Girl Talk with Sheila Wray Gregoire: Straight Talk on Marriage, Intimacy and Sex!

Would you like a unique women’s event that will strengthen the marriages in your church, make your women laugh, but also serve as an effective outreach tool?

You need Girl Talk, Sheila Wray Gregoire’s signature event providing Straight Talk on Marriage and Intimacy, with a lot of humor thrown in.

An event with a track record of having better than average attendance for churches, women will flock to hear the message about why God designed sex the way He did–and how we can make it great in marriage physically, emotionally, AND spiritually.

Sheila is the author of seven books, including The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and 31 Days to Great Sex. She’s been called the “Christian Dr. Ruth”. And she has a passion to see marriages thrive, reflecting real intimacy, not the pseudo-intimacy our culture tries to sell us.

Read on to see how she can help your church!

Sheila brought a new outlook on sex that we have never heard before. She was real, to the point, and brought a Biblical perspective to a very raw subject that the church rarely wants to talk about. Most importantly, she was fun and entertaining! Just what our community of ladies needed. We would love to have her again…

Lisa Poverud

Women’s Ministry Committee, Willmar Assembly of God church, March 2013

A TIMELY MESSAGE–DELIVERED WITH HUMOR

WHAT DOES A GIRL TALK LOOK LIKE?

The talk ideally is divided into two parts, with a break in the middle to allow women time to socialize, browse any displays you have, or grab some dessert/coffee. However, the talk could be given in all in one, if desired.

In the first part of the night, approximately 35 minutes, we talk about what God designed sex to be for, how our culture has distorted it, and how God made men and women differently.

Then we break for about twenty minutes, allowing the women time to chat and grab some goodies (and submit some anonymous questions!)

After the break, it’s time for door prizes. Sheila will provide 3, and you can provide however many you’d like (or none at all.) Then Sheila will answer questions for 15 minutes. Finally, Sheila will launch into the second half of her talk, focused on how to make sex great:

  • Physically
  • Emotionally
  • AND Spiritually!

Based on her best-selling book, The Great Sex Rescue, Sheila shares her research on what is actually happening in marriage today, and her insights into how God wants sex to be something that binds us together, not tears us apart.

She encourages the audience to change their attitude–to realize that sex was not created for MEN, but for WOMEN, too. And that a great sex life isn’t about just doing it enough, but rather discovering God’s design for mutual, intimate, pleasurable sex.

And Sheila also addresses hot button topics like low male libido, pornography, and even toys (tastefully, of course).

From Attendees:

I so enjoyed the event last night! I was just so excited and had been counting down since November. Thank you so much for what you do and your time to come speak at Bethel Bible Church. I know many women were blessed.

Anna Rushing

Bethel Bible Church, Tyler, Texas

Sheila was honest and straight forward with her knowledge and presentation. I enjoyed the way she talked with us and not at us. She is very refreshing. They way she described things didn’t make you squirm or feel uncomfortable. Thank you Sheila!
Girl Talk Attendee

HillTop Baptist Church, Green River, Wyoming

Everything was great! Awesome time and great job! Best talk and seminar I’ve heard on the topic. Thanks so much for coming to San Angelo! 

Girl Talk Attendee

San Angelo, Texas

WHAT IS THE REACTION TO GIRL TALK?

From the organizers:

Thank you so much for coming to speak at our church this evening! You have so much godly insight, it’s incredible! So many times tonight, you hit the nail right on the head!! (Like going over grocery or to-do lists during sex, or thinking about whether or not I “want to” for 20 minutes instead of jumping him! lol) After tonight’s Girl Talk, I’m going to pray about our sex life, and try my best to keep my head in the game!  Thank you again Sheila…God bless you! 

