Latest Blog Posts for October 2015

10 Ingredients for a Demo Reel, MoGo7000 and Kudos Call-Outs, & Who Won Yvonne Ortega’s Book?

Play button PixabayIt’s the 1st Tuesday, so let’s start with 10 Ingredients for a Demo Reel…

I’ve come to learn–and I’m sure you have, too–that this speaking and writing stuff consists of so much more than speaking and writing. When I first felt called to such a ministry, I dreamed of sitting at my desk, writing life-changing books, messages, and devotions, and then sharing those written words from the stage. I never envisioned the hours and energy I would spend getting those words out to those who needed to hear.

I never envisioned marketing.

But the truth of the matter is this: Without marketing, how will they hear my Good News message over the noise of the world? How will I share His light in the darkness?

There are many elements we can use to get the word out. We know that websites, blogs, and one-sheets are great ways to show the insights and lessons we’ve learned and would like to share with the world. But another medium that catches their attention is the demo reel.

The demo reel is different from a 3-5 minute sample of your speaking. Instead of delivering a full (although short) message, the reel presents a 2-3 minute multi-media collage of you and your ministry, highlighting your gifts and demonstrating your ability to help them encourage and support their own ministries.

Think you don’t have enough multi-media types to fill a demo reel? Think again. Here are 10 suggested ingredients to get you started:

  1. Video excerpts – Remember that 3-5 video message we talked about? Find 10-30 second soundbites that will pique their interest and draw them in. Multiple locations with several different types of messages will show your diversity.
  2. Audio sound bites of you speaking – Don’t have video? No problem! Record your next session and then find a nugget or two to share.
  3. Headshots – Of course, you’ll want to have your best headshots added to the reel, but don’t limit yourself to them.
  4. Photos of you – Take a friend along to take pics, ask for the event planner to arrange a photographer, or have great photos edited out from available video. The key is to grab great shots of you in action in a variety of settings.
  5. Other photos – Think beyond pictures of you. Consider photos of your book covers, signage from places you’ve spoken, flyers, and bookmarks. They add interest and depth to your reel.
  6. Excerpts from radio and TV interviews – Ask for copies of your TV and radio interviews and clarify your rights to use them. And be honest! The licensing of one of the best TV interviews I ever had restricted my rights to still photos. No audio at all. And of course, I had some great soundbites in that interview!
  7. Video testimonials
  8. Audio testimonials
  9. Graphics
  10. Outside voice overs. Some of my demos open and close with voiceovers. They’re voices from professional voiceover artists, similar to radio announcers. They might announce your website, contact info, or upcoming book.
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Here’s my last demo reel. Please note that it’s a few years old now and a little longer than I would include today. I’d definitely limit the testimonials if I had it to do over again. Vonda Skelton Speaks to Women.

So what are you waiting for? Go through your radio archives, study your photos, and find a variety of ingredients to generate interest in your ministry. It can be fun, entertaining, and a great way to generate interest in your ministry. Then go out and shine your light!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~celebration - Morguefile

It’s Time to Share Kudos of YOUR Successes!

Hey there, writing friends. We want to know what you’ve been up to. Have you had something exciting happen recently in your writing or speaking life? Maybe you’ve had an article published, signed a book contract, released a new book, got an agent, or started a new blog. If so, we want to hear from you!

It’s really simple, but I do ask that you contact me with the info in this format and order ONLY:

**Your name
**Your state in two-letter abbreviation
**Link to your website or blog
**Your good news
**Link to your good news, if online (online bookstore, online article, etc)

I can’t wait for us to celebrate with you!


mogoWho MoGo’d in September?

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in September, you can receive an entry in the drawing for the 2015 MoGo7000 $100 cash prize! It’s open to everyone who qualifies.

To report your September results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written on a book project in September. (Please do not send your totals by email or through the Contact page. Totals must be left as a comment here by next Sunday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2015 challenge continues! Here are the MoGo7000 Challenge rules. All you have to do is write at least 7000 NEW words on a book project in any month and you’ll receive an entry into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100.

Each month that you qualify with 7000 new words, your name goes in the “hat” for the drawing. Reach the goal one month and you’ll have one entry. Just starting out? Don’t worry! Meet it the next 3 months and you’ll have 3 entries!

So what are you waiting for? Get started now and you could have and extra $100 next year. And it doesn’t cost you a cent. :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Yvonne Ortega book cover 2

Who won Yvonne Ortega’s book?

And the winner is…

Gwyn Hubbert!

Congratulations, Gwyn! Simply contact me with your snail mail address and Yvonne will get your book right out to you!

And friends, I know you’re gonna want Yvonne’s book, so here’s a direct Amazon link to Moving From Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward.


Well, that does it for today! Can’t wait to hear what you have been up to!

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Weep with Those Who Weep

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

In our desire to serve and minister to others, it’s easy to simply say, “Trust God and it’ll all work out” or “Everything will be fine” or “Praise Him even when you’re struggling.” I’ve said those very things myself to people in my effort to encourage them. And yes, I believe they are absolutely true statements.

But according to Proverbs 25:20, perhaps we need to be more sensitive to those who are heartbroken, struggling, suffering great loss, or feeling abandoned or betrayed by God:

“Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound.” Proverbs 25:20

Wow! When I read this verse, I wasn’t exactly sure how to process it in my own heart and mind. After all, we’re told that God inhabits the praises of His people. And James tells us to take joy in our suffering.

But then I remembered the time Jesus delayed coming when Lazarus was sick and dying. By the time He arrived Lazarus was dead. When Martha greeted Jesus, He didn’t say, “Take joy in your suffering” or “Praise God in the midst of your pain.” He told her that Lazarus would live again and proceeded to proclaim His own resurrection and that of His followers.

Then when He saw Mary crying, John says Jesus was deeply moved and troubled. Again, He didn’t say “Don’t worry, it’ll all work out in the end.” Instead, He cried and asked her where Lazarus was buried.

Our Savior knew the outcome would be better than they could have ever imagined, and yet, He was troubled and cried with Mary in her suffering.

Oh, that we would be deeply moved and troubled when others admit their pain to us! Let us seriously consider the responsibility associated with our calling. Let’s pray that our words bring comfort and peace, not the pain of vinegar in a wound.

Grace and peace,


(Photo courtesy of

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