Talking is a Gift

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Chris Adams – Senior Lead Women’s Ministry Specialist, LifeWay Christian Resources

“For years, many women’s ministry leaders and speakers have requested help from LifeWay Women in the area of public speaking. Though our particular focus is women’s ministry local church leadership, we have offered workshops to help equip these leaders. Now, there is a well organized and complete resource to equip women at all levels of speaking skills and responsibilities. Having worked with both Dr. Kelley and Dr. Brennan for many years now, I know their hearts and their expertise on this topic. Not only do they model effective speaking skills, they know how to teach others. I highly recommend this book for any woman who has to stand in front of a small group or a huge arena to speak truth to others!”

Dave Adams, Ph.D. – Director of Pastoral Leadership, Liberty University

“Dr. Brennan and Dr. Kelly have done a masterful job in summarizing competencies for women who communicate to others. They have not only provided an invaluable resource for all who communicate to women but, to any serious-minded presenter of the truths of Scripture. I recommend this book without reservation. I am adding it to my library as a required text for homiletics at Liberty University.”

Karen Allen – President’s Wife, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO

“What a treasure Kelley and Brennan’s Talking is a Gift is to anyone seeking to improve their speaking and communication abilities. This user-friendly text is packed with practical application, moving the reader into a speaker with useful steps and tools. Many thanks to them for writing this fine book!”

Becky Badry – Founder, Women In Leadership Coaching, Women’s Ministry Consultant

“It has been aptly stated that ‘We spend the first five years teaching our children to speak and the next fifteen years telling them to be quiet.’ However, verbal communication is vital to the success of anyone wishing to have maximum impact in the world. The ability to clearly articulate concepts and images is an indispensable skill. In a world of endless blogs where anyone can become a self-appointed journalist and every published author believes they are ready for the speaking circuit, I greatly appreciate the message of this book: that speaking is a privilege and a gift. Since it is an honor to share a message dear to one’s heart, serious consideration must be given to thorough preparation and thoughtful presentation.  As one who has struggled to get out of the gate in speech preparation, I am very excited to have this practical and academic reference book.  Talking is a Gift is a must read for the women I coach and mentor.”

Jerry Barlow, Ph.D. – Professor of Preaching and Pastoral Work, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

“Having taught communication skills as a management consultant and public speaking as a professor, I highly endorse Talking Is a Gift: Communication Skills for Women.  The book is logical in organization, appropriate in scope, and helpful in content.  By dividing the chapters and material presented into three main parts, the authors facilitate a reader’s understanding of verbal and nonverbal interpersonal communication and one’s insight on how to improve in speech preparation and delivery.  The first chapter on gender and communication underscores the distinct importance of having a book written on communication skills just for women.  Another beneficial distinction is the discussion of talking as a talent versus also being a spiritual gift.  One other appealing feature is the inclusion of questions at the end of each chapter, which makes the book useful for group study as well as for personal reflection.  All in all, here is a contemporary communication book which communicates!”

Lisa Bryant – Director of Women’s Ministry, Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA

“Whether you are speaking to hundreds of women from a platform or leading a small group in your living room, Talking is a Gift will equip you to clearly communicate and connect with your audience.  The authors give you proven skills to develop your talk, communicate your vision, and inspire others toward action. This book is a must-read and practical resource for every woman desiring to engage the hearts and minds of others.”

Esther Burroughs – Speaker/Founder, Esther Burroughs Ministries

Talking is a Gift —What a gift!  It is a trove of instruction and wisdom!  Rhonda and Monica pour out ideas, rich in flavor that must be savored and practiced.  Open the cover and feast on the methods of communication, preparation tips, and delivery nuggets. Suggestions on platform presence, voice projection, and personal integrity lend instructions to the beginning speaker and jewels to the seasoned speaker, all with godly encouragement and wisdom.  I can’t think of anyone more qualified to write such a significant work for ministers and teachers.”

Kay Cassibry – Executive Director, Woman’s Missionary Union, MS Baptist Convention

“What a joy to have such is an excellent resource available to assist our women’s leaders in the area of communication. Everything we do is affected by how well we communicate and this book addresses every aspect of effective communication from the personal to the professional. Thank you, Rhonda and Monica, for following God’s direction and knowing just what we need to bring excellence to our God-given ministries.”

