Public speaking tips for authors! We’re wrapping it up this week!
July 27, 2021– Friday will be our last official day of this month’s theme which is Public Speaking for Authors. I hope you have enjoyed the content and put the tips that we’ve given you into action.
Today we’re talking about recognizing your success as a public speaker and why it’s important to step back and evaluate how far you’ve come and if you’ve reached your goals. Here’s what you need to do:
- Define what your goals are. You can’t hit a target that you can’t see! If you don’t know what your goals are for your public speaking career, how will you know if you reach them? Maybe your goal is to do a certain number of public speaking engagements per year; maybe it’s to have a bigger audience, or perhaps it’s to lengthen your presentation time; whatever your goals are, make sure you define them clearly.
- Look at the big picture. Take a moment to step back and look at the big picture. Have you improved your speech? Are you more comfortable speaking in public now than when you first started? Look at everything that has improved and list things you still need to work on while appreciating how far you’ve come and how much has changed.
- Set new goals. What would you like to accomplish next? Do you want to charge more for your speeches? Add more value to your content? Have more public appearances? It’s important to set new goals for yourself.
- Continue to learn. Continuous knowledge in your area of expertise, public speaking, and everything included in being an author will only serve you as you grow your skillset. Keep learning and expanding! The more you learn, the more you earn.
Goals, success, and accomplishments are different for everyone. Define what yours are as an author/public speaker and get to work!
July 26, 2021– This week, we’ll be wrapping up Public Speaking for authors, which was our theme for July! Today we’re going to focus on something really cool that I had no idea existed until a few days ago; let’s dig into Fear Hierarchy and how authors can use it to overcome their fears of public speaking!
What is Fear Hierarchy? It’s defined as a list of fears in order of least afraid to most afraid with the goal of exposure to the situations to dispel the fears listed. As you immerse yourself and check your list off one by one, your confidence will grow, and you’ll be speaking in public as an expert in no time!
Sample hierarchy list: (Remember, this has to be unique to you! Write your list from least to most afraid)
- Read an article out loud to a friend. A newspaper or short article from a magazine will suffice.
- Ask a question. Next time you’re at a meeting, conference, or retreat, raise your hand and ask a question.
- Make a toast. When you’re out to dinner with family or friends, make a short, impromptu toast to celebrate being in each other’s company and enjoying your time together.
- Host a book club talk. By hosting book club, you’ll get to dig into subjects that matter to your participants. Maybe you want to talk about plot structure, setting, or character development, but whatever you choose, leading the talk will help you practice speaking to a larger group with a clear idea in mind.
- Speak to a small group about a subject you’re passionate about. Maybe it’s in a library setting, at a local chapter of crime writers, or a writing group of up-and-coming authors who are interested in publishing children’s books. Testing your skills in a small group is less intimidating than standing on stage in front of hundreds of people. This will let you test the water, answer real questions, and interact with your listeners.
- Host a workshop or class based on your knowledge. Now it’s time for the big show! You’re the featured speaker, and this is the thing that scares you most on your list! By now, you’ve had some great exposure and are ready to share your knowledge with your audience confidently.
Make a fear hierarchy of your own and expose yourself to the public speaking situations that intimidate you. Before you know it, you’ll be an old pro who has no fear of getting up on stage and saying your piece!
You need to be an expert, here’s what you need to know 🤩
July 22, 2021– Today I thought we’d enjoy a change of pace and watch an educational and engaging TEDTalk on Public Speaking (authors, great tips in here, take note!) Let’s watch and listen as Ted Anderson explains the secret to great public speaking. https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_ted_s_secret_to_great_public_speaking?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare
July 21, 2021– This month, we’re talking about Public Speaking for authors! We’ve got an excellent method to share with you to help you put your speech together quickly and effectively without getting stuck when thinking of ideas to speak on.
