The Value of Doing A Presentation At Your Church
President & CEO at StayUnstoppABLE.com
Speaking in front of an audience may not be easy to start with, yet, with practice it gets more comfortable. To get that experience you need to find places to speak or give seminars or workshops. And, it’s not always easy – it’s just worthwhile!
So… how do you get the opportunities? Well, you start first of all with examining the talk, seminar or workshop that you want to give. You have to get really clear on what it is you want to help people learn. There are a few key things you want to explore:
What’s your passion – what is it you want to share with others
Inside of you is a passion – for Bible stories, for faith, for peace or a myriad of other passions you simply love! Perhaps you have a desire to share your passion to help others learn more, yet you are not sure how. How do you help others improve their lives through the experiences and knowledge you have?
Who is your target audience – who needs to hear your message?
It is important to know who you want to share your passion with. Is it the pastors /
priests / ministers / rabbis / imams, is it the congregation, or is it a segment of the congregation – the Sunday School class, the elders, women’s groups?
You may want to consider why this group needs to hear about your passion. Is it something they want to know, is it something they need to know, is it something that will change their life?
What are the key points you need to deliver?
Break your passion down to the key points you want to deliver – three or four will be helpful. You don’t want too many as your audience will have a hard time focusing on too many points. You want to build on the few key points to make it more interesting to your audience.
What can you deliver in an allotted time?
Timing is critical. You may be asked to speak for 5 or 10 minutes, or possibly up to an hour. Regardless, you want to prepare your presentation for the various lengths of time you will be asked to speak. In a 5 to 10-minute presentation you will only want to focus on one key element. In an hour’s presentation you can possibly provide 3 to 4 key points.
Now that you know what you need to do initially it’s time to get to work. Develop your presentation.
Have you sat in church and been in awe of what you were hearing? It’s rarely when someone spouts off the Bible verses. It’s when they make it come alive – telling parables and stories about events that surround the Bible. It’s when they relate it to every day life as we live it today.
1. Consider what you have experienced in your life
How will you be able to relate those experiences to your audience? Make a list of all the experiences you have had and then connect that list to the key points you want to make.
2. How will you connect your experiences to your audience
Ensure your stories connect to your audience. There is no sense talking about cars, cats or candy when it doesn’t help your audience connect to the points you want to make. Be certain what you are talking about connects to THIS audience. It may connect with another audience but not this one.
It’s okay! Just be sure which story goes with which audience.
3. Tighten your story
Make sure your story has the key point you want to make regardless of how long it is. If you have 1 minute for your story then be sure the key point is there – in this case there will be less added colour. If you have 2 minutes for your story you can add a little more colour, still ensuring your key point is there.
Remember, sometimes, as listeners, our minds wander so you will want to ensure you remind us of the key point after the story is told.
Do you want more information about making presentations?
Once you are certain of what you want to say to which audience it is time to connect. To connect with the people who can put you in front of your right audience.
If you attend a specific church then you have an easy in – speak with your pastor, priest or minister. Explain your passion by giving the background that led you to where you are at the present time so your listener understands the context of what it is you are hoping to do. Or, as a second option, embrace someone they respect and you feel close enough to ask a favour of. This is networking and it often works very well. You explain your passion and let the individual know what it is you want to do.
Then you ask if it might be appropriate for him/her to connect you with ________________. By asking permission you have a better chance of success than simply asking the question outright.
How do you ask for permission to speak to a congregation or whomever the audience is that you want to talk to? You pick up the phone or send an email…
- You explain you have an idea that might be valuable for the _____________ audience. You indicate you would like to discuss this in person and ask for a time that might be convenient.
- They may come back with a date and time or they may not respond. People are busy!
- If you have no response within 2 weeks call – call 3 times at various times before you leave a message. Always try to connect without leaving a message!
- For most people in a management/leadership position the best time to connect is the ½ hour before their workday begins and ½ hour after it ends – this is when they are generally at their desk.
- When you have them on the phone – ask, “Is this a convenient time to call?” If it is, carry on with, “Thank you for taking my call.” If it is not convenient then ask, “What would be a better day and time to connect?”
- Be sure to have your title already organized so it can slip easily off your tongue.
- Now it is time to get into the reason for your call. Ask permission… “May I tell you about a passion I have which I believe has a message for ______?” When you hear a “Yes” you may continue with, “My passion is ________________ and I see it being of great value to your ________________ because _________________ (how you came to this conclusion of it being of value to your listener’s audience.)
- Now comes the question. “Does this sound like something that might be of value to your audience?” When you hear, “Yes.” ask which dates are appropriate for you to present and how long you would speak.
- If it appears appropriate, ask for a couple of contacts you could speak to gather their input to your topic. It is always helpful to talk to people who will be in the audience as this sometimes provides you with a twist you had not considered.
- There is another important element here. You have already developed some rapport with members of your audience BEFORE you have actually connected face-to-face.
Once you are on the agenda it is a good idea to keep a few things in mind:
- Practice your presentation a minimum of 10 times before the big day.
- Arrive an hour early – you can sit in your vehicle, walk around the block or sit quietly in the room before people begin to arrive and visualize how you expect the presentation to go.
- As people begin to arrive take the time to walk among them – shake hands (not too strong and not too weak a handshake) and introduce yourself. Be sure to ask their name and comment briefly on something about them (only providing it is sincere.)
- Afterwards be available for people to speak with you one-on-one. Many like the opportunity to share their story or even to get your autograph. This can only happen if you have left sufficient time in your day to stay around AFTER you have made a great presentation.
You did a super presentation and you are getting all kinds of favorable feedback from people. Yes! This is what you wanted. You wait a few days and then it is time to ask for two things:
1. Could your pastor, priest, minister, rabbi or imam suggest other groups that might find value in a similar presentation? If he or she says yes, then you ask whether it would be appropriate to use their name in an initial contact or would they prefer to introduce you to someone themselves. Just a hint, you often get your preferred response when you give the outcome you prefer when it is the last option.
2. A testimonial. Ask the leader if he/she would be willing to provide you with a testimonial you could use to help others know how you can add value to their audience.
If you want to share your passion with others and help them improve their business or their lives, then now is the time to start. Just make that first contact!
If you choose to focus on people not liking you, the chances are good that this will be true. Remember, we are perfect just the way we are.
That is what allows you to be so helpful because they have similar situations, not the same of course, just similar enough that they can see themselves in you.
Make your presentation come alive by avoiding these 5 pitfalls. Always deliver a presentation that touches the minds and the hearts of your audience.
Whether you are a farmer yourself, a shop owner, a teacher or an insurance agent you can get opportunities to practice by simply looking for places where others need to hear your story.
It all depends on what you know will help your audience. Break your passion into the key points you want to deliver – three or four will be helpful.