So They've Asked You To Speak? January 09 2015

5 Questions For Public Speakers

You've just received a phone call to preach, now what? First, you should respond within a reasonable amount of time concerning your availability (1-2 days). A delay in responding can eliminate the request and reflect your reputation. Most ministry requests are done via phone call or email. If you get an email, you should still insist on a phone call so that you can speak directly with a live person in order to ask the pertinent questions to adequately prepare for the ministry visit. Here are 5 things you need to ask:

  1. Specific Questions. Ask specifically about the date of request, time, location, attire, directions, and parking facility. If the event is not local, questions regarding travel and lodging are appropriate and are usually complimentary from the church or event coordinator. 
  1. The Event. Ask about the audience, (i.e., size of crowd, age bracket, and gender may be helpful during sermon preparation) and if there are any specific scripture references or a theme being used for the occasion. If so, comply!
  1. Advertising. Ask whether a bio and picture of you is required for advertising and marketing purposes and don't forget to get their (email) address to send it. 
  1. Remuneration. Ask about the offering for your ministry services. This will eliminates surprises at the end of the service. Here’s an opening question: How do you handle your guest speakers in regard to offerings or honorariums? Keep in mind that each situation is different and adjustments may have to be made on both sides. My late Pastor, Bishop Charles J. Reed, suggests that both parties "be fair" in this discussion. A wisdom tip I live by during negotiations.

  2. Confirmation.  After all the above, ask to have all the information discussed written in a confirmation letter, on the organization's letterhead, signed by the Pastor or event coordinator. Once you receive it, double check it. Any questions or revisions, should be made before the visit. Lastly, lock the date into your calendar (mobile phone) or files and prepare to go serve!

Shop here for Hooper's Evangelist & Minister's Handbook to learn more about this subject, public speaking tips, what to wear and more!