Empty Speaking Calendar

I’m a speaker, but there have been times when I wasn’t being asked to speak.

Before I launch into solutions, is it safe to tell you that I felt a little shame typing out that statement? After all, I’m part of a national ministry with a huge platform, and I’m a speaker coach. Most communicators would assume that my calendar is full, but recently I wasn’t being asked to speak at all. It was silent except for the crickets.

Have you ever experienced this kind of season?

If you have in the past or if you’re in a dry-spell now, I want to encourage you that you’re not alone and that one of two things might be happening.

God might be showing His grace.

Before I launch into ideas about how to solve “the problem” of an empty speaking calendar, let me first acknowledge that it might not be a problem. It might be God’s grace.

During the whirlwind year that I wrote, edited, launched and promoted my book, Breaking Up with Perfect, my coaching became almost non-existent. One day I expressed my concerns to my husband that my speaker coaching seemed to be “dying.” He responded with great wisdom and insight, “Really, Amy? When would you have time to coach anybody? I think this is God’s grace for you.”

He was right. When the book work slowed down, the coaching picked back up. I’m thankful that God knows us better than we know ourselves, and He always provides exactly what we need. We can trust Him with our speaking calendar just as much as we trust Him with other areas of our lives.

If your calendar is empty, consider that God knows what’s coming in your life and may know that you won’t be able to meet the expectations of a busier schedule. Or He may want you to pull away for a time of rest. Maybe He wants to do a work in you that He couldn’t accomplish if you were speaking. Lay your plans before God and ask Him, “Is my empty calendar a gift of Your grace?”

God might be waiting for me to take steps of obedience.

There have been times when I’m not speaking because of God’s grace, but there have also been times when I needed to do some work to get God’s message out. Sometimes when I lay my calendar before God, I feel led to take some proactive steps to build my speaking so that His Word can be heard.

Here’s a list for you to consider:

Create a new sample video

For years, I had a website with no speaking sample. I received a jolt when an event planner told me about her hunt for a speaker, and she exclaimed, “I’d never hire a speaker without seeing a video of her!”

That was a reality check for me. In communicating with event planners, our number one goal needs to be creating the trust required to have a microphone handed to us. We live in a video-driven world, so video is a powerful tool we can use to create trust.

I got busy right away working on a sample video, and you can click here to see a couple of speaking samples a talented friend produced for me.

Have some outsiders look in

The event planner who gave me the tip about a video is also a friend and a business coach. After hearing one piece of valuable feedback from her, I knew I needed more of her input.

I contracted with her to look at my website and to give me feedback from both a business and an event planner point of view. The to-do list she generated for me has been worth its weight in gold. I couldn’t evaluate my own website anymore, so an outsider was needed to give me invaluable insight into how others perceive the information there.

Contact event planners from my past events

Because I feel a deep connection to the event planners I’ve served, I truly love a chance to minister with them again. I’ve already built trust with them, so a couple of times a year, I send a ministry update. This email also gives me an opportunity to express a desire to return and to ask for referrals to other leaders. I make sure it’s a “warm ask” built on relationship and written with humility.

Now it’s your turn! What kinds of steps have you taken to fill your speaking calendar? We’d all love to learn from what’s worked as well for you.

Any comment that you leave will also enter you into a giveaway for a copy of Creating a Message that Connects, a message development eGuide bundle I’ve written for speakers.

Amy CarrollBio: Amy Carroll is a speaker and writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries. She’s author of Breaking Up with Perfect and coach at Next Step Coaching Services. You can always find her trying to figure out one more alternative to cooking dinner.

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