According to the Book of Lists, public speaking is the #1 fear for many people, surpassing the fear of death. Fortunately, there are tools that can help to alleviate the fear.
Receive Instruction from Speaking Experts
Learn the best next steps
Practice in a small group setting
Meet with experts one-to-one:
Branding Expert | Speaking Coach | Platform Builder | Social Media Expert | Life Coach
This time can be used to evaluate where you are, and where you would like to be in your speaking ministry.
Unsure of where to begin as a writer? The Speak Up Conference brings in renowned Christian authors, editors and publishers to help participants.
Learn how to be a captivating storyteller
Learn the steps of writing a book from start to finish
Decide which publishing route is best for you
Meet with experts one-to-one:
Publishers | Editors | Author Mentors | Self Publishing Experts | Marketing Experts
This time can be used to evaluate where you are, and where you would like to be in your writing journey.
In-Person Breakout Sessions - Choose one from each block.
(S) Speaking Track (W) Writing Track (M) Minstry Development
Breakout Session 1
Developing a Topical Presentation”
The fear of public speaking is the #1 fear of people in the U.S. today. But people who learn to communicate their message have the opportunity to give hope, courage, truth, and inspiration to others. This session will give you a start-to-finish overview of how to prepare a talk on any topic. You will learn how to analyze your audience, select a topic, write out a specific, measurable aim, and conclude with appropriate applications.
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No one can make you funny, but you can learn to lighten up, and this workshop will help you discover the methods that will add a new dimension to your communication. The humor, wit, and fun are hidden in your manuscript or presentation. In this workshop, you will uncover it.
Visit Karen's Bio
A book proposal that catches the attention—positive attention—of an acquiring editor and other publishing professionals needs more than just the inclusion of the right items. It needs to be based on a unique and winning idea; it needs the right tone; it needs the right ingredients; and it needs to be the best possible example of your writing ability. Learn how to create a compelling proposal from an editor responsible for discovering and publishing some of the most admired Christian authors writing today.
Visit Cindy's Bio
The one-sheet is a condensed version of your book proposal … only a lot more creative visually. Agents and acquisition editors desire to see your one-sheet at the conference. This is a huge selling tool for your manuscript. This session will show you what needs to be on the one-sheet and what doesn’t. To get your creative juices going, we will review several other one-sheets and discuss what works and what doesn’t. A color printer will be made available for you to print out your one-sheet before your one-on-one meetings at the conference.
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We all have a life story, but have you taken time to write it down and trace God’s hand in every chapter of your life? In this workshop, we’ll walk through five steps to help you do this:
- Identify the chapters of your life.
- Identify the stars and scars.
- Identify formative relationships and experiences.
- Identify what you’ve learned about God in each chapter.
- Identify what you’ve learned about yourself.
Once you have identified key events, experiences, relationships, and what you’ve learned about God and yourself, you can begin to look at how the different parts of your life fit together and begin to discover the themes of your life story. You’ll be able to answer, “What is my story about?”. Each participant will be given a five-day guide to walk them through this process.
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Learn how to create a course or challenge that will interest your followers in a practical and life-giving way. From idea to blueprint you will receive a plan that will assist you in creating this essential tool as you enhance the content of your book, build your email list, and drive your audience to your website with an engaging lead magnet. You will walk away with the strategy to design your course with creativity and excellent content. PLUS as a bonus you will learn how to take your lead magnet to the next level in an online setting using a live streaming platform to bring even more value to your audience. After the course, sign up for a 15-minute consultation to get your idea in motion.
Visit Carol's Bio
Breakout Session 2
Your presentations need more story, and your stories need more structure and balance and drama. In this practical workshop, you will learn how to tell stories and how to keep your audience on the edge of their seats with body language, voice projection, eye contact, accents, and other on-stage skills.
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Using social media Lives is a great way to give your audience valuable content while building a sustainable platform for your ministry. But it can be scary to go live!
In this workshop, you’ll learn to:
- Catch and hold your viewers’ attention
- Beat the algorithm for more views.
- Get tons of shares and replays.
- Handle Q&A’s with confidence and panache.
- Build your email list.
