Monday, September 15, 2014

Determining Your Speaking Level and Fees

Thank you for all the positive feedback you’ve been sending about this series! I’m so happy it’s useful information.

One of the most difficult things to assess is our own speaking level, so it’s also hard to set fees. The fee structure below is information my friend Leah DiPascal collected for a session at She Speaks. She gave me permission to use it for Next Step, and I’m excited to share it with you.

When you are trying to determine where you fall within these guidelines, remember that you may meet most but not all the requirements for a certain level. However, I love that it’s so thorough, and it will also give you some goals to work toward as you continue to grow, because growing speakers have growing qualifications.

Just Beginning

• Going through the P.I.T. (Put In Time).
• Speaking at a lot of events for free or charging a really small fee just to get the experience.
• Payment via plant, picture frame, Starbucks gift card
• Gain Experience – Build Confidence – Get Exposure

Level 1

• Speaking 3-5 times a year.
• Basic bio sheet.
• If you don’t have a bio sheet – Examples of them on P31 website

$150 – $450 plus travel and accommodations
1 session $ 150
2-3 sessions (one night stay)* $ 300
3-4 sessions (one or two night stay)** $ 450

* An event is classified as 2-3 sessions (one night stay) when the last session ends in time for the speaker to travel home the afternoon of the second day. If the last session ends late, requiring an additional overnight stay, that would be classified as a 3-4 sessions event with two nights stay.

** Additional sessions can be added. The cost for each additional session is based on the 1 session fee for that speaker.

Love Offerings – Recommendation: Level 1 & 2 is okay. Once you’re level 3 & up, we don’t recommend this on a regular basis. It’s too nebulous as you move up into the higher levels.

Level 2

• Speaking at least 7 times a year
• Doing events with a small budget
• Usually are breakout speakers for events – not the keynote speaker
• Mostly events within driving distance
• Designed bio sheet with 1 sample message on CD

$300 – $900 plus travel and accommodations
1 session $ 300
2-3 sessions (one night stay)* $ 600
3-4 sessions (one or two night stay)** $ 900

Level 3

• Speaking around 8-12 events a year
• Garnering larger speaking fees
• Sometimes you are the main speaker and sometimes the breakout speaker but doing larger events
• Writing articles published in recognized magazines
• Doing more out of state events and flying to those
• Professionally designed and printed bio sheet with 2 messages on CD or DVD

$500 – $1600 plus travel and accommodations
1 session $ 500-$800
2-3 sessions (one night stay)* $ 1,000-$1300
3-4 sessions (one or two night stay)** $ 1,300-$1600

Level 4

• Speaking more than 12 times a year
• Larger events with larger budgets
• At most events you are the keynote speaker
• At least 1 published book or other unique exposure as a voice in the Christian world
• Doing mostly out of state events that require flying
• Professionally designed and printed bio sheet with 2 messages on CD and DVD clips you can provide the church for promo purposes

$850 – $2000 plus travel and accommodations
1 session $ 850-$1100
2-3 sessions (one night stay)* $ 1,700-$2,000
3-4 sessions (one or two night stay)** $ 2,000-$2,500

Level 5

• Speaking more than 20 times a year
• Larger events with larger budget
• Keynote speaker
• Has multiple published books
• Flying to all events with an assistant – only driving to events within 4 hours from home

$1000 – $4500 plus travel and accommodations
1 session, depending on travel $1,000 to $ 2,500
2-3 sessions (one night stay)* $ 2,500 to $4,000
3-4 sessions (one or two night stay)** $ 3,000 to $4,500

I want to add a caveat. From talking to other speakers, I think this fee structure works in most parts of the country but not all. The churches in your particular area may not be able to support these fees.

Next week I’ll write about how to talk about your fees and how to decide about requests to cut or reduce your fees. If you have any questions about this structure or feedback, I’d love to hear!