Mary Cox – Women’s Ministry Director, North Metro First Baptist Church, Lawrenceville, GA

“Based upon research, it has been suggested that women have more words than men when it comes to communication. In the book, Talking Is A Gift, Rhonda Kelley and Monica Rose Brennan spotlight the art of using their words to help women develop skills for effective communication. Not only will this book be beneficial on the academic level, it with be a valuable tool for Women’s Ministry leaders to communicate God’s Word and message in Bible studies and special events.  I would highly recommend this one-of-a-kind resource to all women’s ministry leaders, speakers, and teachers.”

Diana Davis – Syndicated Columnist/Author/Christian Speaker,

“Help! I can’t put this book down! Written by two of our nation’s top experts in Christian communication, Talking is a Gift is a treasured resource. This intellectual, yet fun-to-read tome provides detailed instruction, spiritual inspiration, and great encouragement for both novice and experienced speakers.”

 Deb Douglas – Minister to Women, First Baptist Bossier City, LA, LifeWay Ministry Multiplier

“Dr. Rhonda Kelley communicates with gracious precision, leaving the listener with a feeling of acceptance and understanding.  She has a gift of making each sentence clear, concise, and full of meaning. In Talking is a Gift, Dr Kelley and Dr. Brennan share how anyone can acquire these qualities. With the straightforward advice from this book, even the most timid and inexperienced speaker will learn techniques to make their venture into speaking a success. The experienced speaker will have her skills sharpened and broadened. Both authors share from their experiences and their lives to encourage women to let their voice be heard. The Talking Points are a great tool for reviewing and challenging oneself to retain the information on the pages. Talking is a Gift will challenge the reader to think before she opens her mouth, prepare thoroughly, and then speak out with the bold confidence of knowing she is doing her very best.”

 Stephanie Edge, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, Union University/Director of Women’s Ministry, Poplar Heights Baptist Church, Jackson, TN

“Talking is a Gift is a much needed resource for Women’s Ministry leaders currently serving in local churches as well as a great academic text for training the next generation of women’s leaders. The benefits of this text stem from the insights of two Christian leaders with varied experiences ranging from speaking at women’s events to teaching in college and seminary classrooms.”

Jeannie Elliff – President’s Wife, International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

“Building on a scriptural foundation Rhonda Kelley and Monica Brennan have written a useful tool for women who want their words to reflect God’s standard. I need this book! So do you! “

Meredith Floyd – Pastor’s Wife, Cross Church Fayetteville

“What a blessing this book is to Christian women! It is definitely a resource I will keep nearby when preparing future teaching opportunities. It is comprehensive, practical and an interesting read. Rhonda Kelley and Monica Brennan keep it personal with stories sprinkled throughout from their own experiences, yet manage to pack in many inspiring quotes and helpful tools along the way. That you for this book – what a treasured resources it will be!”

John Gibson, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Communication, Leavell College, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

“Talking is a Gift will help the reader discover how to be a better communicator with a Christ-anointed power. Co-author Rhonda Kelley is an exceptional speaker who knows the craft of communication. This book will help the layperson and student alike in improving the skill of communication as well as becoming a better public speaker. For those instructors who are looking for a primary text to use in the classroom, this book will be of considerable help to the student.”

Linda Gilden – CLASSEMINARS, Inc. Speaker Trainer and Director of Writing Programs

“Wow! Rhonda Harrington Kelley and Monica Rose Brennan have provided speakers with an amazing resource to take their speaking careers to the next level. These ladies know what they are talking about and address all of the important areas of speaking. Ideal as a public speaking textbook, Talking Is a Gift is perfect for someone who wants to speak but has no training, leaders in churches, the classroom, or the average mom who just wants to give advice to others in an understandable way.  This resource should be on the bookshelf of everyone who speaks, wants to speak, or has ever dreamed of becoming a speaker. Can’t wait to get my copy!

Susie Hawkins – Author/Speaker/President’s Wife, GuideStone Financial Resources, Dallas, TX

“What an extraordinary resource Rhonda and Monica have given us! There is no aspect of effective communication that is not covered here –  from the mechanics of preparation to fear of speaking, to non-verbal communication. Women leaders will find this book invaluable in helping them move their speaking skills to the next level!”

Ed Hindson, Ph.D. – Distinguished Professor, School of Religion, Liberty University

“Drs. Kelley and Brennan have written a superb guide to public speaking and communication specifically for women. Their incredible insights and practical advice will challenge the minds and bless the hearts of all their readers – women and men alike. Don’t miss Talking Is A Gift and indeed so is this book.”

