I first discovered Marnie Swedberg when I watched one of her teleconferences. From there, I learned about Christian Women Speakers and was excited to sign on as speaker. The longer I know Marnie, the more I’m amazed at all that she does. She’s the author of thirteen books. She travels around the globe speaking on faith and business and has mentored over 15,000 leaders from 35 countries. She’s the host of a #1 ranked and featured Blog Talk show. And she’s the founder/director of Bible Study Expo which is coming up next week. Despite her hectic schedule, she squeezed in time for a quick interview.
When did you first decide you wanted to be a speaker?
I say I started mentoring younger women when I was eleven years old and had the opportunity to help with preschoolers. (There’s always a woman younger than you that needs your input!) In my 20’s, I had the opportunity to start sharing devotionals at women’s meetings, showers, and events. After my first book was published by St. Martin’s Press, NY in 1996, I began getting a lot of speaking invites. Now I understand that I was created to be a speaker: I never feel more alive than when I’m speaking in front of a group of women, seeing the lightbulbs go on in their eyes as they understand a deep Biblical truth. God is so gracious and allows me to speak all over the world. How cool is that?!
Do you remember the first speech you ever gave? When/where was it?
I can’t remember my first speech, but I do remember the first time I stood alone in front of a large audience. I was four years old, singing a solo for a lady’s gathering in a downtown Minneapolis church. I don’t remember what song I sang, but I still love to sing and have written over forty songs, several of which are sung in churches around the globe.
Tell us about Christian Women Speakers. What inspired you to found it?
I’m a simple person who just loves Jesus. God gave me the concept for WomenSpeakers.com while I was in the shower one morning. Truly! It was 2001 and, as I took my morning shower, the image of blue, clickable, US map appeared in my mind’s eye. Boom! There it was in my brain. I asked God about it, and He showed me His heart for a directory where the “little” churches could find a speaker.
He helped me understand that there were already several speaker’s bureaus for mega churches with big budgets, but for the rest of the churches, there was nothing. Now, praise God, there is something—something really cool, fun and easy to use. I’ve been connecting planners with speakers ever since.
If a women’s event planner is looking for a speaker, what should they do?
Go to www.womenspeakers.com, click on your state, and start browsing until you see a speaker that makes you smile. Sometimes you have to check the states around yours to find just the right speaker, or, conversely, you can search by topic.
When you find a speaker (or few) who might be a good fit, use the “Send Message” option to reach out for a first interview. This is when you’ll share your vision for your event plus get more details about the speaker, her fees, etc.
Tell us about Marnie’s Friends. How did it come about?
From 2001 to 2009, I hosted teleconferences during which I trained on one aspect of women’s ministry leadership, speaking, writing, or other life/leadership concepts per call. With the advent of social media in 2009, my business coach inspired me to get on Facebook, Twitter and BlogTalkRadio. The show went on to become a number one ranked and featured show featuring over 300 expert guests sharing powerful training programs each week for 10 years.
Recently, you introduced Prospective Transformation. How does this compare to Marnie’s friends?
Toward the end of my 10-year run with Marnie’s Friends, I was feeling prompted to shift away from “how to” strategy training modules into spiritually-motivated “how to” perspective shifters. I now interview up to four Perspective Transformers per week about some of their favorite “aha” quotes. It’s truly invigorating and faith building.
Coming up is the Bible Study Expo. Can you tell us exactly what it is and how women can be a part of it?
Every spring I host the online Bible Study Expo introducing the most recently released Bible Study books by and for women. This year is our 10th Anniversary and we are hosting 10 awesome authors with their new books.
The Expo is a Women’s Conference that takes place online. The lobby is the Facebook and Twitter parties. The auditorium is the FB Live feed that shares the author interviews, book winners, etc. It’s free and 100% online, so you can tune in from where ever you are, for as much of it as possible.
The event takes place at http://www.BibleStudyExpo.com on Thursday, March 14, from 1-4 PM ET. You can register in advance for the chance to win Bible study books to be given away all afternoon during the Expo. You need not be present to win.
What can women expect from the Bible Study Expo?
Expo attendees always leave refreshed, encouraged and challenged in their faith walk. The authors are inspirational! You’ll also have the chance to chat with other Bible study enthusiasts (and the book authors) in the FB and TW chat rooms, and this, too, will encourage your heart. Mostly, I pray, you’ll leave more determined than ever to spend quality time with God in His Word and together with other God-lovers.
What are you most excited about right now?
I’m the type of person who stays “present” in the moment. Thus, my favorite book is the one I’m reading or writing, and just now, I’m immersed in preparation for the Bible Study Expo, so, that’s my favorite thing! In preparation for all the author interviews, I’ve gotten to read the books and do the studies. WOWSA! Talk about a submersion Bible Study experience! I love it! Every book I read is my new favorite, and I’m better for it.
Any projects, mission trips, or speaking engagements you have coming up that you’d like to talk about?
I’m super excited about my International Women’s Conferences this fall. I’ll be out of country almost a month, keynoting 2-4 day conferences in four countries (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and the Philippines). My topics range from faith to business, incorporating Biblical Success Principles into everything, and I cannot wait to go back and see what God’s been doing since my ministry helped launch 28 small businesses in Kenya in 2016. So excited!
Anything else you’d like to share?
God’s always got me doing all kinds of things, and I’m forever seeking more ministry partners! If you’d like to partner in prayer, consider praying for me while you brush your teeth. (It was God’s idea.) True story! When He put it in my heart to ask people to pray for me while they brushed their teeth, I complained that it was too weird. His response to my heart was, “Well, I could have had you ask them to pray for you when they flushed the toilet!” Haha! God is so funny – and He’s got me covered! Pray while you brush, and, if you’d like to help fund a project, international trip, or put money toward our small business fund for women in impoverished nations, you can do all that at www.Marnie.com.
God’s got you! He loves you! He created you uniquely, and, just like He’s got me busy about His work, He longs to flow His life and love to you, then through you, to His children worldwide. Give yourself fully to Him! He is worthy to be praised!