Increase your speaker booking potential by envisioning your speaking ministry as a spinning top:
God is the pivotal center point at the bottom. The Holy Spirit is the power-plunger at the top. Jesus Christ is the core.
Your ministry is made of you (blue center) and your unique gifting:
Green: Your who’s.
Red: Your which’s.
Yellow: Your why’s.
Orange: Your what’s.
White: Your where’s.
As you understand and yield each of these segments to God, your top will spin without exhausting you or your God-given resources.
If you have been struggling to get yourself to do the actual work of getting speaker bookings, or, if you’ve been doing everything you know to do yet no bookings have come through yet, it’s time to step back and analyze each part of your speaker’s spinning top from God’s perspective.
We are here to help! Consider taking Speaker Training or joining an upcoming Speaker Booking Boot Camp and if you haven't already added your listing to the speakers directory, be sure to do that now at www.WomenSpeakers.com.
Marnie Swedberg is the webhost of WomenSpeakers.com, the author of 12 books and the online mentor to over 13,000 leaders from 30 countries. Meet her atwww.Marnie.com.
1. “Stick together!” say Stan & Doris Stenson, of Rapid City, IA, who have been married for over 50
years. Through 12 moves and major ups and downs, this couple is still smiling, side-by-side.
2. “Don’t expect your spouse to make you happy,” is Doris’ advice to young wives. She warns that
pressuring your partner to meet all your needs is not going to work. Bob & Doris Knecht, of Rapid
City, IA, have been married for 64 years.
3. “It’s OK to disagree; learn to bend!” Herbert & Zelmyra Fisher, of Craven County, North
Carolina not only know how to stay married, they also know how to keep having fun and to change
with the times. Now both over 100 years old, they started a Twitter page together to celebrate their
4. “Put God first in your life,” advise Glenn and Ruth Shinn, of Toledo, Ohio. They have been
married over 70 years and are still involved in a Bible study.
5. “Respect your partner, exactly as they are.” Giuseppe and Giuseppina Pignataro of Sydney,
Australia, have been married for 50 years.
6. “Never go to bed mad.” Married 77 years, Ray and Irma Ziff, of Thousand Oaks, California, have
lived by this Biblical advice.
7. “Walk together and share what your reading with each other.” Bob and Cindy Venables of
Stanmore Bay, New Zealand, are avid readers who have been walking and talking for 51 years.
8. “Travel together for work, fun and ministry.” Herschel and Joan Jones, of Ocean Springs,
Mississippi, have been taking trips as a team for over 50 years.
9. “Allow each other to have unique interests and always support one another.” Brian & Allison
Davey (Mayor Alison Davey) of Cessnock, New South Wales, have been shining bright as individuals
and a couple for over 50 years.
10. “Through the ups and downs of life, just get on with it!” Too many spouses want to make a
fuss about the hard times, but Dorie and Harold Coupland have set a record as the longest married
couple in Britain at 78 years, by always “getting on with it!” They make their home in Middlesbrough,
11. “Work hard and spend wisely.” Italo & Maddalena Maratta, of Highland Park, New Jersey,
where they own a business. They have been married for over 50 years.
12. “Never even consider divorce.” Frank and Jan Mossfield, of New South Wales,
There is a popular belief that Christians only experience stress if they are sinning or somehow outside of the will of God. Mary Fairchild, the Christian Guide at About.com, writes:
"Stress and anxiety for a Christian can take on many different shapes and forms, yet in general, for most Christians, stress boils down to one idea - lack of trust in God."
While it is true that lack of faith in God results in unnecessary stress, it is also true that Christians are required at times to walk-in-faith through stress.
Even Jesus Christ experienced stress. In fact, His state of psychological stress was so severe that it has since been written about in medical journals: Hematohidrosis is a condition in which the blood vessels around sweat glands dilate to the point of rupture, whereupon the blood flows into the sweat glands - coming out as droplets of blood mixed with sweat.