Ann Iorg – President’s Wife, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary

“When I was young, I was determined to never speak publicly.  However, I discovered that most people find themselves speaking publicly at some time in their lives.  I had to let go of my fear and obey God  by sharing His message, even in public settings.  Thankfully, Rhonda Kelley and Monica Brennan have given us a great tool to help us learn how to speak in a way that focuses on the message, the hearer, the purpose, and power of God; not on our own feelings of inadequacy.”

Judi A. Jackson, Ph.D. – Associate Dean of Students/Coordinator of Women’s Programs/Adjunct Professor, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

“Most of us take for granted the mechanism and process of communication. We speak our minds and expect others to understand exactly what we mean. Unfortunately, many barriers crowd the path between thoughts being formed into words and meaning being received precisely. With Talking is a Gift, Rhonda Kelley and Monica Rose Brennan have stepped up with a practical guide to understanding communication, in hopes of broadening our ability to say what we mean, mean what we say, and do it in a way that invites others to listen and respond with clarity and purpose. So, whether you talk a lot or a little, to large crowds or just anyone who’ll listen, you’ll find this timely resource supportive, compelling, and effective in your growth as a communicator.”

Jackie Kendall, Best-selling Author of Lady in Waiting

“Two gifted communicators, Dr. Kelley and Dr. Brennan, have written a guidebook that shares the “how to” behind transforming one’s passion into a clear, life-impacting voice. This book will help a woman confidently develop her voice so that her “talking” will have an eternal impact. How wonderful to consider that a woman’s gift of talking can profoundly enhance the kingdom of God on earth.”

Steve Lemke, Ph.D. – Provost/Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

“Talking Is a Gift affords a rich resource for women whose roles in Christian ministries call upon them to do public speaking for devotionals and Bible studies, as well as drama and oral interpretation. Attention is given to both how to prepare and deliver a speech, including voice care and the proper use of gestures, articulation, microphones, and media. However, Kelley and Brennan also address non-verbal communication and, more broadly, interpersonal communication. Women’s Ministry leaders, Bible study leaders, and mission group leaders will profit from this helpful guide to help female speakers perform these roles more effectively in the Lord’s work.”

Kathy Ferguson Litton, Consultant for Ministry to Pastors’ Wives, North American Mission Board

“I wholehearted recommend Talking is a Gift. Gleaned insights from timeless truths of public speaking woven with fresh practices of the most engaging voices of our day will arm women to confidently present well. This volume will equip women in any context from the Bible study to the board room. A much needed tool for women to lead and teach more powerfully.”

Rachel Lovingood – Author/Speaker/Minister’s Wife, Long Hollow Baptist Church, Hendersonville, TN

“Talking is a Gift: Communication Skills for Women is exactly what women who speak and teach have been needing! Rhonda Kelley and Monica Brennan have given us a resource that will not only inspire us to step to the microphone willingly but because they offer specific examples and practical advice—we can be more confident as we do. To whom much is given, much is required. Rhonda and Monica have given us a jewel of a product that will help equip us to make the most of every opportunity we are given to influence the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Jaye Martin – President, Jaye Martin Ministries, Houston, TX

Talking is a Gift is an incredible collection of essential tips for any speaker. The authors are not only gifted in speaking but also in the art of communicating through the written word. I am thrilled to endorse this valuable resource and would recommend this book to anyone who longs to effectively communicate their message to an audience.”

Leighann McCoy – Women’s Ministry Leader/Pastor’s Wife, Thompson Station Church, Franklin, TN

“I wish I could have been in Rhonda or Monica’s classes when I went to seminary. Their warmth and authenticity in presenting their message makes me wonder if they circle up the desks and serve tea when they teach. I would have also loved to have had Talking is a Gift as a textbook. When I was in seminary, the only class we were offered on public speaking was “preaching.” And although our messages might sometimes be conveyed with the passion of a “preacher,” our listeners (who most often tend to be women) don’t prefer to be “preached to.” Therefore, this valuable resource will be a great tool for training women who sense a call to the ministry of proclamation and want to fulfill that call within the giftedness she has as a woman.”

Tony Merida, Pastor for Preaching at Imago Dei Church, Raleigh, NC/Associate Professor of Preaching, SEBTS

“Chuck and Rhonda Kelley have blessed me in many ways over the years. They’ve shown me warm hospitality, allowed me to serve along side of them, and given me uplifting encouragement. As gifted speakers, I’ve also learned a lot from them about giving clear and compelling messages. Rhonda has put in print this very helpful book on communication that will no doubt interest you and sharpen your speaking skills. I recommend Talking as a Gift to anyone who admits they need to improve in communication – and I think that’s all of us.”