Amy

 

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Monday, September 8, 2014

When and Why It’s Time to Have a Fee

Last week I focused on the time period before you have formal fees. My personal progression went a little like this:

  • Step 1: I insisted on not being paid at all. I was very new and very inexperienced. This is actually a blessed time because usually event planners are appreciative, and the expectations are low. When you exceed them–bonus!
  • Step 2: I simply told planners that I would accept an honorarium. I asked them to base it on prayer and their budget.
  • Step 3: I adopted a formal fee schedule.

One of the hardest decisions is when you should move from an honorarium to a set fee. First, I want to establish why it’s good to have a standard set of fees at some point.

  • It establishes you as a professional. My first speaking event outside my own church was for a church’s women’s beach retreat. The first year I refused payment, and the leaders gave me a beautiful gift that I still use and treasure. I was invited back the next year, and the planner handed me an envelope at the end and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “I’m paying you, because this is what you DO.” That check was a blessing to me on so many levels. Her comment backed up with the check gave me confidence that I had stepped into the ranks of vocational ministry. I cried a good percentage of the way home. Not only that, but I had been praying for God’s provision to attend She Speaks. Guess what? That check covered my registration! It felt like confirmation straight from God, and it helped pay for an investment in the growth of my ministry.
  • Event planners actually seem more comfortable with a fee structure. There have been a few exceptions along the way, but I believe in general event planners want to bless you with the fee. When they’re unsure what you would consider appropriate, it’s an uncomfortable dilemma for them. Having your fees allows them to consider their budget but also to feel confident of the amount they’re paying you.

How do you know when it’s time? Here are some of the indicators:

fees

  • You’re being asked back. This doesn’t happen lots just because planners often bring in new speakers each year, but you should see it happen some.
  • You feel mostly consistent. I don’t think we can ever count on 100% consistency, but you should feel fairly confident in your ability to create a strong message that connects with your audience and your delivery. The value of a speaker’s message should exceed her fee.
  • You are getting feedback after events that indicate life transformation. Attendees are saying things like, “When you said ____________, I thought about what’s happening in my life…”
  • Event planners are asking for your fee. If they’ve come to you via word of mouth and assume you have a fee, you probably need a fee.

Next week I’ll share a fee structure with concrete measurements to let you know where you should be.

How about you? Do you have a fee schedule/structure? How did you know it was time?

Amy

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Patience and the P.I.T.

“I’m fixin’ to quit my day job and go on the speaking circuit.”

After hearing a young single-mom’s desire to speak ending with this statement, I sat in stunned silence. How could I tell her the truth without deflating her passion? I couldn’t think of a way to sugar coat it, so I just plunged in, begging her not to quit her job that created a regular paycheck, paid the rent and kept the lights on.

Here’s the truth as I know it. There are lots and lots and LOTS of women who would love to turn their speaking dreams into a full-time gig … including me. Contrast that truth with another one I know for sure. Even though I’m on the speaker team of a nationally recognized ministry, I don’t make enough speaking to even come close to a full-time salary.

In fact, the only speaker I know who speaks enough to make it full time is Lysa TerKeurst. In case you don’t know Lysa, she’s amazing. Incredible. Everything in real life that she seems from the stage. I both love and admire her, but  realistically I know not many of us will make it to her level of notoriety in our ministries. You might be the one (truly), but not many of us will.

One last truth. There is no speaking circuit. Or if there is, I haven’t found it.

I’ve said all the hard stuff, so you can take a deep relaxing breath now. :) Encouragement follows!

This week is the first in a series during the month of September on speaker fees, and I just wanted to set a realistic but hopeful tone.

Is vocational ministry possible for Christian speakers? Yes. But there are two things you should know. It takes patience and years of building. Also, it may not look like what you thought when you started.

When Made to Crave, Lysa’s 14th (I think) book, came out 4 years ago and hit the New York Times Best Seller list, I remember hearing her say this in an interview, “People keep asking me what it feels like to be an overnight success. I tell them it feels like 17 years of very hard work, because that’s what it is!”

Seventeen years. For seventeen years Lysa served faithfully, honed her craft, showed up to speak to 5 people, wrote books that didn’t hit best seller lists, stood in line at airport security, schlepped boxes of books to resources tables…

She was patient.

