Speaking at women’s retreats?

Macedonia Baptist Church KCMO Women's Retreat

Did you attend my workshop at the Women’s Retreat? If so, as promised, here is the PowerPoint presentation: Click here. We had such a wonderful time in the Lord! Hey, if you are speaking at a women’s retreat soon, I’ve got some tips for you. I’m no expert, but I am a corporate trainer and have spoken often. I hope my tips will help you in some way. I love speaking at women’s retreats.

Do you know what Christian women’s retreats are? It is a spiritual event designed for women to deepen their faith, foster community, and find renewal. Typically organized by churches or ministries, these retreats feature prayer, worship, teachings, and fellowship activities tailored to address women’s spiritual, emotional, and relational needs. They provide a dedicated time and space for reflection, growth, and connection with God and fellow believers. Retreats often include workshops, discussions, and recreational activities to create a holistic experience that nurtures participants in their Christian journey.

The information I am going to share, I learned these concepts at a facilitative leadership training for facilitators.

I’ll never forget it. I spent three rigorous days learning from the coolest-looking people I’d ever met at that point. They were so East Coast, and being a girl from Kansas, I hadn’t seen such a swagger in my life! The snazzy clothes, the slick ponytails, and the funky eyeglass frames impressed me, but so did the research they shared. The presenters were young New York professionals, and they knew their stuff.

I’m making mention of their appearance because it matters with your speaking at a women’s retreats.

Why?

Because if you don’t look like you know what you’re talking about, people won’t likely listen – regardless of how much work and effort you invested in the presentation. They won’t “hear” you. Aim for business casual.

Examples of casual, business attire:

  1. Blouses or Shirts: Blouses, button-down shirts, or knit tops.
  2. Skirts or Dresses: Knee-length skirts or dresses, or dressy pants.
  3. Trousers: Khakis, dress pants, or chinos.
  4. Sweaters and Cardigans: Pullover sweaters or cardigans are suitable.
  5. Blazers: Tailored blazers can elevate the look.
  6. Shoes: Flats, loafers, heels, or dressy sandals.
  7. Accessories: Minimal jewelry, a watch, and a professional handbag.

When I present, I’ve realized how important it is to look good for my message to be effective. It’s not just about looking nice for myself; it’s a strategic choice.

A well-groomed outfit shows professionalism and attention to detail, setting a positive tone before I even speak. It shows respect for my audience and the occasion. Women are naturally attracted to a confident speaker who takes their role seriously.

Looking presentable when speaking at women’s retreats helps build trust, making it easier for the audience to connect with what I’m saying. It’s a way to reinforce the credibility of my message without saying anything. In the end, recognizing the importance of appearance isn’t about following societal rules, but understanding its power to enhance the impact of my communication.

I don’t like to be too dressed up – unless the women coming are dressed up. Relatablity is what I go for.

Here is an example of how I show up when I am speaking at women’s retreats:

speaking at women's retreats

The secret sauce of speaking at women’s retreats

The format I use when speaking at women’s retreats is fairly simple and incredibly logical. It is a specific focus on these three elements:

Relationships 

Process

Results

For any outcome involving people and a shared vision, you need to consider three factors.

speaking at women's retreats

About the relationship element of speaking at women’s retreats

 No matter what you are doing- whether you are presenting or even simply giving a speech- you must consider the relational element.

It adds dimension to your presentation and prevents you from being a “talking head” filling time.

 The relationship encourages synergy and lowers the element of risk. When folks feel connected to the speaker and know they are emotionally safe, they will engage and participate. They will open their minds; they will learn. This is precisely what you want when speaking at women’s retreats.

As a speaker, you love it when people look at you (engaged) and smile. The participation could be expressed in how they nod their heads or say “amen!”

Don’t be a talking “head.”

Have you ever been to an event where the speaker just droned on without considering the audience?

I can say I have. Sometimes, I even wondered if the speaker even knew we were in the room because they went on and on and on without any eye contact, acknowledgment of us, or consideration of how we experienced them.

I can only say “Thank you, Jesus” for cell phones. I can pick it up, read my email, or do something else to keep myself engaged and AWAKE during those sorts of speakers.

Visit my other blog called Women’s Ministry Resources!

Women's Ministry Resources

Don’t let that be YOU!

As a presenter, you must find a way to build some sort of relational connection with your listeners. Think about what you have in common with them. Ask yourself: “What parts of my life can they relate to?”