Autumn Miles  Founder/President The Blush Network, National speaker/Author

“As a national speaker, the information in this book is paramount for success on any stage.  The depth and detail of the communication skills covered are essential in navigating the speaking process.  I believe this book will aide not only beginners, but seasoned public speakers.”

Mike Miller, Ph.D. – Campus Pastor, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Pastor, First Baptist Church, Kenner, LA

“I must admit that as a pastor and a professor who teaches preaching, I had never considered the unique dynamics of communication relative to women. Simply put, Rhonda Kelley and Monica Brennan have filled a significant gap that I did not even know existed. And they have done so masterfully! They have built upon the fundamentals of communication theory and practice in ways that apply specifically to women. Their practical approach illustrated with real-life examples have provided readers with a valuable tool that is both helpful and readable. Not only do I highly recommend Talking Is a Gift, but it will become an essential resource for the women who have leadership roles in my ministry setting.”

Mary Mohler – President’s Wife/Director Seminary Wives Institute, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

“Talking is a Gift is indeed a gift itself to Christian women.  Well organized and supported by quotes from trusted authors, Rhonda and Monica have given us a needed resource that will both educate and encourage women in the challenging area of public speaking.  This work will serve to motivate women to step up and speak for all of the right reasons.  Not only will it spur on the host of women who are reluctant to develop their speaking skills but it will also enhance the ministries of those who regularly speak but are looking for fresh ideas.”

Shirley Moses – Women’s Ministry Director, Hagerman Baptist Church, Pottsboro, TX

“At last! A book written by women for women who are serious about communicating God’s Word with clarity, in a meaningful and memorable way. Talking is a Gift is an indispensable tool for the novice speaker while also making the experienced communicator even more successful. As a former student of Dr. Kelley, I can attest to her excellent communication skills.”

Diane Nix – Speaker/Author/Founder of Contagious Joy 4 Him Ministries

“Finally, written for women by two gifted women, Talking is a Gift is a must read for the woman with a passion for communication.  Whether used as a textbook in an academic setting or a helpful tool for the woman with a desire to improve her public speaking ability, this book covers every angle of the “gift of gab.”  Long overdue, this book brings to light the important and vital contribution that a Christian woman makes to the world of Christian communication. Talking is a Gift is the perfect resource for any woman who has a desire to fully develop and improve her ability to communicate effectively whether in public proclamation, small groups and even in her day-to-day conversations.”

Preston Nix, Ph.D. – Director of Leavell Center/Chairman of Pastoral Ministries Division, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

“For the woman who has been called of the Lord to transition her casual conversations to public proclamation to other women, this is the book for her! As a preaching professor, I have been on the lookout for a resource to assist the female students who are required to take my preaching courses in their degree plan at the seminary. Dr. Rhonda Kelley and Dr. Monica Brennan have provided that resource in their new book, Talking Is a Gift: Communication Skills for Women. These ladies who have a “talent for talking” have produced a rich resource that both informs and inspires the woman whose ministry has required her to “kick it up a notch” and take her communication to the “next level.” I highly recommend this work to any woman leading a women’s ministry, instructing in any classroom setting, or teaching the Word in her church or in an itinerant ministry. Although this endorsement comes from a man, it is a man who “talks for a living” and knows what can help others to communicate more effectively. Therefore, take it from me, ladies, and invest in this book! It will pay rich dividends for your ministry, especially to your sisters who are looking to you to speak the truth of God’s Word to their hearts.”

Denise O’Donoghue – Women’s Life Director, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Talking is a Gift is a valuable resource for any woman who wants to glorify God through a speaking and teaching ministry. Kelley and Brennan have masterfully created this very practical book with an eye toward all aspects of oral communication for women by women.  I look forward to using it as a textbook in my classes.”

Judy Patrick – Women’s Ministry Professor, University of Mobile/Baptist College of Florida

“Finally, a book about communication and public speaking designed specifically for women. Talking Is A Gift is a very concise, thorough book that addresses the full gamut of public speaking from organizing a speech, to verbal presentation, and the appearance of the speaker. As a professor of Women’s Ministry for two colleges, this book will be a “must have” textbook in my public speaking class.”

