Storytelling Spotlight: Your Story Can Inspire Change


This week’s Storytelling Spotlight features Miranda Bartholomew, founder of Conversations Matter. The brand is a platform for important dialogue covering topics such as relationships, sex, marriage, faith, parenting, education and more.

Bartholomew moderates these conversations on her blog, at speaking engagements and in her upcoming book, Parenting with the End in Mind.

Q:What inspired you to share your story by writing Parenting with the End in Mind?

 Miranda Bartholomew (MB): I was inspired to write the book because I was reflecting on the lessons I have learned over time and the person I’ve become as a result. I’ve also been strongly engaged in the upbringing of my younger brother and sister the past 10 years and have observed things that work and things that I personally would do differently. The environment, the support, the habits learned in that environment and overall development of a child, both good and bad, remain with them as an adult. Deprogramming yourself is extremely difficult. Hence the idea of Parenting with the End in Mind.

My mission is to help adults who care for children to come up with a blueprint which reflects the values or characteristics they want to make sure their children demonstrate by the age of 18. Ideally we should have a plan before having children. However, if we have young ones there’s still time to refine the plan to make sure our children have the utmost potential to be a world changer.

Q: Why did you choose public speaking as a platform to share your story?

MB: Public Speaking is very natural and comfortable for me. I have always been attracted to it and hope to transition to public speaking full time. My book will be my vehicle to help me grow my audience and increase speaking opportunities. Conversations can transform our lives for the better, can inspire and can literally change the world.

Q: What hesitations did you have about speaking and how did you overcome them?

MB: The only hesitation I had was a negative seed planted by someone else – my lack of credentials. To overcome it, I simply had to throw out that assumption and adopt a different thought process. “Just get them in the seats. Once you get them there you can share your personal story and then inspire change!”

I focused less on what others might be expecting from me and more on what I know I can sincerely give: my story, my energy, my confidence, my personality, and innovative concepts. What I have to offer is worth listening to!

Q: What advice can you share with people who are just getting started with speaking?

MB: Speaking helps me accomplish my mission, which is to inspire change. Speaking leads to dialogue and conversation. If you’re just getting started, I suggest you don’t turn back! Take a moment to reflect and understand why you’re doing it.  Then commit and execute. Simple as that. You WILL surprise yourself each time and likely say “Did I just do all of that?”


If you’re ready to use public speaking to share your story and inspire change, sign up for a complimentary session today.


Top 5 Ways to Make Your Speaking Goals a Reality

What goals did you set for 2015?

Taking a fabulous vacation? Double your sales? Give a TED talk?

If you’re like most people, those goals aren’t going as planned.

You’re heading into the second half of the year wondering where the time went.

You didn’t give as many talks as you hoped.

Your still not clear on your story or message.

And the book you’ve been working on is collecting dust.

You’re feeling a big discouraged and frustrated….again.

Because you really wanted 2015 to be THE year for you.

I get it. I’ve got big plans for this year too: running a half-marathon, launching a new program, hosting a workshop and much more.

So, to get you back on track, I’ve created a list of resources to help you get clear on your message, land speaking engagements and get the visibility you desire before 2015 ends.

Let’s dive in!

1. How to Craft a Talk that Sells

2. 3 Strategies to Find Your Ideal Speaking Engagements

3. How to Land Speaking Opportunities in Just One Hour

4. How to Pitch Speaking Engagements

5. 5 Questions to Ask Before Saying ‘Yes’ to a Speaking Gig

Carve out a few hours to really dive into these resources and create a plan for the next few months.

Remember, taken action on one item will bring you that much closer to your goal!

And if you’re ready to dig in and take massive action, book a 30-minute complimentary consultation.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Say Yes to a Speaking Gig

public speaking, speaking, booking speaking engagements, how to land speaking opportunities, presenationSpeaking is one of the fastest ways to reach your audience in large numbers and grow your business. If you are new to public speaking or just looking to ramp up how often you speak, it can be tempting to say yes to every offer that comes your way.