Trish Humby

Clearview Community Church, Stayner, Ontario

I really want to thank all of you for making Girl Talk such a marvelous success!! Every woman there came away refreshed and ready to get to work on making her marriage better. And, Sheila, from the entire crew here in the Hill Country, we love you, We pray for your ministry to grow and blossom even as you try to multiply yourself to get this upcoming wedding planned and done. We WILL pray for you! You have blessed my heart to popping!!!
Sandi Goforth

San Antonio, Texas

The event on Friday went very well! We had so many women in attendance and they all really enjoyed themselves. Sheila was wonderful and brought exactly what we hoped for with her presentation. She was also great to work with. Clear in her expectations and helpful with questions we had for her.

Andrea Carter

Life Center Assembly of God, Tacoma, Washington

Here’s why I believe Girl Talk will bless your congregation!

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO HOSTING GIRL TALK?

  • Churches need to strengthen marriages. Marriages are falling apart in the church and not just in the wider culture. Yet pastors often have a hard time addressing certain areas of marriage from the pulpit, because children are present, or single adults, or widows. Here’s a chance to address sex, a vital part of marriage, in an accessible and easy way.
  • Younger women are more likely to want to come out. And since younger women are often the hardest to reach with women’s events, this can be a bridge for some of the women who often are isolated and not fully integrated into the church community.
  • Your church is seen as relevant–talking about the issues that people are dealing with on a daily basis.

GIRL TALK WORKS WONDERFULLY AS AN OUTREACH!

  • In Willmar, MN, the average attendance of women’s events was 150. For their Girl Talk they had 320.
  • In Wilmington, DE, 200 women come out with just four weeks of promotion.
  • In Willmar, many of those in attendance were community women, not church women. Every married, adult woman is curious about sex. And seekers are far more likely to come out to an event that is focused around something that they are interested in. Because Sheila weaves the gospel into her explanation of why God designed sex the way He did, seekers will leave not only with a sense of what sex is for, but also with a greater understanding of who God is and the kind of intimate, close relationship He wants with us.
  • In Tyler, TX, they set a record for attendance at their women’s event–and even needed to bring in extra chairs.
  • A great bridge to the community!

Want some NITTY-GRITTY DETAILS? Here are our FAQs:

Do you do daytime events?

The event runs best as an evening event from 7-9 or 7:30-9:30.

Are you a MOPS group? Sheila will speak at large daytime MOPS groups, but she really encourages groups to get several groups together and host an evening event.

How do we publicize the event?

Sheila will do her best to notify the people subscribed to her newsletters and on Facebook who live within 100 miles of your church that Girl Talk is happening! At every Girl Talk we’ve hosted so far, there have always been several groups of women who traveled far to see Sheila, based on her outreach. So you can be assured that you’re not alone when you sign up to host an event.

However, the majority of attendees will come from you and your community! If you provide us with contact numbers for any Christian radio stations, we will try to contact them beforehand to do some radio interviews to drum up interest. Also, most Christian radio stations provide event announcements. Make sure you get Girl Talk on their roster!

But even if you’re a small church, you can host a successful event. When we were in San Antonio, Texas, three churches got together to host a Girl Talk. One church hosted and did the ticket sales and coordinated with us. One church provided the food. Another church did the decorating. And all the churches got the word out! Several hundred women came, and it was a blast. And because the work was spread out, no one felt overburdened.

If you are a small church, reach out to another church and see if they will agree to do the food or the decorating, while you take care of the administration. Often with partnerships you get a larger crowd, and you build community in your own town with other churches.

Does this work as an outreach event?

ABSOLUTELY! In Willmar, MN, they normally had 125 women out for a yearly women’s event. At Girl Talk they had 400 women, their largest crowd ever. And most were unchurched! Seekers are often eager to come to an event that talks about sex, even if it’s in a church. Don’t be shy about asking. This may be one of the best ways to get your neighbors into your church building this year.

Girl Talk does use God language, but it’s easily accessible. And we’ve never had problems with people saying it was too “preachy”. In fact, about 80% of the audience consistently signs up for the newsletter–which means a lot of unchurched women do.