Dorothy Kelley Patterson, Ph.D. – President’s Wife/Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies,  Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Talking is a Gift is a book that keeps on giving—pulling you back on course in your personal communication with those you love and others with whom you interact in the course of life. But there is more—you will also be inspired to make your communication worthy of being a part of the marketplace of ideas and ultimately to share your life message effectively. Yes, I will have my personal desk copy, but I must also recommend it as a textbook in our women’s programs on the seminary campus, and I want my teenage granddaughters to have copies to read and absorb as part of their preparation for communicating effectively on every level. This volume is for every woman’s personal library of resources!”

Jennifer Rothschild – Author/Speaker/Founder of Women’s Ministry Network and Fresh Grounded Faith Events

“When I first started speaking and teaching, I had the privilege of sharing  the ministry platform with Rhonda Kelley several times. She  always set such an example of excellence for me to follow. That’s why I am so grateful she can coach, guide and inspire you in your speaking gift in her new book, Talking is a GiftTalking is a Gift will be my answer when other women in ministry ask me, “How can I grow and improve in my speaking ministry?”

Jim Shaddix – Professor of Preaching, Southeastern Seminary/Pastor of Teaching & Training, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, AL

“In recent years, the increasing interest in and need for ministry among women in the local church and its ministries has put the spotlight on those who lead these efforts. No part of this responsibility is more crucial than communication, especially that of communicating God’s Word. The need for Spirit-empowered communication that is clear, accurate and inspirational is paramount in a media culture of ambiguous signals and shallow theology. No one is more qualified to speak into the fog than Rhonda Kelley and Monica Brennan. These two ladies bring a wealth of experience and expertise together in Talking is a Gift: Communication Skills for Women. This book is a timely resource that is incredibly practical and impressively substantive, while at the same time being insightfully sensitive to the unique role of those who communicate woman to woman. I highly recommend it to those who take up this mantle.”

Dawn Stephens – Local Disciple-Making Associate Minister, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, AL

Talking is a Gift is a practical and much needed resource for women everywhere: the home, workplace, church, and community.  Rhonda and Monica’s clear instruction and examples will help women better understand how to communicate their thoughts for a positive impact and gives tools for oratory success!”

Debbie Stuart – Church and Leadership Development Director, Women of Faith

“In my Women’s Ministry training at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Rhonda Kelley challenged me to develop a personal mission statement. I knew I had the “gift of gab” and my mission statement became my daily prayer: Lord, use me to deliver a message that would change a life. Whether I am on a platform or a playground, Talking Is A Gift: Communication Skills for Women teaches and equips me to fulfill my mission effectively. This is the instruction book I will read again and again as I strive to deliver meaningful messages with impact and application. This resource is extremely valuable in understanding the entire communication process and helpful in connecting to an audience, whether that be to a thousand women or just one. If you are a woman, you probably have the “gift of talking”, so use Talking Is A Gift to sharpen and polish that gift.”

 Elmer L. Towns, Ph.D. – Co-Founder, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA

“Communication is absolutely essential for any woman in ministry! Whether communication is one-on-one or in small groups or to large groups, communication is the absolute foundation for any ministry. Both Rhonda Kelley and Monica Brennan are my friends, and this book starts with their ability to communicate in every way. So, this book is more than research, it is the lives of two women who communicate, and they both do it well in this book.

Jerry Vines, Ph.D. – Pastor Emeritus, First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, FL/Jerry Vines Ministries

“I was thrilled to know that Rhonda Harrington Kelley and Monica Rose Brennan have provided a book sharing their extensive knowledge of communication skills. There has long been a need for such a book specifically addressed to women who speak for the Lord. They cover the ground in the technical, rhetorical, and spiritual aspects of public speaking. I highly recommend it for women. And, men, you will be greatly assisted by taking a peek!”

Janet Wicker – Pastor’s Wife, First Baptist Church, Naples, FL

“Proverbs 31:26 says the woman called the excellent wife ‘opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction is on her tongue.’ I personally find this unique and exceptional book to be a superbly valuable resource to help all women communicate such wisdom and loving instruction in all the settings of their lives, from the personal to the public. While it is practical and insightful in the mechanics of speech from preparation to delivery, it is very thoughtful and encouraging in sharpening Christian women to passionately communicate and teach the truth of God’s Word and the hope of the Gospel.   It is a book I will both study privately and share publicly with other women!”

Janie Wise – Women’s Missions and Ministry Strategist, Louisiana Baptist Convention

“Needed. That is the word that came to mind as I read the description of this book. It was needed when I started out a number of years ago; it is needed now. In a variety of ways, the authors present a variety of methods, speaking and preparation techniques and skills for use by speakers in a variety of places. This book is totally useful.”

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