Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Giving Back Series, Part Two: Speaking

Hey everyone, Annette here. Last week we discussed volunteering your time. This week's topic can be on a volunteer basis, or a paid basis, but it does involve giving your time.

Let's talk about speaking at a school or teaching workshops.

A few years ago, my good friend (and Seriously Write cohost) Ocieanna Fleiss asked me to speak at her MOPS group. What a treat! The date? Valentine’s Day so we discussed marriage, I believe, and because it was a Christian setting, I brought God into the discussion.

When my older children were in elementary school, their teachers and I talked about the possibility of me coming in and sharing with the students about writing—making it fun. The timing never worked. But I’ve heard of many authors prepping and visiting classrooms with their lessons.

We had a teacher’s aid in my ninth grade English class who made all the difference for me as a budding writer. She taught us about character sketches, gave us names like Oogie and some normal names and assigned us to give our characters traits and write a story about them. I loved that assignment. My imagination went wild. That was the beginning of a love of fiction writing for me.

One speaker can make all the difference.

Now, I realize all the speaking engagements out there aren’t all volunteer opportunities. At times you’ll get paid for them, or reimbursed for travel.

But either way, your words have an impact—spoken or written. Why not volunteer to share your words as a speaker? You can speak to church groups, writers, students, etc. You never know how your teaching might impact someone else. The T.A. from my English may never know. But I’ll never forget.

Volunteering to speak is another way we can give back.

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