Eating From the Pantry: Day 3

Eating From the Pantry

It’s Day 3 of our Eating from the Pantry Challenge and the fridge and cupboards are getting barer. And we’re almost finished with all the packing, too. Just a few little odds and ends and part of our bedroom and we’re D-O-N-E! Yay!

It was a beautiful day and we made the most of it by spending a few hours in the afternoon with some friends at the park.

Eating From the Pantry

Don’t you just love the beauty of farm fresh eggs?

Eating from the Pantry

I found a club soda in the cupboard, so I introduced the kids to it. They weren’t big fans, but I loved it with a little lime juice. So refreshing!

Eating from the Pantry

Popcorn is a favorite snack at our house! It’s been a few weeks since we’ve made it, so it was a great from-the-pantry snack for today!

Here’s the run down on what we had today:

Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal

Lunch: Fried Eggs, oranges, Banana Bread (I had a salad.)

Snack: Popcorn, apples with almond butter

Dinner: Baked chicken with spices, oranges, green beans

Eating From the Pantry

Are you eating from the pantry this week? If you are, leave a comment telling us what you ate today. Or, if you’re blogging about this challenge, leave a link to your direct blog post below that details what you ate for the Pantry Challenge today. I can’t wait to see your creative ideas!


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4 Strategies to Become a Successful Speaker

5 Steps to Become a Public Speaker

I just finished writing my first book and have been working on building a social media presence. I’m excited about these things, but I’d also really like to have the opportunity to speak at events. However, I’m not sure how to get started or how you go about building a speaking business. If you have any suggestions on where to begin, I value any input you can give me. -Jenny

Such a great question, Jenny! Congratulations on finishing your first book — how exciting!

I never set out to become a public speaker. In fact, as I shared in this post, it was truly one of the last things I would have ever seen myself doing. However, as the opportunities began coming my way and I realized this was something that God was calling me to do, I’ve sought to be intentional and strategic in developing myself as a public speaker.

Here are some suggestions I’d have for you:

1. Define Your Market

Before you even start down the journey of becoming a public speaker, I think it’s important to define your market. What audiences do you see yourself speaking to? Are you a comedian, a corporate speaker, a Christian women’s speaker, etc?

Do you see yourself giving workshops and training seminars? Or do you picture yourself being up on a keynote stage giving inspirational messages? Or are you something entirely different or somewhere in between?

Take a long hard look at what audiences you want to reach. It could be multiple types of audiences, but from the get-go, don’t just say, “I’ll be happy to speak to anyone, anywhere.” Otherwise, you’re probably setting yourself up for frustration, exhaustion, or failure.

For instance, I have three topics that I speak on: intentional finance, intentional family, and intentional business. All of my presentations fall under one of these headings. If an audience of car mechanics asked me to come in and talk on how to fix your car, I’m not their girl.

Defining what I’m about has helped me to be selective on what speaking opportunities I’ll accept. And it also helps me and my team to be able to clearly communicate what I’m about when events are interested in having me come speak.

2. Practice Your Presentations

If there is one huge mistake you can make when preparing for an event, it’s to not prepare enough. I cannot stress enough how import it is to practice your talks over and over again when you are first starting out.

In fact, I’d encourage you to practice them standing up exactly as you plan to deliver them, including using your slide presentation and any props, at least 3 full times before you ever deliver a talk on stage. If possible, ask a few family members or friends to watch these practices and give their feedback.

Yes, this takes a LOT of time upfront, but it’s SO worth it. Why? Because not only does practice allow you to familiarize yourself with the material, but you’ll also likely find places you want to rework and refine. Each practice session will make the talk just a little bit better, helping you to then deliver it with confidence and ease once you’re up on stage.

In addition, when you practice your talk multiple times, you become really comfortable with it. When the inevitable mishap occurs — such as the mic not working right or the slides not working or some other tech issue (it seems there’s always something!) — you aren’t thrown off track because you know your material well.

One final note on practicing: I’ve become a big fan of giving the same presentations over and over again to different groups. Right now, I only have 10 talks that I give. If an event asks me to come speak, those are the talks I offer.

