Adventures of a Conference Speaker

Prepare for the unexpected when you speak at women’s conferences on the topic of sexuality! This weekend, I spoke on “Understanding and Enhancing Your God-Given Sexuality within Marriage” at the Iron Sharpens Iron Conference for Women in Hartford, CT. It was an adventure, starting with when I got to my 100-seat classroom, and we couldn’t find the printed 16-page outlines to pass out to the women. Oh well, we will have to make do without them (and I offered to email the outline to the women if they sent me a request email to jennifer@jenniferdegler.com).

Ten minutes before the seminar begins, the room is full, and women continue to pour in. Soon they are seated on the floor around my feet (I feel like a preschool teacher during story time, only today’s story will be “You and Your Clitoris.” Oh my….) We are jammed in like sardines, and it is getting hotter and hotter in that room (and it isn’t because of my topic!). I start teaching on female genitalia and more women keep trying to squeeze into a packed room.

Fortunately, one of the other speakers, Mary Kassian, shows up unexpectedly and graciously offers to switch rooms with me (she was in the sanctuary), so we all troop over to the large sanctuary. Ah, blessed air conditioning! And lots of room for the 250 – 300 women in the audience.

But wait, there’s a problem. I wasn’t expecting to be in a large room so I don’t have PowerPoint slides with me. Instead, I brought transparencies–just fine for a classroom, but now we are in a large sanctuary with a deep stage. The men on the tech crew bring in the overhead projector and have to put it up on a raised platform near the choir loft. Then they ask me for a transparency so they can make sure it’s bright enough. Uh oh, all I have are transparencies of anatomical drawings of female genitalia. The audience knows this and starts laughing. I hand over the transparency and, since we are now behind schedule, start teaching while those men are still behind me setting things up. Awkward, but funny. 😳

So now the overhead projector is working fine, and there on the sanctuary wall is projected the world’s largest vagina. I’m quite sure this was a first for this church. I walk over to the overhead projector to write on the transparency, and I realize that the platform on which it is sitting is three feet off the ground, and there don’t seem to be any steps to get up to it. So, I hike up my leg (while wearing four inch stilettos) and climb up on the platform. I had to do this four more times during my presentation (I am still sweating from the previous classroom’s heat and now I have to do step aerobics?!?!) Again, awkward but funny. (The audience was amazing, by the way. They were good sports about everything).

I am so discombobulated by this point that I’m not quite sure what I said during my presentation; however, the audience laughed a lot and wanted me to go an extra 15 minutes at the end. Hopefully I didn’t embarrass God and country. I’m pleased that I had time to tell the audience about CWIVES, the Dare of the Month, and the 324 Club.

Now it’s over, I’m wringing wet, and two more funny things happen: 1) This sweet lady tells me that there are steps up to the platform on the side (I just didn’t see them), and 2) all the men from the tech crew ask me for CWIVES business cards to give to their wives. And they asked for extras to give to the guys in the sound booth. Priceless.

Thanks to the women of the Northeast and the superb ISI staff for a great conference!

Comments 22

  1. Sara
    October 4, 2011

    I was there and you did awesome! I would like a copy of your 16page outline please 🙂 God bless

    1. Jennifer Degler
      October 5, 2011

      Hello Sara,
      Glad you enjoyed the seminar! Just shoot me an email requesting the outline, and I will send it back to you by reply email. jennifer@jenniferdegler.com

      Blessings,
      Jennifer

  2. October 4, 2011

    Jennifer – what a hilarious story! I hate I missed all that excitement, but it sounds like it turned out to be wonderful despite all the challenges. It was a pleasure getting to meet you and your sister at the conference! Take care.

    1. Jennifer Degler
      October 5, 2011

      Hello Tracie, it was fun to meet you as well. I looked at your website–you are such a wonderful and faithful blogger. I hope your seminar went well and that we can link up again at another conference.

      Blessings,
      Jennifer

  3. Carol
    October 4, 2011

    I too was there Jennifer and you were a delight, I’m 55 and learned quite a bit and so looking forward to reading your outline.(and so is my husband) Thanks for an enjoyable session. May God bless your ministry.

