MOPS is a perfect place to start your speaking career. For 15 years, across four locations in three states, I have mentored moms and led groups of mentors. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best speakers.
I have also watched in desperation, wanting to rescue some of the ones who need a few tweaks. Here is what I learned first-hand to make the most of your speaking opportunity at MOPS:
- Have a contract that outlines all of the needs and expectations you and the coordinator discussed when you were recruited to speak. Include the amount of your normal fee, even if you don’t charge anything. Then write “waived” next to it.
- A week before the scheduled meeting, call the coordinator to confirm technical details, needs and expectations included in the contract and time allotment, especially start and end time.
- Ask the coordinator to send a survey of one or two well-crafted questions to the moms beforehand so you can tailor your talk to their needs.
- If you are using PowerPoint, make arrangements to do a tech-check before the meeting starts. That being said, don’t be too dependent on your tech just in case you have to go low tech. MOPS groups aren’t always equipped for a professional talk.
- Arrive on time. Don’t be late, or call if you have an emergency. Nothing is harder for the Leadership Team than leaving their duties at the meeting to wait for you, or greet you at a particular time after the meeting has started.
- Set up your table in the back of the room with your brand colors. Make it bright and attractive so people approach it before they sit down. Include free business cards or bookmarks. Make the moms feel welcome.
- Divide your talk into segments that give moms time to share around the table during your talk. Remember these moms have not seen each other for two weeks and they want to chat and catch up. When you give them a chance to chat about an intriguing topic, they think you are awesome!
- Suggestion, but not mandatory: Offer a nominal gift with your name and contact info. Memory verse cards work well for this. Print them on business cards and spread them out on the tables.
- Offer a free gift raffle (a book or something that fits with your topic) and collect names and email addresses on raffle entries. Make sure they know entering the raffle means they consent to joining your email list.
- End in time for questions.
- Practice before you go! In a room full of moms, and often babies, there will be distractions.
- Have some one-liners ready for screaming baby interruptions:
“Someone wants to join in this discussion.”
“I’m sure he’s agreeing with me, contrary to the tone in in his voice!”
“Future pastor speaking.”
“Mom, I promise it gets better.”
When you make these remarks, moms feel like you are still in the trenches with them, no matter how old your kids are. If you follow these steps, you become the “dream speaker” who causes the least amount of hassle to the coordinator and entertains/informs the moms the most.
My final tip is this: The more you LOVE on these tired moms, the more they will love you back!
Click here to download a free copy of Chris’s Speaking Contract.
Chris Moss is a 15-year MOPS mentor mom and currently leads a group of nine mentor moms who serve two MOPS groups at Sun Valley Community Church in Gilbert, AZ. She is the author of Spiritually Single Wives: For Christian Wives Who Share Everything With Their Husbands…Except Their Faith and blogs at www.chrismoss-author.com about God, the importance of mentoring and inter-generational communication.