As eager as you may be to say yes, saying no could be the better decision. Consider the time it takes to prepare a presentation, travel to and from the event and time out of office it may require. Here are 5 questions to ask to help determine if a speaking opportunity is right for you.

Who will be in the audience? – This is a great place to start because if the audience isn’t your target market, then you can make a decision right away. Asking questions such as how many people will attend? Which industries will be represented? Are the attendees experienced execs or newbies? and What is their skill level on the topic? will help determine if the opportunity is a match for you.

What is the theme of the presentation? – Ask the meeting organizers what topic they’d like you to discuss and, in particular, if there is a specific angle they would like you to present to the group. Getting more information about the topic will help you gauge if it’s in line with your vision.

What is the format? – Find out how much time you will have to present and also if you will be presenting alone or as part of a panel. This will help you determine how much time you need to prepare a presentation in advance of the event.

What is the audience reach? – Whether the event is an in-person meeting or a virtual program, it’s important to know how many people you will reach with your presentation. If it’s a live event, how many people will be attending? If it’s a virtual event like a webinar or podcast interview, how many people will be listening live or to a replay? Also, determine how many people the organization will market to through their subscribers, membership and/or social media channels.

Is it a paid speaking engagement?  If it is a paid speaking engagement does it include travel expenses? If there isn’t a speaker fee involved, there are other benefits to consider. Can you have access to the registration list? Can you sell books, products or make another offer at the event?

Now it’s your turn. How do you determine if you should say yes to a speaking engagement? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

Ready to ramp up your speaking engagements? Sign up for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to get started.

How to Craft a Talk That Sells

Do you remember that classic scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in which Ben Stein gives a dry lecture to a group of high school students? With a monotone voice and information that doesn’t interest his students, it’s easy to see why the students check out.

But what happens when you have an engaging delivery, interesting content and your message still misses the mark?

You get great feedback, but you don’t walk away with any leads or sales.

Or you get lots of smiles and nods, but little engagement from the audience.

Or worse…You hear crickets.

If you’ve experienced any of the above, it’s time to revisit your content. Here are three ways you can craft a talk that will make an impact:

Begin with the end in mind

If you’re having trouble deciding what information to include in your talk, ask yourself these questions: What would you like the audience to walk away with? What are the key points or lessons you’d like them to remember?

What information does the audience need most to solve their biggest challenge? If you’re not sure, ask a few of your current clients to get their perspective.

Once you’ve boiled the information down to a few bullet points, use those to build your talk.

Get clear on your target audience

If the audience isn’t connecting with your materials, perhaps you are speaking to the wrong group. For example, if you are trying to engage women in their 50s about their retirement needs, but the women attending your talk are young professionals, your message is going to miss the mark. It’s important to get clear on who it is you are trying to reach and make sure you speak at events that are geared towards that target audience.

Share a personal story

If you’re like most business owners, you started your business because of a passion or a need. Think back to why you began your business and share a story about what inspired you to get started or a challenge you faced and the solution you created as a result. Stories create authenticity and connection, and will make you memorable.

Ready to hone-in on your message and craft a powerful talk? Sign up for a complimentary 30-minute strategy session.

Ready to bust through fear?

Here’s what you’ll learn in this video:

  • What to do when fear creeps up
  • The one thing that is holding you back
  • How to let go of fear so you can move forward


People often ask me how to overcome their fear of public speak, so I want to share my number one tip.

Let Go of Perfection

I recently took part in an online video course. Each day we were assigned a topic to talk about on video. Over the two-week program I found I was relaxed and the process was easy and comfortable.

Why was this so much easier than recording my weekly video blog?

During the video course, I realized I wasn’t worried about having everything perfect. It didn’t matter whether or not I had perfect lighting, background or set-up.

The best way to overcome fear is to let go of perfection.

Start where you are and remember…

Done is better than perfect.

Now I want to hear from you. How do you get through fear? Post your thoughts in the comments below.