She was persistent in her calling.

She worked tremendously hard. (I’ve seen this first hand, and let me tell you, she’s working harder than ever today.)

She loved God more than any acclaim, and I’m watching her get increasingly humble with increasing human fame. It’s beautiful.

That’s what patience has looked like for Lysa TerKeurst. For me, it’s a different journey with some of the same markers. My vocational calling has unfolded over time to include coaching and writing as well as speaking. Most likely I won’t ever speak in front of thousands on a Women of Faith stage, but I delight in being a tiny piece of so many speaker’s ministries through my coaching.

So if you want to do full-time vocational ministry, be open to a different look than you thought and be willing to go through the P.I.T. This is the phase my friend Leah calls “Put In the Time”. It’s the phase when you’re payed with “Thanks!” and maybe a Starbucks gift card. It’s the phase when nobody knows your name, but you serve whole-heartedly for The Name anyway. It’s a stage when you’ll probably keep your day job to pay the bills and grow the level of trust in your ministry community over time.

Patience and the P.I.T. That’s where we all start. It’s the proving ground and the holy place of shaping. It’s where we show God that He’s worth it all, and His pleasure in us is payment enough.

I’d love to hear about your first speaking opportunity! Let’s share and encourage each other no matter what stage we’re in.

Amy

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Fall Jump-Start: Week 4 Q & A

Today is the last Q & A for this round, but please remember I always love getting your questions. Although time constraints keep me from answering questions individually by email, I’m always happy to answer them for the whole speaker girl community on the blog. You can leave your question in the comments or email them to me at amy@proverbs31.org.

Next week I’ll start a series on speaker fees which many people have asked about. Stay tuned! Here’s this week’s question:

“How do you juggle feedback? The 1st time I spoke, several people said different parts of my talk were meaningful, and someone asked me to speak at their next event. The 2nd time I spoke, it was the same thing. I spoke with different women that had specific comments, and the area MOPS leader was there. She gave me her card asked me to please be sure I registered with them so that other groups could find me. The 3rd time someone said I was “fun” and that’s about the only comment. I want to improve without getting caught up in pleasing/idolizing man.” ~Julie

Wow. Receiving feedback is a hard topic. I’ve received the whole spectrum of responses after an event–everything from lavish praise, to tears, to crickets. (I never did figure out the dead silence after that one event, but it was horrifying! The event coordinator wrote me a nice note, but I think I stepped over some theological line or something.)

Every church and group has their own subculture, so sometimes the feedback is simply consistent with that culture. For example, Suzie Eller and I just did an event together and discussed this very topic. Both of us have spoken before in very stoic, non-responsive cultures where we felt like a flop but learned afterward that we had made an impact. For a girl from the exceptionally responsive Bible Belt culture, that’s tough.

Here’s the response I want. I want women to approach me and tell me how my message spoke specifically into their hearts and lives. Although it’s nice to hear, “You’re a great speaker,” it’s not the response I’m looking for. I want to know I’ve crafted a message in such a way that it’s life-changing. Transformation is what fuels me, and it’s what I think makes a great speaker.

Criticism is a whole other thing. Two of my friends on the Proverbs speaker team who I consider outstanding speakers have told me of instances where the event planner actually criticized the message and/or response. I think we all need to be prepared to respond humbly to criticism while not letting it crush us. In the case of criticism, it’s important to be able to answer “yes” to these questions:

  • Did I seek God diligently about this event and my message?
  • Did I take the time before the event to be fully prepared?
  • Did I get the information I needed from the event planner to know my audience?

If the answer to all of these is “yes”, then I think we can rest with a clear conscience. Sometimes there are other issues that don’t have anything to do with us or issues outside of our knowledge with the group. All we can do is be faithful to pray and prepare.

Here’s another link to a devotion I wrote about feedback called “The Opinion Blender”.

Opinion-Blender

Any thoughts from you in our community about handling and growing from feedback?

