One of the more surprising things that has accompanied writing is the question of whether or not I take speaking engagements. In the past when I’ve been asked, I’ve usually fumbled around, mentally run through a list of reasons why I shouldn’t, and given some half-hearted response like, “Umm… well yes, I guess I do. I love teaching and writing, but ummmm… sure.” Folks tend to leave with a befuddled look on their face, wondering whether or not they actually received an answer to their question.
In many ways, I’m grateful for the question in the first place. Not all writers can (or should) speak and not all speakers can (or should) write. We must learn to differentiate between the two. Still, if I’m entirely honest, my hesitancy was rooted less in whether I believed I am gifted in this area and more in my desire to avoid self-promotion. How does one say, “Yes, please put me in front of your group” without looking like you’re clambering for the limelight?
I do have a passion for teaching and I love speaking to groups, especially those who share my hope in the power of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. In fact, I’ve been speaking and teaching since college and some of my fondest memories from that time are of leading late night student prayer meetings and weekly Sunday School classes. In the years that have followed, I’ve taught in both corporate and private settings as an ESL instructor, have spoken at women’s retreats, and today find myself regularly teaching in our church’s auxiliary ministries. So I think it’s time that I come up with a better answer to the question of whether or not I take speaking engagements:
Yes. Yes, I do.
I take speaking engagements on an invitation by invitation basis. If you’d like to explore the possibility of my meeting with your group, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll respond in a timely manner.