Monday, September 14, 2020


by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

I read Carol Kent’s revised and updated edition of Speak Up with Confidence from cover to cover. Her passion to speak words of eternal value and bathe every step of the process in prayer spoke to my heart. I hope it speaks to yours, too.


If you’re a writer who speaks, you will welcome Carol Kent’s detailed guidance as she walks you through every aspect of putting a presentation together. Perhaps you wonder if you even have the potential for speaking. Read on.


First, Speak Up with Confidence addresses your attitudes and speaking potential in Part 1 entitled Do I Have Potential for Speaking?

With her sense of humor, delightful anecdotes, and love of scripture, Carol Kent examines the “Not Me!” attitudes, the “Why Me?” attitudes, and the “Yes, Lord!” attitudes. Find out where you fit. Her chapter entitled Moses, Me, and Other Unlikely Public Speakers will reassure you that God will not abandon you. God opened the door for them and will do the same for you. 


The author encourages potential speakers throughout the book. She writes, “God sees potential that you and I don’t see on the surface.” She writes at the end of Chapter 3, “Your work has just begun, but this could be the start of the biggest growth spurt of your Christian life.”


Second, Speak Up with Confidence answers the question about preparation in Part 2 entitled How Do I Prepare a Talk? 

The author covers how to select and outline a topic and the art of developing personal illustrations and spiritual applications. She also looks at how to gain rapport, prepare the conclusion, and put the presentation together. With a variety of examples, quotes, and humor, you will probably enjoy the journey and finish your talk more easily than you thought possible. With a chapter title like Big Lips and Other Beauty Marks, I could hardly wait to read it and find out how it applied to the preparation of a talk. 


The author not only makes you laugh but also cry. As an example of the use of a key story in the conclusion, Carol Kent spoke about Pam and Bill Mutz in whose home she once stayed. The couple told her about the unexpected death of their seven-month-old baby. In Kent’s conclusion on trusting God, she quoted one of the letters that the mother wrote to her infant son in heaven.


Third, Speak Up with Confidence also answers the question about delivery in Part 3 entitled How Do I Deliver a Talk?

The thoroughness of this section will ease your fears, worries, and doubts. It will also increase your willingness to work on delivery because 55 percent of your delivery is nonverbal. Speakers will feel confident following the tips on how to dress and pursue God’s excellence. This updated and revised book also includes tips on the use of visual aids and technology, such as PowerPoint slides.


Speaking of technology, you will appreciate Kent’s tips on the microphone. She will provide you with a great checklist before speaking to an audience. Prior to the concluding quotation, Carol Kent writes, “The most important part of the delivery of any message is the power of God flowing through you to the listener.”    


Fourth, Speak Up with Confidence offers so much more to build your confidence in Parts 4, 5, and 6.

With charts, examples, and quotations, you will learn how to get started as a speaker, how to give your testimony including the minutes to spend on each part of it, and how to teach the Bible. When I wrote my testimony using Carol Kent’s methods, my pastor made a copy of it to teach seminarians how to write their personal testimony. I recommended Carol Kent’s book to him.


I benefitted from the reminder about priorities and balance, and the author shares that with the readers. You may benefit from it, too. If you’re like me, you’ll appreciate her practical principles, such as “learn to say no” and “expect criticism.” The list of resources at the end of the book includes books, software, and internet resources, which I found useful. 

In conclusion, I highly recommend Speak Up with Confidence because it:

  • addresses your attitudes about speaking and unlikely speakers God helped
  • answers the question about preparation
  • also answers the question about delivery
  • offers so much more to build your confidence

Publisher: NavPress

Copyright: June 2, 2020

Paperback copy available at local and online stores

Kindle version available at:


SPEAK UP WITH CONFIDENCE Guide for Authors - @YvonneOrtega1 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

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. When I began writing, I never expected to be a speaker--that was not my passion. But writing and speaking often go hand in hand and speaking also became my passion. I read Carol's original release years ago and am happy to see she has an updated edition. She is a powerful speaker and we can all learn from her. Thanks, Yvonne!

  2. Great post. I'll be picking up an updated copy this week. Loaning a good book doesn't always come back. You and Carl Kent are great resouces.
    Share on! Carolyn Knefely