Amy

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fall Jump-Start: Week 3 Q & A

Here’s a review and a glimpse of things to come…

I’m doing a Fall Jump-Start series with Q & A. Click on the links to read week 1 and week 2. Today there’s a ministry-related business question and a couple of questions every one of us has wondered about but hasn’t dared to ask!

Next week I’ll finish up the Q & A, and there will be a series on fees and the business of ministry in September.

Here we go…!

I had lunch with a girlfriend a few weeks ago and was telling her about the speaking ministry that God had laid on my heart. She then asked me a question that I had no clue about answering. She said, “Are you going to incorporate or become an LLC?” Since I hadn’t planned on charging any type of speaking fee as I was getting the speaking ministry up off the ground, I hadn’t even thought about that. ~Kate

I want to start with a disclaimer. These thoughts are based on my very limited knowledge. I’ll give you some food for thought, but it’s very important to consult your tax advisor and possibly a lawyer before you make a final decision.

Of the speakers I know, there are basically two ways to make yourself “official” in the governments eyes. For years, my husband did our taxes, and he simply reported my earnings as one who was self-employed. When I started speaking more and then started Next Step, things became more complicated. I needed a separate bank account for Next Step, so I went to the bank inquiring about how to start a business account. I was informed that I needed to either apply for a Sole Proprietorship or an LLC. The LLC requires payment of a yearly fee, but I chose that option because it offers immunity to my family’s personal finances in the event of a lawsuit.

(Just in case any of you think about suing me for bad advice in this blog, I’m just telling you ahead…blood from a turnip!)

It’s just my two cents, but I don’t think you need to establish anything official until you start charging fees. At that point, it’s great to start being business minded about your speaking ministry. A separate checking account for your speaking ministry serves as a reminder to keep track of any expenses and income. You’ll be happy you kept up all year when tax time rolls around again!

Although you can hire a lawyer for the LLC process, I’ve done it all myself, and I’ve found it to be easy in NC. We have hired someone to do our taxes since they’re more complicated, and she has saved us money. The LLC doesn’t change my tax status at all, and my CPA reports all my earnings and deductions as self-employed (as I understand it!).

The other option is to apply to be a non-profit. Most of those who I know who have taken this option are building a whole ministry rather than just speaking independently. Becoming a non-profit is much more complex, and you will probably need the counsel of a lawyer and/or CPA. The benefit, however, is that you can begin to raise money through donations.

That’s really all I have to offer on the topic, but I hope it helps. Any words of wisdom from those of you who have chosen one of these options?

My questions are strange but I would love to hear what you and other speakers have to say. First, which deodorant works best for a sweaty speaker? I sweat so much when I speak and have learned to dress “cool” no matter the weather outside. I’d love a good deodorant recommendation.  And second, what’s the best way to avoid the numerous “pre-speak pees”? Seriously, tmi, but I could use the bathroom 5 times in the hour before I speak. Nerves? I don’t feel nervous, but apparently my bladder gets that message. Any ideas?

Sorry for the personal questions, but they are real issues for me! ~Jennifer

What is it about the topics of sweat and pee that turns us back into giggling middle-schoolers? I know that was my reaction, but these subjects are no joke! :)

The other day a friend of mine was describing her physical reaction to an emotional stress as “pitted out”! Though the term is funny, it’s not funny when you’re the one who’s pitted out in front of a crowd.

On the Today show the other morning, I saw Secret Clinical rated as the top deodorant for women. Anybody else have experience with this issue and a recommendation?

Sweat isn’t so much my issue, but pee definitely is. (So wrong on so many levels.) Not only do I have a weakening 46 year old + bladder with the added stress of 2 births, needing to go is one of the symptoms when I’m nervous.

After one event where I nearly fainted from dehydration, I’ve decided pre-event fluid fasts are not the solution. Plus, dry mouth is unfortunately another symptom of my nerves.

Mostly my solution is to ignore my bladder’s faulty signals. I take a potty break about 15 minutes before my introduction, and then I just don’t listen to the spasms. Since the urge ends a few minutes into my message, scheduling and ignoring works for me.

Anybody else want to weigh in on the pee predicament?

