Is it Normal to Second-Guess Your Talk?

A while back one of our newer speakers reached out to a group of women speakers she knew would be honest and helpful. She was struggling with her talk and could not shake it. Our enemy works so hard to make us feel unacceptable, rejected, and outcast because he is! We know most of you struggle with this so we hope you enjoy these encouraging words. 

Posted message:

I had my second speaking engagement last night which was much larger than my first. I felt more comfortable than the first time so my talk ended up being shorter. I felt ok about it, until later. I didn’t get the “response” I anticipated and I just didn’t feel the same “spirit” as the first time.

It made me start to rethink the evening. I began to worry: Was it was too short? Not impactful enough? Did I miss the mark?

So, here’s my question . . . Is this normal? I’ve been trying to sort out what is true and what I am overreacting to. Is it the enemy? The thoughts of the evening consumed me the entire day. I want every word I say to be from God, about God, and to glorify God. If I am falling short of that in any way I want to be aware of it. Please don’t think I’m crazy! I’m just hoping for some advice.

Thank you in advance for your time.

Feedback received from other speakers:

I’ve been there. So many times after speaking I would analyze it all. Sometimes I knew it was the enemy and other times I knew it was me and my insecurities. I also have had times where I kick myself for something I said or something I didn’t say but then I learned to pray before each speaking engagement – all of You and none of me and may the words that come out of my mouth be the exact ones that You want me to say. Then if I felt uneasy about it, I knew that I said what He wanted me to and that maybe there was just one person there that needed to hear what I said or someone who needed to know I was human too and make mistakes. I also have to do a “check” to make sure my pride isn’t playing a role. We are human and we are going to fall short. But don’t look back cuz you are not going there – you are going forward and every event will mold and shape you as a speaker. You are amazing Gia and God has called you to this. I love your honest heart. ~Carol Ensminger

I think what Carol said is so good. When I am unsure, I try to get quiet and ask God what He thinks and ask Him to plant deeply the seeds that were from Him and to redeem anything that was not. So many times, I have spoken and thought it was awful and then later, come to find out it was impactful. We can do what we do in the moments we have, but God is not limited as we are. ~Jennifer F.

This is so normal unfortunately because the enemy wants to use his lies any way he can because He knows the power of the truth being spoken. You never know what God is doing behind the scenes … He most defiantly is working. I am praying for you to experience a great sense of peace. Also, I try when I can to take someone with me so I have one person in the audience that I know that I can help speak truth over me if the enemy tries His schemes I am so proud of your obedience and praying for you. ~Jennifer Hand

It is so typical to re-think and re-think and rethink what we said, how we said it, and weigh our message based on people’s responses. This week I spoke 6 times. Two different groups. Three different audiences. Their responses were so very different. If I judged my calling based on the first night together, I would hang up my hat. And if I judged it based on the final message, then I would think I was a rockstar. Neither of those responses is a good response. It is hard to separate faithfulness to the calling God has on your life and to the message He gives you and their response. But we must try. There are times that I wish I had prepared more or I would like to change how I said it. Or even what I said. But you need to ask yourself if you were faithful to the Lord and the message He gave you. If the answer is yes, then the conversation in your mind needs to stop. Be obedient and not discouraged, Dear One. I’m cheering you on and praying even now. ~Lee Nienhuis

All of the above responses are “right on.” I think the enemy delights in tempting us to second guess what we’ve presented. I’ve discovered that every group is different. Some audiences are enthusiastic, “instant responders,” and others are a bit more reserved. Some come with open hearts, eager to receive every biblical principle you present, and others are there because they want to be with friends, not because they’re interested in the message.

Here’s my best advice. Every time you stand in front of an audience, go in prepared and covered in prayer; then do the best job you can; be available to the attendees before and after you speak. (Some of the best ministry happens off the platform.) Then return home and give the results to the Lord. Give him your insecurities about what took place–and on the days when people are singing your praises, direct the glory back to Him. Just keep faithfully using your gifts. If God puts a check in your spirit about any part of your presentation, revise your material before you step on the next platform. Mostly, keep putting one foot in front of the other; seek wise counsel (as you have), and leave the results with Him. Your heart’s in the right place! ~Carol Kent

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