I love writing. I love it when that cursor moves across the page leaving a little beauty or inspiration in its wake. I love mixing it up with writers. Speakers too. I’ve presented writing and speaking seminars for the C.S. Lewis Foundation Writers’ Workshop, Glorieta Christian Writers Conference, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association conferences, as well as many day-long seminars and workshops for local writers’ groups. Choose from the following topics or suggest related ones. We can work together for presentations for your audience.
Connecting with the Hearts of Today’s Audience:
We are living in the midst of a revolution of worldviews. Our neighbors, co-workers and family members increasingly hold different perspectives on truth, virtue, justice, meaning and hope. “Post-modernism is the air we breathe.”
This most requested message offers an easily understood summary of how our culture has changed from Christian to modern to postmodern and what that means for a writer or speaker. It constructs a profile of today’s audience and offers practical strategies to connect our message, especially the gospel, in a winsome and compelling way to their needs and cultural sensibilities.
We have two ways of knowing: reason and imagination. To appeal to reason we use facts, evidence and logic. To appeal to imagination we use story, image, metaphor, symbol and myth. How might we appeal to both in today’s culture when we want to convey substance to an audience that connects more with appeals to imagination?
This message offers creative ways to organize our messages and practical suggestions to strengthen creative elements in our fiction and non-fiction writing and speaking. Topics include linear and non-linear organization, showing motivation, introductory and illustrative segments, prose that pops with creative images, drama and story in nonfiction and other possibilities. For speakers, ideas on opening segments, closings and response time.
For bloggers and any writer or speaker who speaks to our great cultural divide, we’ll discuss the tension between writing about it as territory to be won or a broken culture that needs healing. We’ll discuss how to listen well and speak truth boldly, yet with kindness and respect. The role of humor and sarcasm. We’ll take a deep look at culture care strategies of gratitude and generosity. Probe the difference between Kingdom First and America First messaging. And most importantly, we’ll focus on how to expose faulty assumptions from a Christian worldview and provide an eternal perspective of redemption and hope.
From my 10+ years of faith and culture blogging archives at Bible.org Engage (where I’ve received as many as 80,000 page views a month) I’ll share the results of my reader surveys—what draws people in, what generates the most response and what doesn’t. I’ll also discuss reader feedback from my blog here and at The Stream news aggregate.
For bloggers: I can also add 15 minutes on how to get a WordPress blog set up, select pictures, promote on social media, interact with comments, use Mail Chimp subscription service, and grow your audience.
Do you really own being a writer? An artist? If this unique gifting is your calling then this message will help you to become more missional in your reading, in developing your craft, in connecting with your audience, and in refining your aim. It will help you to sit down and get words on a page—create content and move it to market. Finally it will challenge you to look deeply at your motivations and discover what is driving you…the joy of self-expression and artistry? Offering value to others? Serving your audience a banquet of God? More than success as writers, God wants our hearts. (Interactive; Good for writing groups)
Entertainers use pleasure and fear, laughter and tears to hold an audience. Faced with shortening attention spans and competing with ever-increasing stimulation, how do we strengthen our audience connection without becoming just another entertainer? At a time when his people were dull of hearing God used the prophet Ezekiel to rivet their attention and bring repentance. Drawing from his example, this message explores how to use imagination and tension, radical truth-telling and integrity, boldness and subtlety to strengthen our message and become a walking billboard of God’s holiness and grace.