A lot of writers are introverted people who would rather spend their days writing not speaking in front of a group about their writing. Understandable. Writing is a solitary thing. But, every once in a while, you’re going to need to market your book(s).
If public speaking isn’t your thing, don’t worry, that’s why I’m writing this post. It’s one of the most common fears. The good news is that we aren’t born afraid of speaking in public and we can learn to do it well.
Let’s imagine that you’ve been invited to read at a local library or bookstore. Here’s what you do:
- Go to the place before your scheduled event. Get the lay of the land. Soak in the vibes.
- At home, practice in front of a mirror. Observe how you use your hands. If your hands shake when you hold a paper, either memorize what you’re reading, or write it on note cards. They’re a bit heavier.
- Record yourself. Use your computer camera, and then play it back. You’ll discover all of your unique quirks. Don’t rid yourself of all of them.
- Imagine the space as you practice. Pretend people are asking questions, and then answer them.
- If you’re feeling especially daring, invite your family to be your audience.
- Arrive early to your event. Make sure things are set-up the way you want them. If you have no control over this, you still have time to acclimate to the new environment. Visualize while you’re in the space before your guests arrive. Breathe.
- And, remember: No one knows what you’re going to read or talk about. If you make a mistake, they don’t know unless you tell them.
Note: I usually begin practicing two weeks before the event. I like to have most of my material memorized. This makes me more comfortable and I connect with my audience better.
If you want expert help, look for your local Toastmasters (http://www.toastmasters.org/ ) group. You’ll be glad you did!
Kori Miller is the author of Deadly Sins: A Dezeray Jackson Mini-Series, and the host of Back Porch Writer: The show for writers, about writers, and writing. The live show airs Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. CDT and Sundays at 5:30 p.m. CDT on Blog Talk Radio.
Private investigator Dezeray Jackson hates Florida; she hated it 24 hours after she arrived 5 years ago. Not for any particular reason, really, just a whole lot of little ones — bugs, alligators, snakes, and rude, obnoxious people. Dez thinks a break is in order, then she gets the Millicent James case. All she has to do is follow Millicent’s gamer grandson for a month, which could be as exciting as waiting for water to boil, Dez thinks. But a boring, routine assignment suddenly takes some interesting twists when a much-anticipated pre-release game disappears. It’s a hot commodity that could make somebody millions of dollars. But who?
After two years in the Big Apple, Dez is fed up with cheating spouses and embezzling employees. Convinced that she needs a change, Dez tells her boss that she’s ready to move on. He gives her a farewell gift — one last case, involving a missing artifact. Dez and her partner hit the streets, and soon learn that the missing artifact is something more. To recover it, Dez will enter a world that few know about. Dez thought she’d seen it all … she hadn’t.
When Dez left New York, she didn’t think she’d end up back in Omaha, NE, her home town. But here she is three months later. After stints in Florida and the Big Apple, Omaha was an unexpected, but welcome change. But the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. One evening, after hearing Dez speak to her female self-defense class, a student is killed in a hit-and-run. Dez gets the case, which leads to an unpleasant stroll down memory lane, with a character she’d rather forget, and involvement with some deadly corporate shenanigans.
Eccentric Mayville Toussaint hires Dez to find two men who stole a box from her. Toussaint’s instructions are simple — find the thieves, recover the box, and return it unopened. A dangerous game of cat and mouse, double-dealing and lying place Dez in harm’s way. Dez recovers the box — case closed. But when returning the treasured item, Dez learns that Toussaint has been playing her own game of cat and mouse … with Dez. Toussaint clearly is not who she seems. But who is she?
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Genre - Mystery
Rating – PG-13
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