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Background

Next Step Speaker
Services helps speakers
create compelling messages
that change lives and
marketing materials that
connect with event planners.


Background

Amy would love to hear
about your calling and
answer questions you
have about the services.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Why You Just Can’t Skip She Speaks

 

After attending 9 times, I still love She Speaks more than my birthday! You might not love your birthday, but I’m close to narcissistic about mine. Saying I love ANYTHING more than my birthday is a big, stinkin’ deal.

This year I’m really jazzed. I’m teaching one old session, “Brass Tacks: Message Development Essentials”, which includes lots of the tips I give to my Next Step clients for their messages. I’m teaching a new session, “How to Walk in Your Calling When Your Confidence is Crashing”, about the struggles I’ve experienced this year and what I’ve learned from them in speaking and as a first-time author.

AND… I’m excited to announce that I’ll be speaking to the whole group of speakers in a large session. (Yes, fear and trembling are mixed right in with all the adrenaline.) I’d love to have your smiling, friendly face in the room! (Please feel free to sit on the front row and beam your encouragement right up at me.)

If you’ve been sitting on the fence, wondering if it’s worth the investment of time and money, I wanted to help you decide. A few friends have shared today, and I hope it pushes you off the fence and to the registration page. :) Here we go!

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“She Speaks doesn’t wet a writer’s feet – it baptizes her into the craft of writing, editing, publishing, and marketing. I came away from the conference feeling like I’d just caught Moby Dick with a butterfly net. But what a great adventure they helped me explore!” (This is a quote from my THIRD book, Everyday Heroes: Old, New, and Even You) God has allowed my writing to open doors for new speaking opportunities. Thank you, She Speaks and Amy, for letting God use you to hone the craft of those of us too timid to begin on our own.  ~Donna Jackson

I attended She Speaks in both 2010 and 2013. Both times were life changing. The experience built my confidence, gave me encouragement and provided me with concrete guidance for improving my speaking. However, the greatest part was just making connections and building relationships. I appreciate all the work that P31 puts into the event that made me feel welcomed and valued.  ~Amy P Boyd

Last year was my first time at She Speaks. I walked in the door a nervous wreck as I scanned the room of full of hundreds of women that I perceived to be smarter, more gifted, and “more called” than me. I left feeling more
empowered than ever before with a new confidence that God had, in fact, called me and was preparing me for what he had prepared for me to do! I can’t wait to see what this year holds!   ~Adrian Jessen

When I think of my first She Speaks, I think of three words: engaged, equipped and encouraged. I came alone but soon felt engaged with 700 like-minded women. I came empty handed and left equipped to start writing and speaking. I came lacking confidence and left encouraged in my calling. Thank you Proverbs 31 Ministries, for the She Speaks experience.  ~Christy Mobley

I wanted to share a few words about my She Speaks experience last summer, it is still impacting my life months later. From the moment I walked in, the atmosphere was an aroma of sweet fellowship. There was no competition. Everyone embraced one another as though our hearts were joined in divine purpose. With every new smile I met, the Lord confirmed that I was not alone on this sometimes lonely journey. I now belong to a sisterhood of twelve precious ladies who cheer on and hold up each other’s arms when we get tired. These “She Speaks Girls” are now some of my closest friends. What a blessing She Speaks is!  ~Melanie Davis Porter

And now a longer story, but one I thought needed to be included to show the heart of She Speaks on every level…

I attended She Speaks in 2012. The evening before I was to leave for the conference I found out some devastating news. My 15 year old daughter was pregnant.  The thought did cross my mind, for a moment, that I should cancel my trip. But just for a moment. Then God opened my eyes to the truth that this timing was no accident, and I was to keep my plans.

God used that timing for good. It was a very emotional weekend for me, but I was so blessed to be surrounded by so many women who showered me with encouragement and prayers. One specific lady prayed with me for an extended amount of time in the prayer room. We still keep in touch on occasion. I needed that love from those women at one of the most difficult times in my life. I received it.

If that wasn’t benefit enough, I received so much wonderful teaching and encouragement to move forward and be obedient to God’s call on my life (in the midst of adversity). I am so thankful for She Speaks for all those reasons and can’t imagine how my life and my ministry may have taken a different path had I not attended. Be Still and Live is now in it’s almost 3rd year. I am living the simplelife and my desire is that other women would embark on this simplelife journey alongside me! ~Christy McGriff

By now I hope you’re all in! I hope to see each one of you there and meet you in person at some point. Maybe it’s not for you this year, but go ahead and start saving for the future. But maybe … just maybe … this is the year for you. If so, click here to go straight to the She Speaks site to register. (And make sure to come by the Next Step table so I can hug your neck!)

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

She Speaks Testimonials

Have you attended She Speaks in the past? I’d love to share your story here.

If you’d like yours included, please send it to me at amy@proverbs31.org by Sunday, March 1. Use three-four sentences to describe what you love best about She Speaks, and I’ll share with the Speaker Sisterhood right here next week. I’d love to have a pic of your gorgeous face too, but it’s not a requirement. :) I’ll hyperlink your name to your website too if you’ll include it.

