Friday, February 12, 2016

Create Once, Sell Twice

by Vonda Skelton @VondaSkelton

Years ago I was listening to a National Speakers Association (NSA) training CD when Tom Searcy said something like, "Never create something once that you can't sell twice." 

Although it would most likely be considered wise counsel in the general market, I must admit that as a Christian writer and speaker, my first response was to cringe. 

Sell? And not only once, but twice? Does everything in the world have to go back to money? 

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized a slightly altered statement applied to Christian speakers as well. After all, don't we create new messages and hope to have the opportunity to share them over and over again? Wasn't that the same as creating it once and "selling" it twice?

For some reason, it was easier to accept for me as a writer. But as a speaker, I was struggling.

When I first began my speaking ministry, I would create a program, deliver it, and then stuff it away somewhere, never to be seen again. And even as the Lord began multiplying my opportunities to speak, I often would write out a message in long hand in a journal, notebook, or even scratch pieces of paper! I can't count the number of times I wrote out a message, used it, and then couldn't find it again. That's not what I do now.

And you shouldn't, either.

Now, as I write out a message, I create a Word file with everything I'm given, even if I know it's more than I can use for that specific event. I also include thoughts on various messages, applications, and audiences this material can be tweaked and used for.

For instance, at different times, Celebrating Womanhood: Bubbles to Beaus, Babies to Bedpans has been slightly altered to fit messages about using spiritual gifts, unity in the church, and for a more general women's audience, I am Woman: Hear Me Whine! And my program on Beauty can be changed slightly to fit audiences of adult women, teens, or mothers and daughters. And it's all from the same research. As a matter of fact, many of my messages can be presented in a way that will fit with a variety of audiences.

So, after thinking more about the speaker's statement all those years ago and looking at it from God's point of view, I can say with confidence that His economy for speakers is definitely "Create once and TELL twice!"

After all, that’s what Jesus did.

Create Once, Sell Twice - wisdom for #writing & #speaking from @VondaSkelton on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Vonda Skelton is a speaker and the author of four books: Seeing Through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe and the 3-book Bitsy Burroughs mysteries for children 8-12 yo. She’s the founder and co-director of Christian Communicators Conference, offering speakers’ training and community for Christian women called to ministry. Vonda is a frequent instructor at writer’s conferences and keynotes at business, women’s, and associational events. You can find out more about Vonda, as well as writing opportunities and instruction at her writer’s blog, The Christian Writer’s Den at


  1. Replies
    1. You're very welcome, Marjorie! I'm glad you found it helpful. Hope it helps you "tell twice!"

  2. Yes, Vonda. I had to learn this one the hard way too. Now I put my speaking scripts into a notebook and save them in files on my computer. You're so right. You can tweak those for different audiences and situations. The message of Christ doesn't change, just the unique delivery for the unique group at that unique time. Thanks!

    1. Amen, Paula! The message never changes, but with some adapting, we can make them fit different audiences, including secular groups. I love taking one of my messages and changing it to fit a women's business group or an association of teachers. After all, the best business practices, and life practices in general, come straight from the Bible! Even if we're limited on what we can say, we can still share the Truth found in His Word!

  3. Great information, Vonda. I would love to hear you speak some day. I would also like to take your class at conference. This will definitely go into my files.

    1. Hi Debra, I would love to speak where you can hear, too! I'll be teaching at BRMCWC, so be sure we meet if you're there. I'm glad you found the info helpful. Blessings as you bless others!

  4. Let's just say I cannot believe how many times I've reinvented the wheel!

    1. Yes, I know what you mean! Not wise use of our time and projects!