Monday, May 11, 2020

4 Takeaways from a Book for Authors Who are Called to Speak

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

I read Called to Speak from cover to cover almost non-stop. The authors Edna Ellison and Linda J. Gilden stirred my existing passion for speaking.

If you’re a writer who speaks, you will welcome the help from Ellison and Gilden. Whether you present before a general market or a faith-based audience, this book makes a great addition to your library of resources.

First, Called to Speak addresses the spiritual side of speaking.
In many speaker trainings and refresher events, attendees receive content and delivery tips. We need them. However, as Christians, we require the spiritual side as well. 

The authors cover passion and purpose in speaking from a Christian perspective. They address our need to focus on Jesus Christ, the power of prayer, and spiritual warfare. The chapters include Biblical examples to enrich their points.

As a speaker, I’ve learned the hard way that my focus on Jesus Christ determines my success or failure. The enemy of our souls steps up the hindrances to our work as we prepare to speak. Prayer becomes a lifeline. This book confirms my experience with examples and a checklist for the reader. 

Second, Called to Speak also addresses communication and the process.
I appreciate Ellison and Gilden’s emphasis on speaking to impact people. Add to that their tips to ensure the audience receives our message.

Two of my presentations in progress are on life after divorce. I must answer the question, “What’s in it for the audience?” The authors remind me and you that our speaking should inspire the audience to change for the better and meet their needs.

In the chapter on process and presentation, we can go from research and an outline to the introduction, middle, and conclusion with attention to delivery techniques.

Third, Called to Speak covers relationships and publicity.
We may not have thought of all the possible relationships involved in speaking, but many exist, from God and the professional speakers to the planners and other workers at the event. Ellison and Gilden also include the pros and cons of those relationships.

As an example, at speaking events, I’ve had to work not only with the event planner and the photographer but also with the sound man and the greeter at the door.

The book includes a chapter on the personalities. It looks at the personalities of the speakers and of the people in the audience. The authors remind us to meet the needs of our audience based on their personalities.

Fourth, Called to Speak includes an appendix of practical resources.
In the appendix, we can find a preparation plan, a speaker’s contract, and tips for a speaker’s press kit and one-sheet. We can discover other treasures, too: a speaker’s travel checklist, a preparation plan, and advice on troubleshooting. 

In summary, I highly recommend Called to Speak because it:
  • addresses the spiritual side of speaking
  • also addresses communication and process
  • covers relationships and publicity
  • includes an appendix of practical resources

Publisher: New Hope Publishers
Copyright: January 2, 2017
Paperback copy available at: and online stores
Kindle version available at: 

4 Takeaways from a  Book for Authors Who are Called to Speak - @YvonneOrtega1 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Yvonne Ortega walks with a small footprint but leaves a giant imprint in people’s lives. This power-packed package is a professional speaker and the author of the Moving from Broken to Beautiful® Series through cancer, divorce, forgiveness, and loss. Learn more at

Yvonne speaks with honesty and humor as she shares her life and struggles through presentations that empower women to find peace, power, and purpose through God’s Word. 

Yvonne’s background as a licensed professional counselor brings a unique perspective into the heart of women. She’s a speaking and writing coach and the owner of Moving from Broken to Beautiful®, LLC. She belongs to the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, the Christian Authors Network, the National Speakers Association, and Toastmasters International.

She celebrates life at the beach, where she walks, builds sand castles, blows bubbles, and dances. 


  1. Yvonne, I have read this book and your post encourages me to read it again. After time passes we don't always retain all the information and review is so important. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Barbara Latta, I agree with you that review is important. You're welcome.

  2. Thank you for this post. I know Linda and Edna and they are great speakers. This book seems like a great resource for all writers and speakers.

    1. You're welcome, Crystal Bowman. Yes, it is a great resource.

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  4. So glad you are all interested in speaking. Even though the pandemic has slowed speaking engagements for many of us, the message is still the same and the urgency to get it out is greater than ever before. Thank you, Yvonne, for encouraging us to remember how important our words are and encouraging us to use them to touch the lives of others. Yours really encouraged me today.

  5. Called to Speak looks like a book I need to read. Thank you for the information.

  6. Linda Gilden, you're welcome. I'm glad to read that my words encouraged you today. During this time of the pandemic, encouragement is always welcomed.

  7. Melissa Henderson, you're welcome. Yes, you will pick up many wonderful lessons and resources.

  8. This sounds like a great book for speakers! Thank you for reviewing it.