Amy Carroll » Speaking Tips » Question About Breakouts

Question About Breakouts


Some weeks I’m foggy and struggle to think of something new for you, but God is always faithful. Last week Diana Hartmann sent me a great question on the Request Information form, and I thought everyone might like to hear the answer.

(Reminder Note: Although I can’t answer personal questions via email because of time constraints, you can send me a question to be answered on the blog either by filling out the Request Information form or by emailing me at [email protected]. I love getting your questions!)

Diana’s Question: I am attending the She Speaks 2015 Conference. This is my second year to attend. Last year I geared more towards writing, and I have been a member of Compel for the last year. I plan on taking some speaker sessions this year, any recommendations?

Every year I have friends who attend She Speaks who ask me recommendations for breakouts as they sign up. Here are my “must attend” recommendations for each category:

First Time Attender–Speaker:

Breakout Title & Leader: Finding Your Niche (preconference) ~Lynn Cowell

Level: Beginning, Intermediate

Have you felt the call of God to speak or write to women but are a bit iffy on the specifics? Need to hone in on what makes you uniquely “you”? Listen and learn as you are equipped to:• Find your areas of expertise by taking inventory of your strengths, weaknesses, loves and loathes
• Blend your life experiences, talents and spiritual gifts together to obtain your ministry niche
• Unearth your hidden passions and turn them into powerful messages
• Discover your unique place in God’s plan that will change lives—yours and those of your listeners or readers!

First Time Attender–Writer:

Breakout Title & Leader: From Blog to Book Deal ~Lisa-Jo Baker

Level: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced

After nearly five years of managing the highly popular women’s contributor blog, (in)courage, and seven years running her personal blog, Lisa-Jo Baker, published her first book with Tyndale House last year. In this session Lisa-Jo will walk you through some of the common questions that arise when considering moving from the world of blogging to getting a book deal and transitioning to book writing, including:

  • Is a blog even necessary to be a published author?
  • What’s the difference between blog writing and book writing?
  • The benefits of blogging as well as the highs, lows and time commitments
  • Practical examples of how to make this platform work for you
  • How and why to use social media
  • How to juggle motherhood along this journey
  • Connecting with publishers
  • Carving out time to actually sit down and write that manuscript while still maintaining your blog

Repeat Attender–Speaker:

Breakout Title & Leader: Positioning yourself as a professional speaker. ~Leah DiPascal

Level: Beginning, Intermediate

Event leaders want speakers who are confident, professional and organized. Discover the secrets of becoming a professional speaker who is sought-after and invaluable to event leaders. In this highly requested session you will learn:

  • Five ways to capture the attention of event leaders
  • Practical tips to keep you professionally organized
  • How to set and increase your speaking fees
  • Presenting and negotiating your fees with confidence
  • Key components of a speaking contract

Repeat Attender–Writer:

Breakout Title & Leader: Backstage Pass to Agenting~ Esther Fedorkevich (agent) & Karen Ehman (P31 speaker/author)

Level: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced
Most people don’t understand what a literary agent does. Contrary to popular belief, an agent does a lot more than just get book deals for writers. Esther Fedorkevich, who has represented over 30 New York Times bestselling authors and books, gives an insider’s take at what being an agent is really all about. She’ll take you backstage to see how an agent works with both publishers and authors to create high impact, meaningful projects that endure.


I chose these breakouts for their practical, take-home applications. These are just my #1 recommendations, and you can see all the possible breakouts for the main conference here and for the pre-conference here. In nine years of attendance at She Speaks, there was only one breakout that I didn’t like. That person hasn’t been back since, so you’re safe! (Just keepin’ it real.) Also, don’t fret if you feel torn, many of the sessions are recorded, and you’ll have an opportunity to purchase Mp3s of sessions you missed at the end of the conference.

Many women ask if they can attend both writing and speaking breakouts even if they’ve chosen an opposite trace. The happy answer is “yes”! Sign up for what you think you need most.

Yes, I’ll be teaching at She Speaks too! I’ll be leading 3 sessions: The opening for the speaker track (with nuggets for speakers from my book Breaking Up with Perfect–release date July 7), Brass Tacks: Message Development Essentials, and How to Walk in Your Calling When Your Confidence is Crashing. If you attend and you’re part of this Speaker Girl community, please make sure to come hug my neck. I can’t wait to meet you!

Some of you might be wondering about Compel, a program Diana referenced in her question. Compel is a monthly subscription service for writers. There are 4 lessons each month which translates to about 1/2 an hour a week + assignments you decide to do as practice from the lesson. It’s a fantastic training service in which I participate as well, and I highly recommend it! Click on the links for more information.

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  1. Hello Amy, I’ll be attending She Speaks for the 3rd time…I was blessed to be there in ’09 and ’12 and trust God has much to say to and do in my heart while I’m there this time too. Looking forward to your confidence is crashing session!! Praying for you as you prepare!!

    1. Let’s make sure we connect, Jill! Make sure to introduce yourself at the breakout. I want some face time with you!