This is a physical phenomena not frequently experienced, even in the most stressful circumstances. Yet, Jesus found Himself sweating blood on the evening before His crucifixion.
During this period of time, Jesus demonstrated for every Christian how God equips a saint to think about, walk through, and succeed when under necessary STRESS:
S - Scared to death of the
T - Time just ahead, yet
R - Resolving to
E - Exude grace while being willing to
S - Sacrifice our very life, if need be, to
S - Succeed in God's goals for us.
Jesus was literally "overwhelmed with sorrow", "full of anguish" and "falling face down" in prayer.
Next time you find yourself psychologically struggling, do what Jesus did:
P - Present your fears to God as honestly as you can
R - Relinquish yourself into His hands
A - Agree that He is Sovereign and ask for as much mercy as is possible given His goals
Y - Yield yourself fully to His choices for your future.
Marnie Swedberg is a leadership mentor to thousands of women, speakers and women's ministry leaders from six continents. Learn more about her life, ministry and published resources here: http://www.marnie.com
Your group has a unique personality - as does every speaker. In fact, each event has a personality of its own. Before you begin your search for a speaker, you will want to clarify these details:
* What is the purpose of this event?
- Just for fun? You'll need an enthusiastic speaker with a sense of humor.
- Spiritual renewal weekend? You'll need theologically sound teaching balanced with personal stories, humor, and a listening pray-er.
- Ladies Night Out? Find a speaker who can match an encouraging Scriptural challenge to the interesting hobby/craft everyone will learn that night. Or, invite a speaker who can do both: teach a useful skill and provide spiritual wealth.
* What part of the program will be given to the speaker?
- One 20 minute section?
- Several 60 minutes sections?
* How much money can you afford to pay a speaker?
- Do you have a handsome budget?
- Could you charge for tickets with $1-3/ticket going to the speaker?
- Do you have generous givers who would respond to a love offering?
* How much of the program's success rests on the speaker?
- Does she need to be well known? Will people come if they don't recognize her name? Note: Well-known speakers are pricey and must be booked 1-3 years in advance.
- Could you select a seasoned speaker that is less well-known and be fine?
- If you invite a less-experienced speaker, but one that has a heart to speak and a story to share, could other aspects of the program make up for the lack of name recognition?
* Does her style and statement of faith match your group?
According to Answers.com, there are 57 different types of Baptist denominations alone-and that's just in the United States! When you consider all the other unique denominations, you begin to grasp the delicacy required in both finding the right speaker and being the right speaker. The key factors are:
1. Her statement of faith should match yours.
2. Her motivational gifts should match your needs.
3. It should be her practice to avoid triggering denominational hot buttons.
Once you nail down your needs and review your requirements, the next step is to actually find a speaker.
The #1 way to find a speaker is by word-of-mouth. However, when that pool runs dry, there are several speaker's directories for your convenience, the largest being the Christian Womens Speakers Directory online. As the webhostess of this amazing ministry, I work with hundreds of Christian Women Speakers who are available and eager to speak at women's events.
The Christian Women's Speakers Directory includes contact information for hundreds of Christian Women Speakers from every state, denomination and experience level. Most of these women are available for Weekend Retreats, Mother-Daughter Events, for MOPS, Aglow or Stonecroft meetings, and many are even available to small churches with very small speaker's budgets.
At the Christian Women's Speakers Directory, you will find a speaker, in your fee range, for your next event! You can search using a U.S. map, a site-specific search engine for topic words, denominations, and more, or by browsing the Gallery of Speakers featuring over 200 qualified speakers.
A speaker can literally make or break your event. It is imperative that you 1) know what you want and need, 2) find a speaker who fits that description and then, 3) communicate often so there are no surprises at the last minute.
How does one decide how to spend her days?
Should she do the laundry, or sit with her kids and play?
Do the beds need making?
Should the dusting wait?
Maybe I should call a friend in trauma
Or bake a shut-in a cake.
I should reaching out to neighbors,
Massage my husband’s neck
I’ve gotta drive kids to the soccer game –
should I stay for the game or head back?