The most important piece of advice that I can give you when speaking to the public is to pick a topic that you’re passionate about! There’s nothing more captivating than watching someone talk about something they care about and are fully invested in; their excitement and enthusiasm leap off the stage and inspire others.
When developing your presentation, most authors start brainstorming just like they do before they write a book. Speech writing is no different; it’s like a condensed version of a novel! After you choose your topic, write a one-sentence description of the purpose of your speech. What are you trying to achieve? What do you want your audience to get out of it? What do you want them to do next?
Then, write down 13 talking points. Let’s do an example:
You are speaking to a group of people that are interested in self-publishing. You’re a self-published author that has ten books under your belt, and you’ve had a couple of best-sellers. You’ve decided that your topic is How to Write and Publish a Best-Selling Thriller Novel. Note how specific the subject is. By being so precise in what you’re speaking about, you know that every person in the audience is there because they want to know how to write and publish a thriller novel that is a best-seller. You’ve niched it down and have identified your target market beautifully.
Your thirteen talking points could include:
- The difference between a thriller and a mystery.
- How to outline your novel.
- How to develop characters.
- How to create a killer plot.
- How to wrap up your book with a bow.
- The importance of dialogue.
- Self-publishing platforms.
- What makes a best-selling thriller.
- How to develop your book for print.
- How to develop your book as an e-book.
- Meta-data and the importance of tagging and categorizing.
- How to get your self-published book into major chains and bookstores.
- The importance of author platform and social media for authors.
After you’ve compiled your list of thirteen topics, consider how much time you have to speak to your audience. Then, choose only FIVE topics from the list you made above to focus on (if you have an hour to speak) or THREE topics to talk about if you have half an hour to present.
Beside each talking point, list ideas, statistics, examples, phrases, and stories that you can use in your speech. You’ll find yourself with a great outline that flows nicely and allows your listeners to learn seamlessly.
July 20, 2021– We’re talking about public speaking all this month for authors and today, we’re going to touch on a subject that happens often enough, but hopefully not too frequently! As authors, we know it’s part of the job to give talks, book signings, workshops, and live readings, but along with an audience comes distraction.
What do I mean? I mean that anything done in front of a live audience runs the risk of hiccups! Whether it’s tech issues, a crying baby, a restless elementary classroom, coughs and sneezes, or a pinging phone, there will inevitably be distractions. Yes, even with a room full of adults, there will be things that happen that you can’t control.
So, how do we remedy this? Preparation is necessary and going into your speech/presentation, EXPECTING distractions will help prepare you the most. Instead of derailing your speech, you’ll stay focused and on topic. Here’s how to practice distraction:
- Turn up the volume. Turn on the television, turn up the radio, and set a timer on your phone so that it goes off every few minutes. By practicing your presentation with distractions on a huge scale, you’ll be able to handle the little ones that will, no doubt, come up during your speech. If you can stay focused with all of the noise going on in the background, you’re ready! If not, keep practicing until you can.
- Enlist your family. Ask your family to fill in as your audience as you perfect and practice your speech. Get them to cough, shift in their seats, whisper to each other, and receive notifications on their devices while you’re presenting because these are things that happen in reality presentations. This will prepare you for when these things happen to you during your public talk.
- Get winded. Practice your speech while exercising. Why? Because when most people step on stage to speak to an audience, their heart rate elevates, their pulse quickens, and they get winded because of the adrenaline rushing through their body. Exercise is the best way to mimic what happens to most people on stage, and if you practice your speech while walking or running, you’ll dull the sensation/anxiety, and your brain will say, “We’ve been here before; it’s all good. I know what this is and why it’s happening; we’re just exercising, no need to panic.” Plus, if you use the space of the stage you’re on effectively, you’ll move around (not too much to distract from your message) and gesture to your listeners.
Practicing distraction is an excellent way for authors to stay focused and on track during their presentations!
