*First in a series: Dr. Cynthia A. Bond Hopson Prepares to speak
Preparing to speak is a process. There, I’ve said it, and this process begins long before I get to the microphone to inform, inspire or entertain you. I am happy to pull back the Wizard of Oz mystery curtain and let you see the sausage being made. From January to April, look for these reflections and I pray you will be blessed and consider calling me for your next event.
First, I get a call, mostly it’s a referral from someone who heard me speak somewhere or got an enthusiastic suggestion from someone who did. I love these because I pray daily that God will open doors and put the right people in front of me or vice versa, so if you call, I figure it’s a gift from God. People also find me on www.touchedbygraceministry.com. I check my schedule and work past the budgetary “How much do you charge?” questions early. I know it takes hours of preparation to have something to say. You may not. I know I need to hear God, reflect, gather materials, buy what I don’t have, and discern what is appropriate for your occasion. You may not. I know that my time, experience and talents are gifts from God and they’re what I’m sharing. You may not. I will be away from home, family and what I would ordinarily do and while I can’t put a price tag on time, experience and talent, they have great worth. If your budget and my expectations don’t mesh, I work creatively with you (where possible/within reason) so the message can be the star of the show, not my fees. As soon as a date is chosen, I begin praying about your event and making notes. I listen to music, check relevant websites, and research related issues.
Second, I send an official TBG Engagement form so there are no mix-ups about arrival time, accommodations, theme, location, expectations, book sales, etc. I love to leave books behind to bless audiences after I’m gone. I like to maximize time on the ground so if you haven’t considered a book signing, reception, additional worship service or community gathering, you may want to.
Third, I check book, handout and supply inventory to see what I need to order, create, or copy. I gather my notes to prayerfully craft a message. The day of the event I eat early because I don’t like to eat and speak. If I’m there to sing, I don’t like to eat because I can’t make my high notes!
Fourth, I pray people show up. They always do, but I still pray.
Finally, I select what I will wear so you and I won’t be distracted by something ugly, ill-fitting or inappropriate that detracts from God’s message. I show up and God does the rest!
Coming to Behind the Scene with Dr. Hopson
February: Self-care and time management—Finding my niche and voice
March: Trust God & Walk by Faith – Cynthia Ann and the *Prayer of Jabez
April: My heart belongs to God – So, Lord, what’s next?
* Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.” Chronicles 4:9-10