When you’re planning a Christian women’s event, finding the right speaker can be extremely tricky. Of course it is, her role is extraordinarily important and a lot rides on her success. In this person lies the power to single-handedly make or break your event. You know I’m right! An unskilled speaker can strike a monotonous lull or a nervous energy that can very well undo all your hard work and make your event a flop. You cannot predict everything, but you can maybe do some due diligence before your event to make sure it’s positioned for success. The first one is reading my questions to ask Christian speaker before your women’s event.
Have you ever attended a wonderful Christian women’s conference, retreat or special event that flowed incredibly well during the first half? The music was exhilarating, the fellowship was magical, the door prizes were awesome and then came the speaker – dull, boring, boring and dull! No, you want a speaker that can keep the momentum going throughout the event. I’m not just talking a “bubbly” personality or a high-energy delivery. No, I’m talking about something a little more substantive.
A good speaker is anointed to be doing what she is doing. She is God-touched and God-selected. Now, I have no checklist for anointing – who could measure God’s presence on someone?. However, I have created a checklist of questions and best practices to consider when selecting a candidate for your women’s retreat or Christian women’s conference. We’ll get to that in a moment.
First, let me remind you to meet with your pastor or leadership figure before planning. Get a clear vision of how he defines a successful event. Is he more interested in lots of people attending, commitments to Christ, sowing seeds in the hearts or even good press for the church? It’s nothing wrong with news coverage for your church event; that’s how families and the community may learn about you!
Once you’ve identified probable candidates, meet them personally, if possible. If not, arrange a telephone conversation ponder the following questions to ask Christian speaker for a women’s event:
Question 1 to ask a Christian speaker:
“How much is your stipend?”
Lots of speakers will accept a “love gift” in lieu of outright payment. A love gift is whatever God lays on your heart to give them. Don’t be shady, though, and try to cheat them. So many people figure “Oh, God will bless her” for her service and not even offer a financial gift at all. In my opinion, that’s unfair, not to mention selfish. For the speaker to serve at your event – she had to sacrifice something. She had to put gas in her car, she had to study and prepare for your event and maybe even had to have her clothes dry-cleaned after it. Consider her travel time, anointing, sacrifice and other factors in your decision-making. If your church has no budget for a stipend, head over to Pinterest. Search “volunteer appreciation gifts” or “thank you gifts” for cheap appreciation ideas. You can create a nice little basket from Dollar Tree for $10! No excuse for not blessing the speaker. Do something.
Question 2 to ask a Christian speaker:
“May I chat with someone who heard you speak in the past?”
This is a great (although awkward) question to ask. Awkward or not, ask it anyway. Sure, she will likely refer you to one of her good friends for a glowing recommendation. Still, you may be able to gain some sort of insight into how she ministers to women’s groups. There is a reason businesses ask for references. It’s just good practice.
If someone you know referred her to you, be sure to ask lots of questions to find out exactly why. People recommend folks for a myriad of reasons. They may recommend them because they live next door to them or simply because they are an endeared relative. No, you need something more concrete. Before you even engage with the potential speaker, ask the referer these questions:
Questions to ask the referer:
“Why do you recommend her?”
This will eliminate those emotional and social recommendations.
“Have you heard her speak at an event similar to mine?”
If they say no, proceed with caution. Don’t necessarily rule her out. Pray, but proceed with caution.
“What did you get from hearing her speak (if applicable)?”
Look for buzz phrases like “I prayed more” or “I felt I could go on”, etc. Just emotional “woo-hooing” isn’t enough- unless that’s what you want for your event. Sometimes, all people want [for their event] is a dynamic motivational speaker to deliver the “feel goods”. Again, if that’s what you want, then a “woo-hoo” type person is fine. Otherwise, you want someone who will give a call to change or a call to action. You want women to leave the event changed in some way.
“Please share roughly 3 things you learned after hearing her speak?”
This could be a useful question depending on how long ago the referer heard the speaker. Genuinely skilled, anointed speakers leave an impression far beyond the “feel goods”. I can attest to this. Even years later, I can often remember and articulate what a good speaker taught me. In fact, I usually took notes.
Question 3 to ask a Christian speaker
How would you describe your presentation style?”
OMG! This is a very important question to ask! If a person cannot coherently explain her style, then something is wrong. The last thing you need is a demonstrative, high-energy speaker when you were hoping for a quieter, more pensive one. Ask the speaker to tell you who she is behind the microphone. If she can’t tell you, pray about choosing her.
Question 4 to ask a Christian speaker
“Please tell me about the last events you’ve keynoted.”
It’s useful to know her past speaking experiences. If she is accustomed to speaking to a congregation on Sundays, you may have an idea of her delivery style and the audience she is accustomed to addressing. If she’s speaks more at women’s events and retreats, you can likely expect a more laid back, less preachy presenter. This is not a fool-proof strategy, but in general, it’s true.
Question 5 to ask a Christian speaker
“What technology do you need?”
Quiet room prior to event?
Podium or not?
Make a list of everything she needs and professionally execute what you can. Her success is your success.
What questions are missing? What should someone ask a prospective speaker for a women’s ministry event?
Is God leading you toward speaking publicly? I hope these tips helped you too.
A Great Resource by Abby Rike.com
Also, watch for and check out these tips from Christian speaker, Abby Rike: http://www.abbyrike.com/resources/. As I pen this blog, the workshop/training is coming. Subscribe to her site and don’t miss it!
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