Candles morguefileI’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.

Here’s my last demo reel. Please note that it’s probably 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!

 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,