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This presentation will cover what an agent does, help a new author determine if they need one, how to get their attention and what an agent will do for you. Based on the goals of an author, an agent might not be necessary. But an agent is needed, certain things need to be understood about how an agent works and how they can benefit the author.
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Brand new to the publishing process? Senior Literary Agent Karen Neumair unpacks the pros and cons of three publishing paths to help you determine which one is best for your unique literary aspirations. She then provides an overview of the basic steps to break into traditional publishing, including the role of a literary agent and how to find one. (Target audience: Beginning to intermediate authors deciding whether to pursue a traditional publisher or self-publish)
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Whether you are a seasoned author or just starting your speaking ministry, you can create a merch table that helps you gain credibility and money. Join author and speaker, Lee Nienhuis, to learn the nuts and bolts of building an ancillary line of products that sell and build your brand. We’ll talk real cost, design techniques, and ways to increase engagement and ministry at your table! You CAN build a merch table event coordinators ask for and that help you stay profitable. Let me show you how.
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Breakout Session 3
One of the biggest responsibilities the Christian communicator has is the task of properly handling the Scriptures. In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of hermeneutics- studying the Bible along with the proper history, context, and interpreted application.
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Retreats are an amazing way to engage with your audience, share powerful messages, and create opportunities for transformation that are hard to replicate in any other form. However, speaking multiple times and connecting with a large group of new people within a couple of days is not easy. In this practical workshop, you’ll learn simple steps to enhance the effectiveness as a retreat keynote speaker so your audience will remember your time together for years to come. Join Cindy as you learn to:
- Recognize the difference between a keynote message and retreat message planning
- Communicate your needs effectively with the retreat planning committee or organizer
- Create memorable and engaging retreat messages
- Consider the energy level of the audience throughout the weekend
- Identify potential pitfalls and navigate around them successfully
- Leave a lasting impression that encourages people to recommend you to other events
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Writing a Breakout Novel When Most Sales Are Through Amazon
The true breakout novel, the novel that sells well, gets the attention of reviewers, and puts you on the radar of consumers who will want your next novel when it comes out, is rare. And in these days when half of all novels sold are sold through Amazon, many in ebook form, how do you even get noticed? Join an experienced fiction editor who has acquired and overseen fiction lines for two of the world’s biggest publishing houses in this exploration of the ways your next novel can ignite that kind of interest and become the turning point in your career.
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When Michelle quit her 9-to-5 magazine writing job in 2000 and entered the world of full time freelance writing, she learned (through trial and error) how to earn consistent cash. Come to this session and discover how to double your fun and finances as a freelance writer! This is always a writers’ conference favorite!
Visit Michelle's Bio
In the midst of all the striving to build bigger platforms, seek more invitations to speak, or write stunning proposals, have you stopped to think that your passion to write or speak is part of God’s calling on your life, and He will make a way? The journey may not look exactly like you had planned or hoped, but a surrendered heart and keeping an eternal perspective will make all of the difference to combat fear, insecurity and discouragement. Join Judy Dunagan who has been on that same journey, both as an acquisitions editor and new author. She will share how surrendering the dream to write and speak, while still pursuing that dream, helps turn our focus from self to Him.
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The Power of Story: Recalling, Organizing, and Using Stories to Illustrate Points in Writing and Speaking
Stories are the delivery trucks for truth. If you want people to remember something, bring it to them in a story. Whether you’re writing or speaking, stories are heartbeat of a compelling message, yet many of us squander our stories without even realizing it. We also try too hard to teach principles that could often best be delivered in a story. It’s time to work smarter, not harder! In this workshop, you will:
- Discover a strategy for capturing and recalling stories.
- Explore how to use the same story in different ways.
- Learn how to tell a story—on a stage or in writing-- in a compelling way.
- Understand why and how transferable principles are best delivered in story.
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Breakout Session 4
Eeeeek! Outlining? Many people get a headache just thinking about it, but this session will make outlining FUN! Learn to put your messages together so they are creative and memorable. Learn the secrets of outlining, and take home the tools to make it happen without breaking a sweat.
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God’s given you expertise through professional, educational, and personal experience and there’s a world out there waiting to hear from you! Whether it’s through speaking, writing, social media, video, or a podcast, this workshop will equip you to identify your expertise, find your voice, and create a practical plan that fits your style and goals for communicating your message to your target audience and beyond!