So much to be done, so many demands,
How can I know what to do?
How can I see the needs up to me
The things God wants me to do?
Oh, I want the approval of others
Are my decisions based on that need?
I hear them say, She’s too busy for me.
I scream, No! I try so hard to be there for you.
I hear them cry, Never time to play with me
And I say, what about … and name the times.
My heart aches for approval
For the acceptance of man
My man in particular and my kids for sure
But then there are others –
My boss, the pastor and
the women at church.
Oh God, find me a place, God.
Carve me a corner
Somewhere I know I’ll feel
Accepted by You.
Oh, that’s so funny –
I already am!
100% accepted by You.
Oh, see, that’s funny –
All of this running
All of this striving
When I’ve got peace in You.
Oh, not so funny –
I keep thinking of this
I’m trying to please the wrong person
I have JUST ONE Maker
ONE Lord –
Oh God, what do YOU want me to do?
by Marnie Swedberg
Do you feel that you are too busy to join the world of Social Networking?
I have found Social Networking (SN) to be the easiest, fastest and most effective way to connect with my group and this article clearly explains how I manage thousands of friend/follower connections in less than fifteen minutes a day. By following this simple system, you will endear yourself to your entire group while increasing their desire to support you.
It may not work out like this for you, but less than two months after launching my SN profiles in late 2008, the results exceeded those achieved by running thousands of dollars in Google AdWords. I currently run no ads at all and enjoy an increased number of website hits and sales.
What is Social Networking (SN)?
Social Networking refers to the process of socializing via any of the online communities including some you've probably heard of already like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
These Social Networking (SN) sites all have their own perks and quirks, but if used wisely, they can provide an effective and enjoyable way to interact with people who you may never be able to reach in any other way.
Benefits of Social Networking
There are so many great things about Social Networking, not to mention the free advertising it provides! My personal favorite is reconnecting with people I thought I would never see again. I have literally cried as former teachers and school friends have shown up on my page!
SN also makes it easy to stay in touch with my large group of customers, employees, friends and family members. All this can be done in a matter of a few minutes per communiqué. You may find yourself delighted to get in on some of the daily "tidbits" that you would otherwise miss -- and to see recent photos from long-distance loved ones. SN is ideal for personal and business interaction.
Social Networking for People with Large Groups
The average person engaging in Social Networking has one or two networking sites with about 100 connections at each. Leaders would never have time to do SN in the way those users can.
It is likely that you will have hundreds or even thousands of follower/friends within a matter of weeks or months. You must think ahead and use a system that will work for you instead of bury you alive.
The key to your SN success lies in micro-blogging, the feature which allows you only 140 characters to answer the question: "What are you doing right now?"
Using this option will enable you to communicate frequently with your group with practically zero time investment. Ideally, you will want to post one to four times of these mini-messages each day you are on your computer. Note: It is imperative that you utilize the shortcuts outlined below.
Cautions of Social Networking
Spending too much time is the most obvious SN trap, but there is no need to do so, as I'll explain in a bit.
From my perspective, the biggest challenge is communicating effectively in 140 characters. Here is a simple example: Several weeks ago I awoke to an extremely busy day with a mid-afternoon writing deadline. I was so pressed for time that I began working the moment I got out of bed in the morning and I never took a break to shower, get on my regular clothes or even eat. Upon meeting the deadline, I breathed a sigh of relief, posted a note about finally getting to take a shower and get out of my pj's for the first time all day, and I logged off for the day.
To my amusement, the next time I viewed my profile, I found that everyone who had replied to my post had jumped to the conclusion that I had spent the entire day lounging around. It was hilarious to contemplate the huge difference between their glamorous rendition and my taxing reality. Things are not always as they appear and it is easy to be completely misunderstood.
Success Secrets for Social Networking
1. Be "real and engaging." Use your micro-blogging minutes to post the real answer to the generic question, "What are you doing?" But couple it with the silent qualifier, "...that would be of interest to at least ten people you know personally." Things to post about include the recipe your family is raving about, the movie you just enjoyed watching, a link to a cool blog post or article, your emotions as you watched the sun rise, what you just did for exercise, your gratitude toward a certain charity, and so on.
