Monday, April 11, 2022

Four Elements Writers Can Use to Speak With Confidence

Edie here. Today I want to introduce our newest TWC columnist, LInda Goldfarb. If you've been to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, you know her as our MC. But she's a dear friend, amazing writer & speaker, and a true wealth of information. I'm so excited she's agreed to sign on and share her knowledge. Please give her a warm TWC welcome!

Four Elements Writers Can Use to Speak with Confidence
by Linda Goldfarb @LindaGoldfarb

If you write, you will eventually speak. Whether speaking on a podcast about your latest book, sharing details of your upcoming novel to adoring fans via social media, or presenting in front of a large group of fellow writers, your opportunity to speak is coming. Are you ready to speak with confidence?

Fearless Speaker or Confident Communicator?

I’ve been speaking professionally for more than three decades. Over time I've discovered speaking comes naturally to some writers but not most. You're not alone if you feel a twinge of unease when asked to speak. Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking, impacts 75% of the population. Though this fear is not life-threatening, it can affect your ability to engage at a deeper level with your readers. My goal for this post is not to eliminate fear but to encourage confidence with four elements you can include the next time you create a talk/speech.

Utilizing the L.I.S.T. speaking model can help you gain a fearless approach to speaking about the subject you love—your writing.

The L.I.S.T. Speaking Model

L.I.S.T. stands for:
  • Life Experience
  • Instruction
  • Source
  • Takeaway

I use this model to help clients create their signature speeches and to write book chapters. When we implement these elements into our talks, attendees remember our message and not our mistakes. 

Mental Sticky Notes
Every well-remembered speech includes life experiences. Life experiences can be personal or secondhand stories or quotes you use to affirm the point you are making with your takeaway. I love how Literary Agent, Wendy Lawton, reminds writers to “Story it up!” Stories enhance our speaking in the same way they take our writing to a higher level of excellence. Start with a story to draw in your audience, but save the key takeaway until the end. Be sure your story is relevant to your topic. A random tale or joke can make people laugh, but a closely connected story is a mental sticky note your audience will recall long after your speech is over.

The difference between a pleasant talk and a life-changing speech is what you ask the audience to do after leaving your keynote or teaching session. Instructions plant seeds of consideration into the minds of your audience to help them make use of what you shared. 

Consider the following starters:
  • Once you arrive home …
  • Take three minutes right now to jot down …
  • Based on today's session, write out three action steps you can implement to accomplish …

A Weight of Added Value
Our opinions have limited influence over our audiences. The moment we offer an additional source like statistics or Scripture to back up our findings, a weight of added value drives home our point. 

Create a digital file of statistics, and unfamiliar Scriptures focused on your topic. Choosing a less common Scripture prompts our audiences to look up the verse. More senses are engaged—sight, touch, hearing (if we speak the verse aloud), and we tend to remember more.

Total Recall or None at All
Finally, include your takeaway (point).
  • What did you spend the last thirty to forty-five minutes sharing with your audience?
  • What point do you want each person to recall from their time spent with you? 
    • “God is good, all the time.”
    • “A well-chosen word can redirect negative self-talk.” 

One specific point made in thirty to forty-five minutes is powerful and memorable. Weave your takeaway throughout your session by utilizing your sources, instruction, and most assuredly, your stories. 

Here’s a great way to discover the takeaway your audience heard. Ask them. 

Use a simple evaluation form and include, “What one point are you taking home from my session today?”

There You Go. 
By using L.I.S.T., you can share your message with confidence. I hope you are encouraged to drive home your takeawayby offering relevant life experiences with practical instruction, backed by sources supporting your opinion. I’d love to hear the L.I.S.T. you create. 

Until next time remember, your voice is a gift—use it with confidence.


Besides hosting the award-winning, Your Best Writing Life podcast, Linda Goldfarb is a multi-published award-winning author, audiobook narrator, international speaker, board-certified Christian life coach, and the co-owner, co-founder of the LINKED® Personality System, and co-author of the LINKED® Quick Guide to Personality series.

Linda and her hubby, Sam are empty nesters leading full lives. With four adult children and grand-baby #15 on the way—life is a new adventure every day. She loves sipping frothed coffee with friends, traveling the countryside with Sam, and sharing transparent truth to help others take their next best step—personally and professionally.

Connect with Linda 

Featured Image: Photo by Christina @


  1. Welcome to the blog, Linda! Thanks for sharing such helpful and practical speaking tips. Great post!

    1. Hi Crystal, thank you for your kind words. I'm so glad to be part of Edie's team. Don't hesitate to ask questions or to give me a speaker topic you'd like information on. Blessings--Linda

  2. Welcome aboard! I look forward to learning from posts you share with all of us. Thank you for this one this morning.

    1. Hi Diane! Thank you for the welcome. It's my pleasure to be here.

  3. Welcome Linda :) "Mental sticky notes" - what a great visual that is. Thanks for the help!

    1. Oh, thank you so much! You are welcome, Sticky Notes are my go-to - mental, physical, and relational --I need them all!

  4. Welcome Linda! I'm so excited you're here with us 💕

    1. Hi Edie, I'm honored to be here --yay team - TWC!

  5. The perfect partnership! 🤗 Thank you for the simplified technique in developing my signature message! 🥰

    1. Hi Cherie! You are welcome. I'll be sharing more tips pertaining to signature speeches that I hope you find helpful as well.

  6. So nice to see you here, Linda. I enjoyed your class at the last Blue Ridge Conference very much.

    We had a minister once who projected notes about his sermon on a screen as he went through it. The last slide was always entitled "The Point," and it was a simple takeaway from his message. It was very effective.

    1. Yesss --Hi Kay! If we don't have a point worth mentioning --then what's the point in sharing a message. I'm very happy to be here.

  7. Thank you for sharing the L.I.S.T. method. Super helpful.

    1. You are very welcome, Edwina. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  8. Hi, Linda! I loved your post. Such great advice. I like how you said that stories are like mental sticky notes. I want every video (of Bible teaching and encouragement) I make soon to have what you said - an action step. Thank you, and welcome to the TWC team! It's fun here.

    1. Including an action step will be the cherry on top of your perfectly served Bible teaching video, @Katy. Thank you for your kind words. It's a joy to be here.