Amy

ps. Please come back next week. That’s the end of the pee conversation. :)

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Fall Jump-Start: Q & A Week 2

I hope last week’s Q & A was helpful. Here’s another great question!

My mind tends to go blank standing in front of crowds or even in front of a camera speaking so I always need my things written out in front of me. How can I push past to be a more confident speaker that remembers what I wanted to say? ~Sarah

I had a similar question from a former client about how I organize my notes, and another similar situation with a client who wants to lean on her notes less and make more eye contact.

Here are some ideas about creating notes you can use and internalizing your message:

  • Create messages around one idea or a “sticky statement”. Click here  to read more about sticky statements. Before I started using this method, I created highly complex messages with lots of points and too much information. I couldn’t begin to memorize all my information, so why did I think my audience would be able to take away transforming points? I’ve become a HUGE proponent of the one point message both for speakers and for their audiences.
  • Format your notes in a way that works for you. I do a loose version of an outline. My friend Lynn Cowell manuscripts her message and then takes a mind map on stage. Lysa TerKeurst puts sticky notes with her main points in her Bible. Another friend only feels comfortable with her manuscript near her, but she highlights main points so she doesn’t end up reading it. There’s not a one-size-fits-all for notes. Just find the way that feels comfortable for you.
  • Practice, practice, practice. This is the part I like the least, but it’s something that’s been very helpful as I continue to raise the bar for myself to lean on my notes less. Practice your message as you’re getting ready in the morning. In the shower. In the car. Practice it one full time in front of a mirror. All of this practice helps you to internalize your message so you can deliver it naturally. It’s also terrific for double-checking that you’re within your given time. I don’t memorize my messages word for word, but always knowing where I’m going next gives me confidence and lets me focus on my audience.

Amy

Tomorrow evening is Lysa TerKeurst’s FREE webcast for The Best Yes. Make sure to catch it! Here’s the link: http://lysaterkeurst.com/

Webcast Graphic[6]

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Fall Jump-Start: Q & A Week 1

Hi, friends! I’m back!! Thank you so much for sticking with me during my July blogging hiatus. I feel refreshed and ready to jump back into blogging and speaking … almost.

For most of us, August is still a month of vacations, back-to-school and a few more long summer nights sitting on the deck. September really marks the beginning of the speaking/women’s ministry season, so we’ve got just a little time left.

Let’s make it a time to work through some questions … to plan … to dream together.

DIY-To-Do-Weekly-Agenda-List-Notepad-Free-Printable-Download

I promised when I came back to answer the questions you left in the comments and sent to my email box, so I’ll be doing that at least through the month of August, ending with a short series on speaker fees. I know that’s one area most of us find difficult, so we’ll build to that topic.

Here’s the first question from Terri: (Stay tuned for some free resources at the end of the post too.)

My ministry-related question that’s plaguing me relates to this: I founded a single-parent ministry several years ago and just published a book for single moms while working full time. Now I work part-time, but still struggle with the juggling/balancing act. I’ve recently realized that we’ve been running the ministry in a “cart-before-the-horse” mode and have come to a standstill. We don’t have a formal Board and I know this is crucial. God is the one who opened all doors for the ministry, therefore, I know He’ll provide as I step aside and pray for the leaders He wants. I also need to work on 2 more books to follow the one just published, and market, promote, etc. My plaguing question is this: I have lost all my want-to. No passion, fire or vision is left. I was a single mom for 19 years, knowing He called me to this ministry and to write for single moms. I’m 54, remarried to a wonderful man, but have hit a brick wall. I know all the biblical answers, believe, trust and love Jesus to the core, which is why I’m perplexed with this. Help!

Terri, this question is super important, because I think we’ve all been at this level of overwhelmed at some point. Some of us live in that place of exhaustion. It seems like there are so many demands placed on all of us as women, but ministry adds a whole other dimension of giving. Having said that, I know we women who love Jesus have a deep sense that ministry for Him should be a joy, not a burden. How do we do it?