2. Don't sell, just tell it like it is. Live your life "out loud" via your SN posts but remember that your group is made up of "real" people. They are honestly attempting to enjoy your company - don't be a bore!
3. Invite interaction. Just yesterday I posted a link from my retail store: "Finished the Americana floral display for June/July-love it! Now I'm reordering candy. My nemesis is Reese's Crispy Crunchy. What's yours?" Within minutes several people had added their own. Since the point of SN is interaction, provide opportunities.
4. Limit your posts to four per day. I personally delete connections with people who dominate my wall with post after post after post. And I always delete those who post only self-serving messages. Remember, this is JUST like a face-to-face conversation with real people. Basically, do your best to balance the need to be the real you while maintaining a decent level of privacy for yourself and your family.
Here's how to get mega mileage out of minimal daily time investment:
1. Set up accounts only at sites where you are needed. There are over 60 sites out there: Register only with those from whom you are receiving personal invitations via email. In other words, follow your group!
2. Set tight parameters. Leaders cannot afford the luxury of "hanging out" at SN sites. Most people enjoy doing all of the following things that would put me right over the edge, therefore, I never: a) join groups, lists or causes, b) take quizzes, c) play games or d) open the countless cute gifts, cards, etc. that I receive everyday. I do, however, post micro-blogs, interact with those in my group, reply to emails, and visit/leave notes on other people's profile pages.
3. Decide who you will befriend. The following set of rules was explained to me before I started using SN and I recommend it to you. Approve only those a) who have posted a profile photo; b) with whom you have at least one friend or connection in common; and c) who have wholesome content on their visible profile page.
4. Maximize your SN minutes. Once you have your memberships established, create a free account with ping.fm. This will allow you to type your message once and have it post to all of your SN membership sites simultaneously.
5. As usual, you are being watched. Use good judgment when deciding what to post: Privacy is a big issue. First, do not divulge information that may hurt you or someone else in any way. Think, "If this is on the news tonight, will I be OK with that?" Also, remember that no site is 100% hack-free. Even the Pentagon web site, which has probably one of the most secure servers in the world, was hacked.
6. Shorten everything. Use abbreviations like "U" for "you" and "4" instead of "for". Plus, reduce the length of any website link you post by using a URL shortening service. I prefer to use cli.gs. Just today it reduced a 57 character link down to 18. The beauty of cli.gs is that it is free, can be searched by Google and provides click-through counts and other analytics.
7. Log on to each account only as often as necessary. I visit Facebook most days, Twitter and LinkedIn every few days and the rest of my SN sites a few times a month.
Marnie's Personal Guidelines for Social Networking
As a public figure with thousands of SN connections at numerous sites, I could spend my entire life on SN, but I don't and you don't have to either. Actually, I find it amusing that people tend to think that I do spend a lot of time doing SN. Honestly, I post one to four messages most days from ping.fm, without ever logging into each individual SN site, and then once a day I log onto my biggest account. Every few days I check in at my next biggest sites and a few times a month I manage the rest.
I routinely spend no more than 15 minutes total on any given day, unless I'm "playing".
I have no rules about "playing" on SN. Whenever I feel like it, usually a few times a month, I log onto my favorite site and just have fun. I think of these times as "entertainment" and enjoy myself completely, usually in the time I would have spent watching a movie or reading a book anyway.
Social Networking (SN) has allowed me to meaningfully connect with my group, save advertising dollars and increase my sphere of influence all while having a ton of fun. I encourage you to give it a try -- and once you create your profile at the SN site of your choice, I would be honored if you would connect with me! My SN links are easily found on my website at http://www.marnie.com.
I was recently interviewed for a national magazine and during the interview they asked me to share stress busting strategies in the following categories. They may or may not post a quote, and if so, only one, so here you go, my personal friend! (I love it that I can share my stuff with you!!)
