Have you been asked to speak at a conference, convention, retreat, rally or revival? Especially for the small to medium sized church pastor who may not have the benefit of an Executive team or assistant, here are 5 steps to help you get ready for your next speaking event…
Step 1 – Prayer. Saturate the upcoming opportunity with prayer. Pray personally and with your spouse/family for wisdom and boldness to share in both truth and love. Gather a group of people who will join you in prayer not only as you prepare, but throughout the event itself. Ask your church to be praying as well. This will not only multiply the prayer power going up, but will give all a real sense of partnership with you.
Step 2 – Arrangements. Be sure to cover the details concerning travel, hotel, compensation, etc. Do this prior to your event and share them with your spouse and lead team. You might create a simple document that shares your needs, speaking fees, etc, prior to accepting the invitation. This isn’t about getting the “white glove treatment.” It is about the value of your investment personally, as a family and in the event and people it serves. Even more, the message you share will be of eternal significance. You simply want to be at your best. One more thought here… get adequate rest during the event. Balance well your desire to be accessible with your need to stay refreshed for speaking.
Step 3 – Study. Begin by studying your audience. Know who you will be speaking to and take that into account. While you always want to be yourself, knowing your audience may help you speak in a more relevant way to them, their challenges and goals. Then, prepare or review your messages well in advance. Don’t be afraid to use a message or teaching series you have used before. Besides, the Holy Spirit will almost certainly give you some fresh material in the moment, just to keep you humble and on your toes.
Step 4 – Passion. This isn’t just any event. Whether speaking to a handful of people or to the masses, every audience is full of VIP’s in God’s eyes. Share the message God has laid on your heart with an unapologetic passion. The Apostle Paul reminds us, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11, NIV)
Step 5 – Follow-up and follow-through. Plan in advance to communicate with your host post-event. Take the time to share a verbal or written review of the event and the organization. Your insights may prove vital as fresh eyes see what those on the inside cannot. Pray for and encourage them as their church or organization moves forward and offer your services to them for the future. Communicate the value of their assessment as well. Ask for any constructive criticism they might give you and then ask for an endorsement of your ministry as a speaker and leader. Again, putting this in writing will be helpful. I have attached a simple guide for these things that you can adapt.
Let me know what you might add to help others get ready for their next event. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply reply below. I look forward to hearing from you!