Thanks! I can’t wait to read your stories.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Freshen Up: Part 4

Just recently I’ve made a new friend. Cary is a multi-gifted woman with a strong, entrepreneurial spirit. Since the business side of ministry isn’t my strongest suite, I asked Cary if we could barter some time for her to take a look at the Next Step site and give me suggestions.

It was such an eye-opener to sit down beside a knowledgable friend to look at the site together. The most interesting thing was that the items she encouraged me to refresh were the exact same things I’d probably tell you if I was looking at your site. But you know the saying… cobbler’s children with no shoes and all that!

After making a list of updates based on Cary’s expertise, I asked my business savvy friend Holly to take a look. I specifically asked Holly to try to look at the site as if she had never visited before. She had another list of fabulous insights which I added to Cary’s tweaks.

Finally, I called my nephew/techie genius, Jake, to ask for his input. Some of his suggestions overlapped with the others, but he also had some additional ideas based on his knowledge of what’s possible and what’s new in the web design world.

Now, I have to say that sometimes these assessments are discouraging to me. I’m starting to understand that web design changes just as quickly as fashion design. Updated sites have much more open space and go from one side of the computer screen to the other. Since I don’t have the time, energy or finances for a complete overhaul, at first I thought maybe I shouldn’t bother.

But in the end, Jake helped me to achieve a fresh look with minimal changes. I hope you’ll click here to view the website!

Following the suggestions of my fabulous friends, here are some elements I used to achieve a more up-to-date look:

1. We added a slider. Some of my most important information was buried on tabs people may not visit or way down in the sidebars. Although one techie friend told me that sliders are outdated, I love them for putting focal points front and center.

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2. We highlighted Proverbs 31 Ministries. Holly pointed out that P31 is my strongest qualification for coaching speakers and yet it was almost nowhere to be seen on the site. I’m so proud to feature a ministry that I love so much!

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3. We updated the social networking icons. Mine were functional but a little tired and not at all visible. Jake found some that I love and added them. If you haven’t joined us on either Facebook or Twitter, I hope you will today!

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4. We made the “subscribe” button more visible. By simply changing the color and adding it to each page, we made it easier to find and made it draw your eye.

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5. We made the font bigger. Many of you probably won’t notice this change if you get your posts via email, but recently my old eyes were protesting when I read posts on the website. I’m thankful for a 15-year-old who helped out this old lady!

6. I took down some outdated content. When we worked on this project, I went through every page with a fine-toothed comb and found some references to Karen and Suzie. Although I still love them dearly, but they haven’t worked for Next Step for over a year. It meant that a video I once loved (and paid to have produced) went away, but I want new visitors to have correct information.

Have you taken a look at your website with fresh eyes recently? I’m resolving to do it yearly now. I highly recommend starting this week on a refresh for your website. Enlist the help of some friends with sales/business/tech backgrounds.

Note: I’m so pleased with the new and improved Next Step site! Subscribers, if you’re viewing this in email, I’d love to invite you to take a peek.

If you have some friends who you think would benefit from the weekly tips or the coaching, would you send them a short email right now and let them know about Next Step? It’s been like doing spring cleaning, and now I’m eager to have new guests! :)

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Freshen Up: Part 3

Have you used the series to take a fresh look at your messages? Have you developed a sticky statement? Made sure all the essential elements are in place? In this last post about freshening messages, I want to challenge you to replace any tired stories with some new and fresh ones.

Stories are important, because stories have power.

Stories bring theory to life, and they make messages memorable.

There are two kinds  of stories you can use in your messages:

  • Somebody else’s stories– Watch for current news stories or fresh stories from reading or the internet to use. These are stories in which our culture engages, so they’re stories that connect with our audiences. There’s are a few cautions about using others’ stories, though. Be very careful to give credit where credit is due. A pastor at a friend’s church was exposed for telling others’ stories as if they were his own. Not good. Very embarrassing. If it’s not yours, then it’s a form of stealing to not give credit. Also, make sure this isn’t a story that has been forwarded into everyone’s inbox. Find something that people haven’t heard before. Finally, if you’re at an event with multiple speakers, listen to their messages. Karen Ehman tells about being at an event where the second speaker skipped the first message. What she didn’t realize was that the first speaker ended with the story in her opening. Oops. Painful.
  • Your own stories– It’s important for speakers to become students of our own lives. We need to constantly watch for updated stories of God’s hand for use in our messages. For me, this is sometimes challenging. I tend to go on auto-pilot, living life by the seat of my pants. To think back and glean stories, I try to think of times I’ve been goofy or times I’ve failed. I don’t consider myself a funny speaker at all, but I’ve found that humor is an essential connection to my audience. Although I’m not naturally funny, I’m often inadvertently goofy, so I share my faux pas which make people laugh. I’ve also found that sharing my weaknesses rather than my strengths showcases God’s hero status in my life. Stories of my failures redeemed by God’s goodness make powerful lessons.

Do you have some favorite stories to tell in your messages? Which category do they fall in?

Make sure not to miss next week! I’m going to talk about the steps I’ve taken to freshen up my websites.

Amy

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