Rehashing Stressful Situations - Compartmentalization is the key: Schedule times to process your painful past and disallow additional rumination. Anytime it comes to mind outside of its appointment block, lock it back inside its own box.
Worst-Case Scenario (WCS) Thinking - It is critical to write out the WCS in order to free your mind to work toward the best - BCS. As long as one avoids looking directly at the WCS and creating a back-up plan, you invest critical energy, mind share and time as the subconscious processes the unresolved stress.
Procrastination - The key to moving past procrastination is to accurately assess the cost of forward motion vs. the cost of delay. If there is little at risk, relabel procrastination as wisdom. If there is a lot at stake, this exercise will help motivate you to act now.
Being Late - Until you learn the value of a minute, you will never change this behavior. But, if your goal is to go higher or be paid more than you currently earn, you need to change your tardy behavior now because you will never grow past your weakest habit. Think of it this way: The average Fortune 500 CEO earns $14.1 million/year, therefore each of their working-hour minutes is worth over $5000. If you started valuing your minutes like that, you'd never be late again.
Oversharing or Overlurking on Social Media - Set reasonable limits and stick with them: How long you'll be on each day, what you will and will not share publicly, etc. Social Media is the newest addiction and if you don't limit yourself, you risk losing everything you love.
Clutter/Mess in Your Home or Office - You will tolerate the mess until you have a motivator great enough to overcome your natural inertia. Try inviting the mayor or some other important guest to come and visit you. It works because it's clear, has a deadline and includes a high consequence for failure to perform.
Money You've Already Spent - If you can, return the item. If you can't, then sit down with your budget and chop entertainment, grocery money, and other funds every month until you make up the difference. The sooner you take responsibility for the mistake, and identify how you plan to fix it, the sooner you will be out from under the stress of it.
The following list of "all-time favorite videos" is from my Facebook friends. Always read reviews before watching! I love http://screenit.com. (Your first five reviews are free after which it's $8/month.) A movie's inclusion here is not my personal recommendation, but that of one of my FB friends. I haven't even seem them all, so please, please take responsibility for your viewing decisions. These are just some suggestions!
50 First Dates
A Walk to Remember
An American President
Anne of Green Gables
Arsenic & Old Lace
Bed of Roses
Borrowed Hearts (Christmas)
Facing the Giants
It’s a Wonderful Life
Julie & Julia
Knight and Day
Last of the Mohicans
Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Mr. Holland’s Opus
O Brother, Where Are Thou
Pride & Prejudice
Return to Me
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Shall We Dance
Sleepless in Seattle
Sound of Music
Sweet Home Alabama
The Lake House
Under the Tuscan Sun
What Dreams May Come (Robin Williams)
While You Were Sleeping
Why Did You Get Married
Wizard of Oz
You’ve Got Mail
If your all-time favorite movie didn't make the list, add it in the comments section below! Thanks!
Blood rushes to your face, every hair stands on-end, and if you could scream, you would! You are being agitated. Maybe your spouse, child or boss just poured salt on a gaping wound, or possibly an enemy coup just cost you your family, home or health. In its every form, agitation incites an instant reaction.
What you choose to do during the first 60 seconds will radically affect your future.
The goal of all agitation is to change the actions, attitudes or acquiescence of others. It is frequently abused by individuals, organizations and political engines; but in all cases, God wants to use it for good.
Agitation is aggravating: that is its goal. The first 60-seconds of engagement are critical. If you behave like cream, you'll be whipped into butter; if you are as brave as a brick, you might break the spoon, but you will remain hardened and rough.
It is when you choose to view yourself as clay, or gold-ore, that you will invite the Potter's hand and Refiner's fire to purify and release the beauty inside you through otherwise unthinkable circumstances.
The Bible addresses agitation in two ways:
1 - As evil. We are instructed to "turn the other cheek" if struck by an enemy. In the first 60 seconds, we are to neither run nor fight, but to stand still and entrust ourselves to God as He brings about the best in a bad situation.