Visit Brenda's Bio
If you don’t get an acceptance from a publisher, you may hear “we already have a book like that.” Many writers will go onto their next idea, which may not be any more unique than the first idea. How do you get into the lane of a unique idea? How do you research your topic and come up with comparative books and statements that reflect your book’s uniqueness? This is the area in which most books get passed over – publishers already have their book on your topic. We’ll look at how to turn the dial of your book hook to key in on distinctions that matter. And we’ll look at some books that are written on well-known topics but what made these others unique. Come prepared to shift your idea, not your audience. To create a message that stands on its own rather than fits in with what others are saying.
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Do you have a story to share? Would it make a good memoir? Come learn the do's and don'ts of sharing your story, how to craft a good memoir, and how to get it published.
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Co-taught with Katie M. Reid & Lee Nienhuis
Don't go it alone on your writing and speaking journey! Gather a ministry team to help minimize isolation and maximize your impact. Speakers, authors, and podcast hosts, Lee Nienhuis and Katie M. Reid, will share time-tested tips and different approaches to gathering the people you need to help you succeed. From formulating a prayer team, to hiring an assistant that fits your needs and personality, to swapping services with colleagues, you will walk away equipped to take the next step in building a strong ministry.
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Communication that produces change happens when we apply the truth of God's word to people's lives. Today in ministry, we must be prepared to share the truth of Scripture to a culture that has gone digital. This interactive workshop will demonstrate the use of Logos Bible Software for effective speaking preparation, writing research, and personal Bible study. What normally takes five to 10 hours of flipping through paper books for speaking prep and Bible study can be done in seconds - and the depth of study is unparalleled! Logos 8 gives you access to your entire biblical library wherever you are because it is compatible with Mac®, PC, iPad®, iPhone® and Android™ - this ease of use and power of Logos will be clearly taught and demonstrated.
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Breakout Session 5 (All Ministry Development)
All of us have experienced hard times, even trauma. We’ve done terrible things, or we’ve had terrible things done to us. But we’re not defined by the worst thing we’ve ever done, or that’s been done to us. God is a God of redemption. Literally making beauty from ashes. In this workshop, we’ll talk about how the worst parts of our story can bring blessing and healing to others!
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Marketing is all about serving others. In this workshop, Bethany Jett lays the framework for successful marketing practices, including:
- Why it’s crucial to utilize new media and traditional media practices
- How to use content marketing to your advantage without spending a lot of money
- A breakdown of the “Top 8” New Media platforms
- The 10 Steps of Integrated Marketing (and how to put them into practice today!)
- Why the GRACE campaign will bring freedom to your writing and marketing
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Why are mastermind groups such a HOT topic? Have you ever wondered why the conversation buzz around masterminds is electric? Don't miss these session details:
- Understand the different types of mastermind groups
- Identify the pitfalls of unproductive group opportunities
- Recognize the differences between group coaching and individual coaching
- Capture the unique reasons you will personally benefit from a mastermind group
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Practical tips and wisdom to help leaders know how to better recognize and meet the needs of those struggling with their mental health and how to know when someone should be referred for professional help.
In this workshop we will discuss signs and symptoms of common mental health struggles and practical tools to help. Here are a few of the questions we will tackle: How do you know if helping them is hurting you? How to know when you are at the brink of burn out? How to know when what you are offering someone is actually hindering them and you? Lastly, we will talk about common Christian misperceptions about mental illness and how we can do better.
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Engaging an agent can be intimidating. Signing with one: daunting. An agent greatly impacts your writing & speaking career, but securing one can feel like Mission Impossible.
- Where do you start and how do you decide which agent would be the best fit?
- If you are wondering if you need an agent, how do you go about finding one?
- Why is selecting the right one from the beginning so important?
- How do I begin a conversation if I think I’ve found my dream agent?
I’ll share my five top do’s and don’ts as a speaker, writer, & podcaster in finding & working with an agent. Walk away with a step-by-step plan to find an agent to help take your writing or speaking to the next level.
Visit Erica's Bio
Are you overwhelmed by opportunities or do you feel shut down and waiting to be used by God? Are you stepping in a new direction or persevering through a well worn path? Writers, speakers and leaders may experience different seasons of growth, pruning, harvesting and stillness in the journey. However, God has a purpose and plan for you and a reason for every season. Come discover what it is, where you are and what you need to embrace your season.