    1. Jennifer Degler
      October 5, 2011

      Thanks, Carol, for your kind words. To get the outline, just send a request email to jennifer@jenniferdegler.com and I will send it back by reply email. Be sure to check your junk/spam folder in case it gets trapped in there.

      Blessings
      Jennifer

  4. Marcia
    October 4, 2011

    I was there and after 32 years of marriage I learned things I did not know,THANK YOU!! You did an awesome job,great info,sensitive info presented with humor.

    1. Jennifer Degler
      October 5, 2011

      Thanks, Marcia, for your kind words! And congratulations on 32 years of marriage.

      Blessings,
      Jennifer

  5. Kelley
    October 5, 2011

    Oh my goodness, you were fantastic! I’m still laughing and talking about your presentation and I really hope you are presenting again next year! Let us all know if you come back to CT and I will be there!

    1. Jennifer Degler
      October 8, 2011

      So glad you enjoyed the presentation, Kelley! I hope to get to return to the Northeast some time soon.
      Blessings,
      Jennifer

  6. Josie
    October 9, 2011

    Mom-

    i laughed so hard when I read this! I emailed it to my roommate and she burst out in laughter as well. Hahaha you’re too funny!! I miss you so much and am happy that your speaking engagement went well.

    Love,
    Josie

    1. October 14, 2011

      So glad you and Valerie enjoyed the blog! I hope you can join me at a conference some day.

      Love
      Mom

  7. Natasha
    October 10, 2011

    Thank you for your awesome conference! You definitely are an enlightening speaker! My husband and I are celebrating 14yrs. of marriage tomorrow. These topics are hardly discussed in an informative or knowledgeable way of right or wrong. How do young women pursue confidence in this area when they are first married? Thanks to you for helping those and/or encouraging those in the right direction. For some, it is trial and error but for others, not knowing can leave them depressed or miserable. Thank you again for all of your clarification. Loved you in CT!

    1. October 14, 2011

      Thanks, Natasha, for your encouraging words, and congratulations on 14 years of marriage! Hopefully you picked up some ideas on how to celebrate your anniversary at the seminar!

      Blessings,
      Jennifer

  8. Marguerite
    October 18, 2011

    I wonder if our missing outlines ever showed up in that Sunday School class the next day?! 😉 What a wonderful conference….your session was amazing. Thanks for your openness and honesty and for teaching us so many things that will add love and blessings to our sacred marriages. My husband and I just celebrated 25 years in June and are looking forward to many many more.

    1. Jennifer Degler
      November 3, 2011

      Thanks, Marguerite, for your kind words. I think the outlines were left behind at the ISI headquarters. Congratulations on 25 years of marriage!

      Blessings,
      Jennifer

  9. Michelle
    October 25, 2011

    I attended your workshop and throughly enjoyed your presentation. I am always learning more each day on how to be the spouse that God intented me to be for my husdand. I learned alot from your workshop.
    I would also like a copy of the missing handout. Thank you.
    Michelle

    1. Jennifer Degler
      November 3, 2011

      Hello Michelle,

      I’m glad you learned some useful information at the workshop. If you will email me directly at drjennifer@cwives.com or jennifer@jenniferdegler.com, I will email you the outline.

      Blessings,
      Jennifer

  10. Lisa Novak
    November 2, 2011

    How could I find out where you will be doing future conferences like the one listed above? Thank you

    1. Jennifer Degler
      November 3, 2011

      Hello Lisa,

      If you sign up for the Dare of the Month or you sign up on my other website http://www.jenniferdegler.com for my contact list, you will receive an email about my speaking engagements. You can also check my calendar on the http://www.jenniferdegler.com website. Right now I don’t have any more dates scheduled to speak on sex, but that could change at any time.
      Blessings,
      Jennifer

  11. Susan
    January 6, 2012

    I was at that conference. You were fabulous! I have been married 20 years now and your talk made me rethink a few things. And I too learned something. I was relieved to discover that my “lack” of desire was normal at this stage of my life. I thought there was something wrong with me! Even my doctor was no help. Thanks for this blessing.

    1. January 12, 2012

      Thanks for your kind words, Susan. I’m glad you enjoyed the presentation.
      Blessings,
      Jennifer

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