Here are some tips for being a relatable person when speaking at women’s retreats:

Being a relatable speaker is essential for connecting with your audience and making your message resonate. Here are some tips to enhance your relatability as a speaker:

  1. Know Your Audience: Understand the ladies’ demographics, interests, and expectations. Tailor your message to align with their values and experiences.
  2. Share Personal Stories: Relate your message to personal anecdotes or experiences. Authentic storytelling creates a connection and makes you more relatable.
  3. Express Emotion: Show genuine emotion when appropriate. Whether it’s enthusiasm, empathy, or humor, expressing emotions helps humanize you and makes you more relatable when speaking at women’s retreats.
  4. Establish Common Ground: Find common ground with the women. Highlight shared experiences, challenges, or goals to create a sense of unity.
  5. Encourage Interaction: Foster a sense of interaction with. Ask questions, invite comments, and create a dialogue to engage them actively in the conversation.
  6. Use Humor Appropriately: Incorporate humor to lighten the mood and create a connection. Be mindful of cultural sensitivities and ensure your humor aligns with the context.
  7. Show Vulnerability: Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. Sharing challenges or setbacks can make you more relatable and authentic.
  8. Maintain Eye Contact: Establish and maintain eye contact. This conveys sincerity and creates a personal connection.
  9. Be Approachable: Approachability is crucial for relatability. Smile, be open, and exude a friendly demeanor to make your audience feel comfortable.
  10. Adapt to their Energy: Gauge the energy and mood of your audience and adjust your delivery accordingly. Being

 “Tell your neighbor…” and other foolishness.

It’s beneficial to have folks connect with one another during the session.

Don’t overdo it, though.

These sorts of mini-activities make the room less closed and tense. It sort of opens up the room and makes it more airy and free.

Personally, I’m over the whole “turn to your neighbor and say…” business. It annoys me. I don’t want to look at someone and just repeat something I was told to say.

To make matters worse, pastors have been doing it for so long that most of us, by now, hate it.

 You can do other things!

speaking at women's retreats

You could say to the women:

  • “if you agree [with what I’ve said], turn to your neighbor and blink three times.
    (women in my sessions love this and usually share a giggle)
  • “If you know what I’m talking about,  keep your eyes on me, but do a shoulder bounce. *another fun one!*
  • “Snap your fingers 3 times if you agree! 

The goal is for them to connect with you and with others. This makes the group more of a “us” than a room full of strangers.

When you’re standing in front of a room full of women who expect you to teach them something they don’t already know. Building that rapport is difficult.

Do not go in as though you know everything. That is a massive turn-off. Instead, go in as someone who is sharing her experience or what God has taught her.

Your Process

After the relation element, think about your process or how you’ll instruct.

Delivering information is much more than standing on a stage with a mic and spewing out words.

 As you plan, give your process some thought. Think about HOW people will learn.

What tools will you use?

 Can you use music?  

Will you use video?

Maybe you can use live demonstrations with a couple of volunteers out of the group?

Other considerations include:

  • Using PowerPoint, 
  • Providing handouts,

No need to make this part of your planning any more complicated than it needs to be.

Just ask yourself: how will I make sure people learn the information I am delivering to them?

 Finally, as a Christian presenter, you have to think about the Result.

Hopefully, the individuals [who invited you to speak at the women’s retreat] shared a theme or the event’s purpose.

If so, most of your work is done. Yay!

Don’t worry if they have not told you anything beyond the date and place of the event. You’ll still speak at the women’s retreat; you’ll just have some work to do.

Simply pray and seek God. He knows you, and He knows the women who will attend. He will help you!

Sample outcomes for when you’re speaking at a women’s retreat

 – Changing attitudes,

 – Building awareness,

 – Giving the women the power to do something 

– Teaching a process (for prayer or bible study

– It could be to build a sense of motivation for women to pray, read their Bible, or get involved in Ministry

speaking at women's retreats

Let’s hang out while I’m speaking at the women’s retreat!

 Lastly, for this section, the Result could merely be to bring the women together for a fun, memorable time.

For years, when I led the women’s ministry at my church, I was a little bit frustrated that the only Result or outcome was fellowship.

What in the world????

My husband directed this goal, and as Senior Pastor, he was well within his rights to do so. I happily and humbly submitted it.

I must say, it took some time for me to understand the true value of just “bringing women together.”

Boy, I was blown when I saw the “result” of women coming together in fellowship.

The support, the encouragement, the rich relationships – uniting women was incredibly powerful. Don’t underestimate it.

Think about it…

In our fast-paced lives, we (myself included) can get so caught up in doing that we forget about being.

 For example, during our women’s ministry events, we want to teach women to do this or to do that. But how often do women get a chance to come together and just be? When it does happen, it is such a gift, and it is so valuable.

Well, Christian Woman, I hope this blesses you, and I pray that you will have an amazing experience at your women’s retreat!

If you have any questions, feel free to put them below. I’ll do my best to answer. However, I’m not always able to do so.

 Blessings on your planning and while you’re being a blessing speaking at your women’s retreat!

Tips for speaking at women's retreat.

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1 thought on “Speaking at women’s retreats?”

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