As believers, we're all supposed to tell what God is doing in our lives, to encourage, and to present the gospel. But your question is, is God calling me to step behind a podium?
Perhaps it would help to take this quick 'Should I be a Speaker?' quiz. Ask yourself:
- Do I have a great lesson or story to share?
- Have I been presented with an opportunity to speak?
- Is God nudging me to do so?
That was a pretty short quiz. But notice what I did not ask you...
"Do you get stage fright?"
If God's provided a platform for you, trust God to get you through it. Psalms 56:3 says, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you. "
"Have you ever spoken before?"
Again, I didn't ask this because more than once I've seen a young woman, who's never spoken in front of an audience, step to a microphone and share how God has transformed her life. I've seen her words electrify the room.
Wow! So the question is not whether you have ever spoken before, it's whether God has opened a door for you to speak and tapped you to do so. If you are planning to use the excuse of 'stage fright' to say no, reread the bulleted point above this one.
"Have you perfected the craft of speaking?"
I defer to the young woman speaking before a group for the first time. There she is, palms sweating, knees knocking, grammar missing, AND she's popping 'p's into the microphone, and STILL God's Holy Spirit sweeps the room.
If God has called you to speak, 'perfecting the craft' is something you should always work towards. And, in the coming weeks, I will discuss different aspects of perfecting your message. But, don't let 'lack of craft,' stop you from sharing with your own women's group or other God-given opportunity. So, what if you do make a mistake? I know a professional speaker who once got a laugh because she mispronounced a word. Now she mispronounces the word ON PURPOSE, to get the same laugh. She does this because she knows the audience loves speakers who are real and make mistakes.
It's the same for you. Your audience will admire you just for having the courage to stand before them. If you make a mistake, they will most often find it endearing.
But in closing, if you are a new speaker, do pay attention to your time limits. Do not stand before your event and say, "I've never spoken before, and I was given five minutes to tell my testimony, through I'm not sure what I'm going to say. Therefore, I'll start at the beginning….I was born at an early age."
All I'll say about that for now is prepare your remarks before you open your mouth, even if it means jotting down an outline on a napkin before you stand to speak.
So, from this point on, whether you are standing behind a microphone, or chatting over the back fence, you are on assignment to share your story and to give answers to those who need them.
Linda Evans Shepherd is publisher of Right to the Heart of Women eZine. She is available to speak at your upcoming event. See www.Sheppro.com. Sign up for Right to the Heart of Women here.
© Linda Evans Shepherd 2008. For reprint requests, contact Linda at: www.RefreshingSpeaker.com.