I’ve got several ideas:

  • Make a prioritized list– Just reading Terri’s question makes me tired. She’s truly carrying a huge load! Even with a big load, though, I believe multi-tasking is a myth. She Speaks attendees often have the same reaction to all the information they’ve been presented as you have to all the tasks on your list. I always give the same advice to them. Make a huge long list of action items for the things you want to do. During an extended time with the Lord (maybe even a day retreat full of prayer, Bible study and worship), present your list to Him and ask Him to help you to order and prioritize your list. Then just work through the list one item at a time. Our tendency is to look at the length of the list, the number of tasks or the amount of information, to become overwhelmed and then to shut down. If we’ll take the “I can only do what I can do” approach, focusing on doing one task well at a time, the mental weight lifts.
  • Build a team–I think Terri is on the right track with creating a board. If you are a non-profit, a board is required. If you’re not, then building a support prayer and volunteer team may be the first step. My friend Tara started her ministry with a volunteer team. As her ministry grew, she became a non-profit, added a board and has hired some of her original team into part-time positions. Also, I’m watching miraculous things happen with Proverbs 31 Ministries, and I believe the explosive growth is happening primarily because our team has expanded to include many gifts and points of view. Not only will you be lightning your load by building a team, you’ll get the joy of seeing the body of Christ function as it was designed!
  • Know when to say yes and when to say no–Reading about how God has provided not only ministry opportunities but a wonderful husband for Terri brought tears to my eyes. He is so good! We have to know when to work and when to revel in rest. We have to know when to prioritize the gifts called family and when to turn our attention to writing, speaking, etc. Now I’m going to give a shameless plug for a book I’m bursting to tell the world about…Lysa TerKeurst’s book The Best Yes which is releasing Aug. 12 is the best book I’ve ever read on this topic, and it’s my favorite book of Lysa’s ever. Truly. She’s doing a free webcast on launch day with information I know will help us all with the area of overload and over busyness. Click here to pre-register for the webcast. Click here to sign up for 5 free days of “Unrush Me” devotions.

I hope this helps, Terri, and I hope you’ve each gotten some ideas of how to manage the overload you feel. If you have any wise words about taming more list than day,  please share with us in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Bonus: Click here to download this cute free to-do list above.

Amy

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rest and a Request

Happy summer to you, friends!

A few weeks ago as I sat down to write a Next Step blog post, I realized I was tired and feeling out of material. Instead of being discouraging, it occurred to me that it was a call to action. I need two things: rest and your input.

First, I’m taking the month of July to rest entirely from blogging and social media. But I’ll be back in August full of new vim and vigor! She Speaks is part of the July mix, so I’ll definitely come back to you inspired and full of new information.

Here’s what I’d love to ask of you … would you send me the speaker or ministry related questions that are plaguing you? I know being in speaking ministry can be very lonely. You may feel like no one around you understands your calling or what you do. You may not have a person in your life to turn to with questions, but you’ve got me! I’d love to answer your questions right here on the blog so everyone in our speaker community can benefit and share their own solutions. You can email your questions to me at amy@proverbs31.org or just leave them in the comments section of this post.

So until August, I’m signing off, but I hope you have a wonderful July full of the delights of summer…

  • Extra time with friends and family
  • Evening hours to sit outside
  • Watermelon!
  • Celebrating our great country
  • Toes dipped into the water
  • Concerts in the park
  • Drippy ice cream cones

These are some of my favorites. Hope you’re enjoying yours!

Amy

 

 

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Tip for Managing Your Nerves

Note: This post is from our archives, but it’s still my best tip for managing your nerves.

This post was written by Amy Carroll, director of Next Step Speaker Services.  To get to know Amy better, visit her at her personal blog www.amycarroll.org.  

When I get nervous, I start to lose my breath which isn’t great for a speaker.  I want my audience to be at ease as I start, and a shaky voice just doesn’t do it.  I struggled for a long time with this problem until one day I heard a radio personality talk about a method called square breathing.

