneapolis! I arrived here on Tuesday.

In answer to have to get those thoughts from your head to paper. :)

1. Plant yourself in a chair and force yourself to write something on paper. (Not your to-do list.)

2. Look for a good Writer's Block technique book. These help to get your creative flow going.

3. Going to a mall, a coffee shop and write about what you experience. The smells, the conversations, what people are wearing. Always use the five sense when you write--sight, smell, touch, sound and taste.

Try to write using the five sense and you will be surprised by how the words flow.

Susanne Scheppmann said...

Mercy!
Forgive those spelling and grammar errors in the my previous comment post. It's midnight and I am grieving the loss of Danny Gokey on American Idol. :)