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! Praise God! I know speaking at a women’s retreat can be daunting so read further for tips.
Since I first posted this, I’ve edited it to provide some tips for women leading workshops at retreats.
Leading a women’s retreat workshop for
Christian women is easy!
If you’re presenting at a women’s retreat yourself, I have three areas you should consider prior to your workshop. Simply remembering 3 parts of a process will ensure your workshop is intentional and comprehensive.
They’re not difficult or technical.
I should tell you that I learned these concepts at a facilitative leadership TOF (i.e.training of facilitators.)
I’ll never forget it. I spent three rigorous days learning from the coolest looking for I’d ever met. Being a girl from Kansas, I hadn’t seen such swagger in my life!
The snazzy clothes, the slick ponytails, and the funky eyeglass frames impressed me, but so did the research. The presenters were young New York professionals and they knew their stuff.
Sure, they taught me a great deal about the research, but also about presentation. Be sure to look nice during your Christian woman’s workshop.
Assuredly, your appearance is as important as the content.
Because, if you don’t look like you know what you’re talking about, people won’t listen – regardless of how much work and effort you invested in the presentation. They won’t “hear” you. Aim for business casual. Click to see me in my business casual flow.
I must tell you, that TOF was many, many years ago, but it still impacts me to this day.
No doubt what I learned in that small room at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri has seeped into several areas of my life.
I’ve applied it to my career as a facilitator and trainer.
I’ve utilized it as I’ve taught classes for church and I definitely have used this concept when I present to women’s Ministries.
If you genuinely want to make sure people learn and engage here are three considerations you must always remember.
For any outcome that involves people and involves shared vision, you need to consider three factors.
Let me tell you about Relationships
No matter what you are doing- whether you are presenting or even simply giving a speech, you have to 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 a connection to the speaker and know they are emotionally safe, they will engage. They will open their minds; they will learn.
Not so with a “Talking Head”
Have you ever been to an event where the speaker just droned on and on without any consideration for the audience?
I can say I have. Sometimes, I even wondered if the speaker even knew we are 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.
All I can say is “Thank you, Jesus” for cell phones. Oh, the beauty of a cell phone during a boring presentation. I can pick it up, read my email or do something else to keep me engaged and… AWAKE during those sorts of speakers.
Don’t let that be YOU!
As a presenter, you must find a way to build some sort of relational connection with your listeners. Don’t stop there! Craft ways for them to connect with one another too.
“Tell your neighbor…” and other foolishness.
It’s beneficial to have folks connect with one another during the session.
Don’t overdo it though.
Just ask them to say a few words or better yet, to make some non-threatening (to the introverts) gestures to interact with those around them.
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 you neighbor and say…” business. It annoys me.
Do you like those sorts of exercises?
To make matters worse, pastors have been doing it for so long most of us, by now, hate it.
You can do other things!
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 their fingers 3 times if you agree!
Again, don’t overdo it. Too much of anything is … well, too much.
Hey, 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.
Again, you also need the ladies to feel a sense of connection to you, the presenter.
This isn’t always easy. Especially when you’re standing in front of a room full of women who expect you to teach them something they don’t already know. That in itself is difficult.
I almost always open my talk with a picture of my family or something that is precious to me.
Be sure to select a pic or image the room can relate to. Something that prompts a smile.
With this intention, I show a picture of my family from years prior.
I still have a teenage son. I don’t really like his picture too much in public.
Instead, I show a family pic from when he was a baby. I let the group know he’s much older now and say something that other moms can relate to.
After the relation element, think about your process or how you’ll instruct. Delivering information is so much more than standing on a stage with a mic and just 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,
- small group activities and more. Can you create a PowToon video?
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 got to think about the Result.
Hopefully, the individuals [who invited you to speak at the women’s retreat] shared a theme or the purpose for the event.
If so, most of your work is done. Yaaay!
Don’t worry if they have not told you anything beyond the date and place of the event. You’ll still be speaking 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 Results for when you’re speaking at a women’s retreat
– changing attitudes,
– building awareness,
– building capacity or 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
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 are only Result or outcome was fellowship.
What in the world????
My husband directed this goal, and as Senior Pastor, he was well in 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, was my mind 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 just come together and just be? When it does happen, it is such a gift and it is so valuable.
Well, Christian Woman, I hope you’re blessed by this 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!
As a blogger, I sometimes arrange words for search engines. My term “speaking at women’s retreat” is for that reason. 🙂