Although my nervousness has lessened with time and practice, I still feel the butterflies start during my introduction.  I’ve learned to embrace a little nervousness as a natural adrenaline rush that will help me open with energy, but I want to have a steady voice.  Square breathing has been the answer for me.  Here are the steps:

  • While counting to 4, inhale slowly through your nose.
  • Hold the breath for 4 slow counts.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth while counting to 4.
  • Hold the breath for 4 slow counts.
  • Repeat 2-3 times.

I think this works for several reasons.  It makes me slow my breathing down which keeps me from hyperventilating.  It floods my body with oxygen which helps clear and sharpen my mind.  It also gives my brain something to do (counting) besides thinking about how nervous I am!

I hope this simple, practical tip will be helpful.  What helps you manage your nervousness?

Amy

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why Coaching Goes Wrong and How to Fix It

Recently, I got a very tentative inquiry about my speaker coaching services from a woman, Sharon Hurkens, who had been burned twice in employing a speaker coach. These were disappointing and expensive let downs, so you can imagine she was gun-shy about trying again.

But after our free consultation call, Sharon felt comfortable going forward with me, and she just finished the Message Development Service. At the end, I asked her if the service had been what she hoped, and thankfully she said yes! I think there’s a lot to learn from her experiences, so I asked her to share with you. Here’s an interview in which I sent Sharon questions, and she wrote the answers.

Q:  When we did our free consultation call, you let me know you’ve had some negative speaker coaching experiences in the past that were also very expensive. What made you decide to try coaching again? 

A:  I am a Life Coach and have had success with most of my clients over the years as well as positive experiences with them, so I do believe in coaching.  It works.  That I did not do my research better before I just signed up for a $1200.00 coaching agreement with really no assistance at all, is no one’s fault but my own. 

I have been following Proverbs 31 for at least 18 months now and trust their word.  

Q: How did you feel about our experience working together? What made Next Step Speaker Services different from those other two experiences?

A:  I enjoyed my experience with Amy Carroll tremendously, she was professional yet personable.  I could relate to her with my faith and she was not from a New Age perspective where the “divine” is any god you desire him/her to be.  

Next Step Speaker services gave me hands on material and handouts which helped me to move from my current place in life.  I took a huge leap forward because of the current information Next Step uses. 

Q: What’s your next goal now that we’ve completed the Message Development Service?

After I have attended “She Speaks” Conference in July, I am going to hire Amy again either for my writing goals or to further my speaking goals. 

Q: I’m excited you’re coming to She Speaks this summer. I can’t wait to meet you in person! I know you’ve also been to SCORRE. Why do you think conferences are so valuable? What do you hope to gain from She Speaks?

Sharon 

A: I believe conferences are vital because there is a time to build new relationships, learn way more than I know and I will be refreshed, ready to attack whatever God has for me. 

You can “meet” Sharon on her blog at http://www.shedawayministries.com.

 

I am so pleased Sharon considered her investment in coaching with Next Step a success! Here are a few tips you may want to implement as you research any coaching you’re considering:

  • If you are looking for true Christian coaching, ask for a statement of faith before you sign a contract. In my case, my affiliation with Proverbs 31 makes my core beliefs more clear, but the label “Christian” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.
  • Discuss  expectations ahead of time and ask for a clear definition of the final product. There should be a written document or contract with all of it specifically written.
  • Ask who you will be receiving the coaching from. In both of Sharon’s cases, she assumed she would receive coaching from the person who sponsored the website and was disappointed to be delegated to someone else in the business.

In case you’re now wondering, here are the answers to these questions from Next Step Speaker Services:

  • Click here to read my statement of faith on my personal blog.
  • Next Step Speaker Services has a contract for each service detailing the number of hours covered by the service as well as the number of personal contacts. The service descriptions contain the final product you can expect to leave with from each service. Please know that services can also be individualized, and we’ll write your expectations into a general contract.
  • I do all the speaker coaching personally, so all your interactions will be with yours truly! :)

If you have any other questions either about speaker coaching in general or any of our services, please fill out the Request Information form, and I will contact you to schedule a time for a free phone consultation. I look forward to connecting with you personally!

Amy

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