2 - As good. We are to "stir up one another toward love and good deeds." Again, if agitated, we are to stand still and let God do His work in us.
Viewing and responding to agitation as a tool in the hand of God does not guarantee a pain-free journey, but it does release the fullness of spiritual power into any situation, thereby insuring the best possible outcomes.
Upon recognition of agitation, ACT:
- Identity the sudden, violent, unwanted intrusion.
- Face it for what it is; do not pretend it away.
- Remember Jesus, Who received His abuse without a word.
- Praise God that He alone is big enough to protect you and your future.
- Release to God the safety of everyone involved.
- Confess any known or unknown sins to God.
- Ask Jesus to talk to you about this from His perspective.
- Observe, forgive and love the agitator through the power of Christ.
- Stand still, step aside or swing into action as the Spirit leads.
Use the Christian acronym for WHY:
Willing. Be willing to submit yourself to God's choices for you.
Helpless. Recognize your helplessness to fix, control or tame yourself or others.
Yield. Give yourself over to God.
During the first 60-seconds of any agitation, large or small, hostile or honorable, choose to emerge better and more useful to God than ever before. When agitated, don't react, WHY ACT! Be willing, helpless and yielded; accept it, choose God and take Spirit-led action. Join in the faith of Joseph as he said to his brothers, "What you meant for evil, God intended for good."
Marnie Swedberg is a mentor to mentors, providing encouragement, practical help and God-focus to thousands of leaders from every continent, career path and religious denomination. Find more help, training, connections and perspective via http://www.Marnie.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4478568
Busy women will invest time, money and home-based suicide in order to attend a retreat where they can relax, recharge and build relationships. The types of relationship building activities to include in your retreat should
- generate laughter
- increase guest interaction and
- build relaxation by eliminating the fear of being embarrassed.
HOLD ENJOYABLE CONTESTS WHERE EVERYONE CAN WIN.
A "Tea Tasting Contest," for example, adds no stress and is just plain fun. Hold it during breakfast on the first morning of your retreat: Set up six tables featuring carafes of hot water, disposable Styrofoam cups, plastic spoons, sugar packets and numerous tea bags of one kind per table. Do not identify what kind of tea is being served at each table except by numbering the table itself.
During and after breakfast, invite each guest to make her way around the room sampling the teas and writing down her guesses on a personal sheet of paper with only the numbers 1-6 on it. At that morning's session, let the guests self-score their papers. Have volunteers pass out "free" tea bags to everyone. You could even create your own tea bag packet-jackets featuring the retreat's theme verse.
HOST A GAME SHOW WITH VOLUNTEERS.
True, a few people may get embarrassed, but they would have volunteered for the job instead of being forced to play.
- Tweak the Newlywed Game to make it appropriate for a mother-daughter event.
- Lead a friendly game of Family Feud at a MOPS retreat.
- Host "Name That Praise Song" at a worship planner's renewal weekend.
PLAY A BOXED GAME AS A GROUP.
Balderdash, Cranium, TaBoo and many other games are ideal for large group play with a few simple changes. Remember: Put no individual person on the spot, but rather let the "teams" do it - or, let someone from each team volunteer to be the spokesperson.
HOST A BEAUTY PAGEANT.
Again, recruit volunteers who LOVE the spotlight and are willing to prance around in their cute pajamas or even in something as basic as their winter coats, gloves and hats. Since only the flamboyant volunteer, it will be fun. If you enlist the most quick-witted-woman you can find as the impromptu pageant hostess, and another volunteer to hold up signs toward the audience that say things like, "Clap Now!" or "Gasp!" your pageant is sure to be blast.
There are so many things we can do at retreats that can't be done during regular meetings. Go for it! Your women will thank you.
Marnie Swedberg is the author of Retreats Made Easy: A comprehensive guide providing step-by-step instructions so you can set and accomplish your goals, enjoy the process, and get rave reviews all in less time and with less stress than you would think possible.