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. I’ve taught and keynoted at more than 100 conferences, I’ve lectured at Liberty, Regent and many other universities, as well as spoken in hundreds of churches from a variety of denominations.

I’d love to bring hope and humor to your event at conference, conference or convenience store grand opening.


Above: Keynoting at the Blueridge Mountains Writers’ Conference. Below, one of my favorite talks recorded at Taylor University’s Professional Writers’ Conference.


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.”
Creator magazine=

“Jim is a stand up theologian.”
Janet Grant, Books&Such Literary Agency

“Thank you for your courage in presenting this message [on depression] with such transparency, Jim. Such a blessing! We may need you to come back every year.”
Kathy Ide, founder of PenCon conference

“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

“James Watkins is a great speaker, but everyone knows I resent that. I get bitter anytime he’s funnier than I am.
Rhonda Rhea, humorist, radio personality


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 (Blue Ridge Mountains, Maranatha, 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:

General audiences

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.

Squeezing Good Out of Bad (Keynote, 30-45 minutes, or three-part seminar) For general audiences, based on the book by same name. Click to hear it.


NEW Are Authors in Their Write Minds? A keynote or seminar. Several university studies have discovered that writers are more prone to mental health issues than the general public. But the research also shows that because of this, writers excel in greater creativity, sensitivity, and understanding of others. Jim uses the Bible and behavioral science to show how to use our weaknesses to communicate through God’s strength. Here’s a keynote for the Blue Ridge Christian Writers’ Conference:

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.

NEW Correctly Handling the Word in Writing (Three one-hour sessions)
Learn tools to accurately present the true meaning of Scripture in your manuscripts, as well as tips for reaching the general market with God’s truth, taught by an ordained minister who has won nine industry awards in using God’s Word in both the Christian and general markets.

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 and the World Wide Web. 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 to 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 watch the video.

Three Things Today’s Book Author Must Have (Two 60-minute seminars)
In today’s publishing world, a book author must have a “brand,” a “platform” and an “online presence.” This two-part session will demystify these terms and provide practical ways to develop these essential tools for the would-be book author.

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 (Keynote or seminar: 45-75 minutes) Laugh-filled with practical strategies for communicating more effectively with humor. (Audience will also learn that Jesus was a stand-up comic using the hip humor of the day: hyperbole!)  Based on my college text book.


If You’re Not Dead, You’re Not Done! (Keynote or seminar)
Based on my book by the same name combines hope and humor on living a life of passion, purpose and pizzaz as a senior! Watch a two-minute clip used as an audition for “America’s Got Talent.” It earned a “call back.”



March 15, 2022
Colonial Oaks Assisted Living If You’re Not Dead, You’re Not Done tour
Marion, Indiana

March 18-19, 2022
Mid-South Christian Writers’ Conference

March 24, 2022
Miller’s Merry Manor If You’re Not Dead, You’re Not Done tour
Marion, IN

April 6-9, 2022
Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat
Andalusia, Alabama

April 14, 2022
North Webster Church of God If You’re Not Dead, You’re Not Done tour
North Webster, Indiana

April 28-30, 2022
The Well: A Conference for Creatives
Grand Rapids, Michigan

May 4-6, 2022
PENCON Editors Conference

June 16-18, 2022
Kentucky Christian Writers Conference
Elizabethtown, Kentucky

June 25, 2022
American Christian Fiction Writers: Indiana Chapter
Kokomo, Indiana

July 28-30, 2022
Taylor University’s Professional Writers Conference
Upland, Indiana

September 22-24, 2022
Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference
Muskegon, Michigan


April 20-22,2023
The Well: A Conference for Creatives
Grand Rapids, Michigan

I hope to see you at one of these events!

3 thoughts on “Talks

  • January 6, 2015 at 4:11 am

    HI Jim
    We met many years ago at Colo Christian Writer’s conference. I have also ran into you severakl times at GPCWC. Wondering if you would be interested in having someone doing missions work speak at the St David;’s writers conference you are directing the end of June in PA. I am in Asia now but will be back in the US in the summer. MK

    • January 6, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      Hi, I’m afraid I have all my editors and agents for the conference. Wishing you God’s best as you serve him in Asia!

  • September 21, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    I heard you speak at the Taylor University writer’s conference, and thoroughly enjoyed it. You have a great way of keeping your audience entertained, engaged and inspired. Thanks so much!

    Roberta Sarver

Comments are closed.