The best way to get seekers out is to sell the event to YOUR women. When the women in your church believe in the event, they will ask their friends. But they likely won’t unless you explicitly tell them: we want this to be an outreach event, too. Please ask your friends!

We at Girl Talk are so passionate about this. After every event, we have women coming up to us saying, “I wish I had brought my niece/co-worker/neighbor.” If only I had known. So tell your women now, so that you won’t miss an opportunity to reach them with the gospel in a way that’s more easily accessible.

Pricing for event tickets

Here are all the FAQs specifically about pricing:

Q: We understand that you recommend charging $15 a ticket, but we have some room in our budget and we’d like to bless the women in our community by doing it for free (or by charging less). Is that okay?

You can certainly do whatever you want; the only problem with charging less, of course, is that my fee and expenses won’t be covered. HOWEVER, here’s what we have found: when the event is free, or even when the event is only $5, fewer people come.

I’ve been involved with a number of ministries that have put on large women’s events for free. What they found is that when it was free and they gave out tickets, only about 40-50% of those tickets actually ended up in attendance.

When it was $5, about 60% came.

At $10, you were getting about 90% of the tickets showing up to the event, at $15 it is even higher of a percentage.

And not just that, but the audience was LARGER. At $15 a ticket, people know that the event is worth coming out to. When something is free, people don’t take it as seriously.

And finally, another bonus: when the event is free, people often don’t see the need to pick up tickets, and often won’t commit to coming until just before the event. That leaves the church will no idea how many women are coming, making it difficult to plan for food. If you charge $15, people will tend to buy at least a week in advance, and that makes it easier on you.
So if you want the event to have an impact, with the least stress, we suggest charging the full $15. If you want to bless the women, spend the extra money you have in your budget on door prizes or on making amazing food!
Q: We have a business that wants to sponsor the event in order to get email addresses. Will that work?

That’s a great idea! But see the question above. In general, I’d suggest that the business use that money for goodie bags for the women, rather than subsidizing the tickets. You’re more likely to get a larger crowd.

 

 

Payment & Expenses FAQs

Q: What are the expenses we should expect? 

Expenses vary, depending on how many churches are involved in the tour. The base cost is $1000 plus Sheila’s travel expenses, with the church and Sheila splitting revenue if the ticket sales exceeds 100. We encourage churches to sell tickets for $12-$15 each, so the cost to the church is actually quite minimal.

Tours can minimize travel costs. If there are 4 churches, for instance, those 4 churches will divide between them the cost of 2 airline tickets (Sheila requires an assistant to travel with her, because she can’t do it by herself anymore), hotell expenses, meals (we keep this cost as low as possible), the rental car, gas, and other travel expenses (like parking). Again, we travel economy class and save as much as possible.

If you charge $10 a ticket, and have 150 women at the event, you’ll almost break even. Your cost will be $1000 for the fee, and then roughly $500-$600 for expenses (depending on size of tour, etc.) Your receipts will be $1250 ($1000 for the first 100 tickets and $250 for the next 50 tickets, which we split 50/50). Depending on how much you spend on food, the event will only cost your church a few hundred dollars. If you sell 250 tickets, you’ll actually make money that you can then use for door prizes or for your budget for the year.

If you charge the full $15 a ticket, and have 150 women at the event, you would easily break even.  Your cost would be $1000 for fee, roughly $500-$600 for the expenses (depending on the size of the tour).  Your receipts would be $2250 ($1500 + $750 for the next 50 tickets, which we split 50/50), you actually can have the whole event pay for itself and more.

And remember: if you sell the event as an outreach, you’ll have more people–and thus more receipts.

Q: We see on Sheila‘s website that she’s traveling around in an RV. How come we have to pay for airline tickets, then?

Yes, Sheila and her husband are touring in the RV, and for most Girl Talks they’ll show up in their Minnie Winnie.