I always tweak my talks for the specific audience and always update them so that they are relevant and fresh, but for the most part, the bones of the talk stay the same once I get them to a place where I feel like they are really strong. I’ve found that by giving the same talks again and again, they just get better with time as I learn what works best with multiple audiences.

5 Steps to Becoming a Public Speaker

My favorite part of traveling & speaking is getting to meet readers face-to-face!

3. Offer Your Services

Once you’ve defined who your ideal audience is and you’ve created and practiced some talks, it’s time to get out there and start speaking! For many people, this can be the hardest part.

But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be really difficult to find audiences to speak to if you’re not too picky about who your audience is. There are many community centers, libraries, and even nursing homes that will allow you to come in and speak. All you have to do is call and offer!

Sure, there might only be a handful of people who show up, but speaking to just a small room of people can be great practice in the beginning. Plus, if you mess up or struggle through sections, you’ve only embarrassed yourself in front of a small group!

These small audiences might not be your long-term ideal audiences, but don’t be discouraged by that. Realize that every small opportunity is practice and preparation for the bigger opportunities. You usually have to do a lot of small things well before you are ready for the bigger opportunities. So give your very best to each audience, no matter the size!

As you become more comfortable with speaking, seek out other opportunities. Maybe offer to give a workshop at a local conference or church, offer to speak at schools or other community groups. You probably won’t get paid for these opportunities, but take them anyway. When you’re starting out, just be grateful for any opportunity to practice your presentations in front of a live audience!

4. Refine Your Speaking

After you’ve had 5-10 speaking opportunities, go back to the drawing board. Consider what’s working and what’s not.

When I first started speaking, I was just so grateful for any opportunity that I would speak on pretty much whatever I was asked to, within reason. I quickly learned what kinds of talks and subjects worked for me and what didn’t. I wouldn’t have known, though, had I not gone out there and tried.

Go back to step number one and see if you need to re-define your market at all. Start deciding which 3-5 talks are your favorites and really working on refining and tweaking those.

If possible, I wholeheartedly encourage you to hire a speaking coach. If you’re interested in hearing more about this, read this post on how my speaking coach, Michele, has completely changed my entire approach to speech preparation.

I also highly, highly, highly recommend attending the SCORRE conference. I went last year — mostly dragging my feet — and the whole process and training transformed me from the inside out.

Not only have I become a much more dynamic speaker as a result of SCORRE, but I’m all-around more confident in who I am, what I am about, and the message I’m called to share. If you want to improve as a communicator in any field — speaking, writing, blogging, and more — do yourself a huge favor and attend SCORRE.

For more tips on improving as a speaker, read my post on how I got over my lifelong fear of public speaking.

What advice and suggestions do the rest of you have for Jenny?

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Gretchen’s Target Shopping Trip: Spent $6.47 total for 6 items!

photo (5)

Target Shopping Trip

Transaction #1

3 Speed Stick Gear Deodorants – $3.99 (Buy 3, Get $5 Target gift card), used 2 $2/1 printable AND 1 $1.50/1 coupon from the 4/6 SmartSource insert – $2.15 each after coupons

Total after coupons: $6.47, Received $5 Target gift card

Transaction #2

I decided to use the gift card for a few grocery items I needed to get.

1 Market Pantry Lunchmeat – $2.50, used $1/1 Target printable AND 5% off Cartwheel coupon - $1.42 after coupons

1 Frozen Spinach – $1.77, used 5% off Cartwheel coupon - $1.68 after coupon

1 Cool Whip – $1.52

Used $5 Target gift card

Total after coupons and gift card: $0.00

Total for both transactions: $6.47

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The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle: $698 of Homemaking ebooks + more than $200 worth of bonuses for just $29.95

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Free Ebooks: 7 Day Gluten Free Cookbook, Paleo on a Budget, Creative Cupcake Ideas, and more

NOTE: The price of these ebooks is currently $0.00, but that could change at any time. Be sure to verify before checking out that it is still free.

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