I’m passionate about bringing hope and humor to my audiences—as well as teaching others to do so—through conferences and seminars across the U.S. and overseas. My book, Communicate to Change Lives is being used in colleges and seminaries and my latest book, The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions in Today’s Language, is changing thousands of lives.
I am, however, very dis-passionate about self-promotion, so let me have a few conference directors and college leaders describe my speaking:
“James Watkins is the type of dynamic speaker that all conference directors search for. He pulls in his audience with humor, and then delivers life-changing insight with wisdom and honest humility.”
Edie Melson, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference
“Intensely practical . . . hilarious . . . one of the best.”
Keith Drury, Indiana Wesleyan University
“Your keynote was a hit at the conference. I appreciate your being there for us.”
Jerry B. Jenkins, Writing for the Soul conference
“Humorous and witty . . . edifies the Body and glorifies God in an entertaining way.”
“Jim is a stand up theologian.”
Janet Grant, Books&Such Literary Agency
“Your biblical perspective was exactly what the graduate students needed to hear. You have reminded us of God’s perspective in research, writing, and life.”
Faith Mullens, Liberty University
“I highly recommend Jim Watkins as a speaker, keynoter, instructor, or whatever. God used him in powerful ways at the Quad-Cities Christian Writers’ Conference over the weekend. His keynote speech “I Have a Dream” was a big WOW! Humorous, brought people to tears, made an eternal impact on lives.
Twila Belk, Quad-City Christian Writers’ Conference
“You were a smash hit in chapel. The students raved about you.”
Michael R. Smith, Taylor University
“I would highly recommend Jim for your writing event. He is personable with one-on-one appointments, and when speaking to crowds he has the perfect balance of humor, information, inspiration, spiritual emphasis, and life application.”
Kathy Carlton Willis, publicist. (And he’s not even one of my clients!)
“When the keynote speaker was unable to attend, Jim came to bat and knocked it out of the park.”
Billie Wilson, Florida Christian Writers Conference
“Jim has the gift of teaching and encouragement.”
Marlene Bagnull, director of Colorado and Greater Philadelphia writers conferences
“Jim is one in a million—two in a million would be overkill!”
The late Calvin Miller, author/speaker
I’m available for conferences, business organizations, churches and convenience store grand openings. Actually, I’ve never spoken in a convenience store, but just about every other venue that needs a creative message of hope and humor. My subject matter expertise is in communications, so have spoken at colleges and universities (Liberty, Regent, Indiana Wesleyan . . . ), at all the major Christian writing conferences in the United States (Mount Hermon, Writing for the Soul, Write to Publish . . .), for business meetings and denominational meetings (Missouri Synod Lutheran’s international youth conference, the Salvation Army, World Gospel Mission . . .) and more.
In the past, I’ve spoken on everything from sex to sects. I’m now limiting my speaking to the following topics:
• God’s will is not lost—for those trying to find (Keynote, 30-45 minutes) Based on Proverbs 3:5-6. Click to read it.
• “I’m important! I’m indispensable! I’m individual! I’m invaluable! (Keynote, 30-45 minutes) Based on 1 Corinthian’s principles of the Body of Christ. Click to hear it.
• Communicate to Change Lives (Continuing Session) A one-day or four- to six-part series providing practical biblical and behavioral principles for changing lives through writing and speaking. For Christian writers, speakers, executives, ministers, church and parachurch staff. Click here for outline and for information on how you can sponsor a seminar for your church or community.
• Confessions of an Author and Speaker (Keynote talk, 30-40 minutes) Includes three stages authors go through in learning to connect with an audience in print, pixels, or person. Click to read it.
• Crossing-over with the Cross (Keynote or Seminar, 60 minutes) Practical ways to take the message of the cross into the crossroads of the world?including cyber space. Click to read it
• Don’t Become a Digital Dinosaur! Adapting to the Changing Publishing World (Seminar, 60 minutes) Not only is the form of writing changing from paper to pixels—books to ebooks, newspapers to news sites—but the actual style of writing is changing as well. Learn how keep up with the changes so you don’t become extinct.
• From Reflecting to Retailing (Multi-session seminar can be presented as stand-alone talks) The writer of Ecclesiastes outlines the steps to creating a successful book (and he’s been on the best-sellers list for 3,000 years!): Reflect, Research, Reorganize, Reword and Retail. We’ll look at practical, step-by-step methods to get into print and pixels.
• From Stage to Page (60 minutes) A practical look at the differences and similarities between speaking and writing so you can go smoothly from platform to publisher. Click to read it.
• “I’m a Giant Killer!” (Keynote, 30-45 minutes) A motivational talk that combines humor and practical suggestions for battling the giants that confront would-be authors (30-45 min.). Click to hear it.
• “Keeping Your Dreams Alive” (Keynote, 30-45 minutes) An inspirational talk using the story of Joseph as an example of a dream received, the dreamer refined, the dream redefined, and finally, the dream realized in relationship to writing. Click to read and/or hear it.
• Self-publishers, piranhas and pariahs (60 minutes) The waters of independent publishers are filled with danger! Here’s some practical advice for successfully self-publishing your work—without blood in the water. Click to read it.
• Soaring with Eagles, Walking with Emus (Keynote, 30-45 minutes) Encouragement for those who are “soaring” as well as those who are “walking” (or just standing) in their writing and speaking. Click to read and/or hear it.
• Taking the Word to the World Wide Web (Three 60-minute seminars, or three stand-alone sessions) Includes practical tips for researching and writing online, as well as setting up one’s own Web site. (The writing online session can be taught without Internet access, but other two sessions require Internet access with video projection.)
• The Ten Creative Commandments (Keynote, 30-45 minutes) Christian authors and speakers are filled with the Spirit of the creative God of creation, so we should be the most creative people! Jim shares practically and humorously ten ways to develop your God-given creativity. Click to read a transcript or listen to the talk.
• Twenty-Five Rejection-Proof Markets (Seminar, 60 minutes) Writing opportunities that well-known authors have employed to truly change lives—and avoid rejection slips. Many of these proven writing ministries can be implemented immediately without waiting months—or years—to be traditionally published in books and articles . Click to read it
• Your Write Role (Keynote, 30-45 minutes) Based on 1 Corinthians 12 (from the New Living Amplified Paraphrased King James Watkins Version), it encourages hearers that their “part” in writing is essential, no matter the size. Click to read and/or hear it.
• Writing with Banana Peels (Seminar, 60-90 minutes or three-part series) Based on my college text book, the seminar provides practical strategies for communicating more effectively with humor. If nothing else, you’ll laugh a lot.
Music and Madness
I also present an hour-long program of hope and humor with original sketches and music.
Here are a few of my favorites beginning with an over-the-top TV evangelist who picks the wrong guest for his special, “Something Lucrative Is Going to Happen to You.”
• Brother Bob Blessing
• Gideon and the World’s Most Bizarre Battle Briefing (Begins at 3:45)
• Pearly Gate Boogie
• The Eyeball Song (1 Corinthians 12)
February 17-18, 2017
West Coast Christian Writers Conference
March 18, 2017
Mid-South Christian Writers Conference
March 22–25, 2017
Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat
June 9-10, 2017
American Christian Writers
Grand Rapids, Michigan
July 13-15, 2017
Carol Kent’s Speak Up Conference
Grand Rapids, Michigan
August 4-5, 2017
Taylor University’s Professional Writing Conference
September 28-30, 2017
Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference
June 21-25, 2018
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Grove City, Pennsylvania
I hope to see you at one of these events!