However, the cost of traveling in the Minnie Winnie is actually MORE, in most cases, than general travel expenses. So what we do is we calculate how much it would have been had they flown, and charge you for that. With gas being expensive, and with driving taking more time, requiring more meals and more stays at RV parks, flights are cheaper. We want to charge you what you would have paid had they not been in the RV, so you’re not just subsidizing them seeing the country!

Q: How do we work all this with our finance department? Do you require a cheque or cash up front?

We usually ask for a $250 deposit at the time of booking, and then a cheque on the evening of the event to cover expenses and the fee. If more than 100 tickets are sold, then an additional cheque can be sent after the fact to reconcile that (since you may not know the total ticket sales until afterwards).

Sheila is in full compliance with the IRS and can fill out a W-9 for you, if needed.

Do we have to go all-out for decorating?

No, you really don’t. Sheila has a backdrop that she can use on the stage, and if you’re not able to decorate, no one will notice the difference. If you are able to decorate, though, it often adds a lot of “pizzazz” to the night that’s fun.

So if you want to–go for it! We love seeing what different people come up with.

But if you don’t have women who can help decorate, the event will be fine regardless.

Click here for lots of different ideas for decorating–from elaborate to simple.

What do we do about food?

You can do as much, or as little, as you want. In general, we recommend punch/water/coffee/tea at the intermission, and something to munch on, like some chocolate brownies. Store bought are fine.

If you would like to do more, the women, of course, always appreciate it. We recommend some fruit and veggies, as well, if you want to do a little bit more, because some women can’t eat that much chocolate.

Do we have to mention "sex" when talking about the event? Can't we say "intimacy" or "relationships" instead?

Yes, you have to mention sex! We have held Girl Talks at churches that “beat around the bush” about what we’d talk about, because they didn’t want to offend anyone. And at one church a homeschooling group came with all of their teen girls (from 13-17), thinking it would be a great way for them to learn about being wives! The mothers were shocked and pulled their daughters out.

It is better to be up front so that you don’t have misunderstandings. It really is about married sex, and we do talk about the problems that many women encounter. Married women need a place where they can talk about this openly and safely, and that can’t be done if there are young girls there.

See the Best Practices for Hosting a Girl Talk

 

Thanks for agreeing to host a Girl Talk! We’re excited to partner with you. To make it easier, we thought we’d share “Best Practices” from other churches and groups that have hosted a Girl Talk. We’ve learned a lot since doing hundreds of these events, so here’s what you should know: 

What if You’re a Group That Meets in the Mornings? Have an Evening Event!

In Seminole, Texas, a MOPS group that normally gets 70 women in a morning ended up with 400 women at the event in the evening. In Lafayette, Louisiana, with only 3 weeks notice, a group that gets 40 in the morning had 90 in the evening.

Girl Talk is a really easy sell. People WILL come out to hear a talk on sex–absolutely.

If you have a regular meeting in the morning hosting an evening event can seem daunting. But it does work. And there’s a lot more energy when you meet in the evenings for a special event than if Sheila just walks into your regular morning meeting. It ends up being more fun for everyone!

Consider joining with the women’s ministry at the church, or ask other MOPS groups to go together with you to host a community-wide Girl Talk.

Charging For the Event Brings More People–and Makes Planning Easier

We know it can be tempting to want to offer the event for free. You certainly don’t want money to be a factor in whether or not women attend.

But what we have consistently found is that churches that charge for the event get more people–and the people are more engaged.

First, let us share with you a large scale experiment Sheila was involved in. For several years Sheila headlined at the Girls Night Out events produced by World Vision Canada. They were evening events held at local churches for the women in the community. For the first few years they charged nothing, but often found that by giving the tickets away they had no idea how many women would actually show up. It wasn’t unusual to only get 50% attendance based on number of tickets in circulation.