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Breakout Session 6
You Have a Story to Tell
Have you ever wondered what to include in the story of your life? Every Christian has a personal testimony and God can use your journey to offer hope to someone else. Come to this session to learn how to concisely share your testimony in a way that will positively impact listeners. Whether you’re sharing your story from a public platform or in an informal setting, you can communicate your faith-journey with confidence, authenticity, and conviction. This session will help you decide what to delete and what to include as you point people to everlasting hope.
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Shannon’s made lots of mistakes, both on and off the platform! But you don’t have to make the same ones. She’ll share some rookie mistakes, ways to improve, and how to give yourself grace, since—like everybody else, you’re still learning.
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The Book Funnel Method: Discover Your Heroic Cause Creating a Relationship-Driven Platform with Dedicated Followers.
Learn the 4 elements I used to grow a 25,000-email list, build two multimillion-dollar companies, & redeem culture through the power of story
- Become a Honeycomb Writer Who Attracts Ideal Readers Worldwide
- Guarantee Readers Connect With Your Mission & Join Your Heroic Cause
- Gain an Unfair Advantage With Literary Agents and Traditional Publishers
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Fine tune your craft.
Write with your own vocabulary, tone, and voice of truth. Touch the troubled heart of the reader by offering your heart upon the page. Learn how to bring your heart to the page.
“ Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write down the vision And inscribe it clearly on tablets, So that one who reads it may run” (Habakkuk 2:2 NASB).
Visit Darlene's Bio
How do you keep going for a lifetime – writing and speaking messages of hope and life and truth? How do you battle discouragement, detours, or the death of dreams? The answer lies in drawing near to the heart of Jesus who offers unconditional love and fills us with serenity and strength. Come as you are and let us help nourish your soul with keys to a vibrant inner life that will enable you and your words to reach a hurting world.
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Breakout Session 7
Are you interested in taking your speaking to the next level? Do you want to go from Inspirational to Transformational? This session will give you the tools to make that happen. Discover the secret to having your audience actually remember and apply your message to their own lives. Learn to work within an aim frame and you will never be long-winded again. This technique will give your audience take home value.
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Have you ever wanted to highlight your ministry, book or message on television or radio? Perhaps you would even like to host your own. Join Jennifer as she walks you through how to find the perfect opportunity for you. You will learn material preparation techniques, follow up plans, growing professional relationships and how to maximize your on airtime. She will boost your confidence as we talk about on-screen makeup, green room, and wardrobe tricks.
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Your stories can impact the world, one heart at a time!
Join Sandi Banks for this interactive, inspiring, informative workshop. Here you will learn key elements for effectively writing devotions, then getting them into the publishers' hands and the readers’ hearts.
What’s so intriguing and rewarding about devotional writing? It communicates truth, heart-to-heart, and points the reader upward for encouragement and connection with God—all in a five-minute-or-less read.
Sandi defines devotional writing as a "nugget of truth, wrapped in a story, immersed in insight, served with grace." Come discover what that means, and how God can use your gifts and experiences to honor Him and offer hope to a hurting world.
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Everyone knows that Amazon can be an incredible tool to sell books to readers across the globe. But does the transaction end with just one purchase and a few dollars royalty? It doesn’t have to! In this class we’ll discuss how to effectively utilize Amazon to turn shoppers into readers, and readers into lifelong fans!
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Filled, excited, but maybe a bit overwhelmed? This interactive session will help you process, prioritize and plan. We’ll discuss how to recognize potential pitfalls and develop or reinforce effective habits so that you can define your next steps and formulate your post-conference action plan.
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It has been a difficult couple years for all of us. And when we avoid dealing with our losses we are left with less of ourselves. But how do we process loss? The Lord has given us guidance in the book of Psalms where over half of the Psalms are lament Psalms – prayers for those experiencing sorrow and distress. Looking at the structure of lament Psalms we find a helpful model to process loss, moving from expressing our distress all the way to placing our trust in God, that can be used both individually and corporately. Come to this workshop and give yourself a moment to catch up with your heart and honor your losses.
Visit Jeri's Bio