They decided to try to charge $5 to help defray some costs. All of a sudden up to 90% of women who had tickets showed up–and attendance didn’t drop, either. In some cases it even increased because people value what they pay for.

Within a few years they increased the price to $10 a ticket, again to defray costs, and found that the extra $s made no difference. They still had roughly equivalent attendance to when they charged $10. So whether you charge $5 or $10 you get the same number of people–but $10 defrays more costs.

With Girl Talk, several churches have tried to offer it for free, and in some cases organizations have wanted to underwrite the event. However, this can backfire because when you give away tickets, people are less likely to come. If you want to be able to bless the women in your community who are on a really tight budget, we suggest announcing that there are free tickets available for people if they are needed but that they are $15 to the general public. That way, everyone who wants to come can come but also you will keep the buzz around the event.

We have taken this previous experiment further with the Girl Talk event.  We actually have found that Churches that charge $15 for the event, end up with the highest percentage of people committing to attend.

What we suggest: Charge $15 a ticket. If a sponsor wants to underwrite the event, have them instead offer gifts totalling $15 each, like a romantic gift bag for each woman with candles, oil, and even some promotional materials inside. You’ll find you get higher attendance and a more accurate count of how many women are actually coming, not only that, you will be able to do some extras to pamper them as well.

Charge a Two-Tier Ticket Price

One of the challenges of planning an event is knowing how many will show up. After all, you have to plan for food!

Using a Two-Tier price structure can help you get more accurate numbers. Today it’s hard to get people to commit to an event more than a week in advance, and many would rather buy tickets at the door.

If you give a discount for buying tickets early, though, you overcome part of this problem.

You could charge $15 a ticket, or $20 at the door, and you’ll get a more accurate count early.  It gives people a greater incentive to commit earlier on, which will help with your planning.

 

Join with Two Other Churches or Groups

In San Antonio, Texas, one follower of Sheila’s blog really wanted to host a Girl Talk. But her church wasn’t big enough.

So she contacted the women’s ministry directors at two other area churches and the three churches went in together.

  • One church did the decorations.
  • One church did the food.
  • And one church did the ticketing/administration/coordination

It worked wonderfully! The turnout was almost 300 women from 3 medium-sized churches, but all churches had fully bought into the event and promoted it to their congregations and their neighborhoods.

And because each church was responsible for one area, it was easy to split up the work.

Ask Another Church to Buy In, Don’t Just Give Them Posters

If you want the women from other churches to attend your event, asking other churches to buy in in some way will help. Ask another church to take on the responsibility for one area–like the food or the decorations–and then you’ll have more people excited about it!

Sell the Event as an Outreach

In Willmar, MN, they normally had 125 women out for a yearly women’s event. At Girl Talk they had 400 women, their largest crowd ever. And most were unchurched! Seekers are often eager to come to an event that talks about sex, even if it’s in a church. Don’t be shy about asking. This may be one of the best ways to get your neighbors into your church building this year.

Girl Talk does use God language, but it’s easily accessible. And we’ve never had problems with people saying it was too “preachy”. In fact, about 80% of the audience consistently signs up for the newsletter–which means a lot of unchurched women do.

The best way to get seekers out is to sell the event to YOUR women. When the women in your church believe in the event, they will ask their friends. But they likely won’t unless you explicitly tell them: we want this to be an outreach event, too. Please ask your friends!

We at Girl Talk are so passionate about this. After every event, we have women coming up to us saying, “I wish I had brought my niece/co-worker/neighbor.” If only I had known. So tell your women now, so that you won’t miss an opportunity to reach them with the gospel in a way that’s more easily accessible.

How Should We Decorate?

You don’t have to be elaborate! Some churches have gone all out and some have just done a little bit. If you don’t have a big enough team to decorate, Sheila’s banner provides a great backdrop for the stage.

HOW DO WE GET SHEILA TO COME TO OUR CHURCH/GROUP?

Just fill out our booking form and we’ll get back to you shortly!