Make a connection with your audience while public speaking 🗣
July 19, 2021– I hope that you’re learning valuable information from our theme this month which is public speaking for authors. Today we’re focusing on the five types of public speaking, all of which you may be asked to do at one time or another during the course of your career as an author. Let’s dig into the list!
- Informative. This type of public speaking is pretty self-explanatory. An informative presentation focuses on educating your audience in the space that you are an expert in. Examples can include the mechanics of novel writing, the differences between traditional and self-publishing, how to write children’s picture books etc. Whatever you choose to speak on that is an informative type of speech, the goal is to help your audience understand the subject and to remember what they’ve learned.
- Persuasive. Persuasive speeches entice your reader to take action. For example, let’s say that you’re giving a speech to encourage your audience to enrol in your class on how to self-publish; you would outline the benefits of self-publishing, what they can expect to learn from you, and how it will help them reach their goals. Don’t focus on yourself; focus on your audience! What can you do for them?
- Ceremonial. “I’d like to thank the academy…”This is also known as a special occasion speech; perhaps you’re accepting a literary or entrepreneur award etc., ceremonial speeches thank the people that gave the award/voted for you or your book. Ceremonial speeches should also inspire your audience that they can be in your position one day, too, without coming across as arrogant on your part.
- Impromptu. This is the most dreaded type of public speaking for authors, especially those who consider themselves hardcore introverts. Impromptu speeches are unexpected and off the cuff. This type of speech may be asked of you if you’re a guest of honour at a surprise party to celebrate the launch of your new book, as an example. There’s no time to prepare, so it’s best to keep it short and simple.
- Debatable. I love this type of public speaking because of its wild card feel! You never know the topics that may come up, and debatable speeches often come up during author panels, genre-specific talks, and anything that is a hot-button topic in publishing, literature, and writing. Topics can include author questions and answers after a presentation or book signing and during book clubs! For example, you may be giving a talk on self-publishing, and there could be people in the audience that think traditional publishing is the only way to go. Get ready to debate and remember to be respectful while being confident in your stance.
Public speaking should be fun, and it can be when you have a ton of knowledge to pull from! Preparation (yes, even for the impromptu speeches) is the key to your success—practice, practice, practice.
July 16, 2021– As we continue with our theme this month of Public Speaking for Authors, we’ve covered various subjects, including the mechanics of speech writing, best practices, and how to earn money as an author by public speaking. Today we’re going to focus on a little something that I learned during my Consumer Neuromarking education. It’s a specific practice that some of you do already without even realizing; we’re talking about mirroring.
You may or may not have heard of this term before, or perhaps you didn’t know the name of it, but mirroring is something that most people do subconsciously. I’m here to help you be conscious of doing it! I’ll explain why in a second; let’s get back to the definition. Mirroring is defined as the behaviour in which one person unconsciously imitates the gesture, speech pattern, or attitude of another. Mirroring often occurs in social situations, particularly in the company of close friends or family.-Wikipedia.
So, why is mirroring so important when you’re at a book signing, public event, or one on one with a reader? Here are three reasons why:
- Connection. If mirroring occurs in the company of close friends or family, then one would realize how powerful this is when used in a book signing setting because the person we are mirroring would feel like we’re close friends! Case and point has anyone ever said to you, “It’s so weird because I know we just met, but I feel like I’ve known you forever!” If they have, it means that what you’re doing is mirroring them and creating a connection.
- Ease. Mirroring our gestures, speech patterns, and attitudes after a reader, we’re interacting with allows them to feel at ease. I’m especially aware of this; we all are because like attracts like. I’m not loud or aggressive or in your face, and I don’t like it when I’m at a vendor show as a shopper and the person behind the booth is acting that way. It’s a major barrier to conversation (I won’t even think about buying their product/service), and I’ll be locating all of the exits and trying to find an excuse to get away from them. If you’re doing a book signing, mirror the person that you’re speaking to; if they’re not using gestures, then you shouldn’t. If they’re a bit on the quieter side, you should be too. The opposite is true too. But be aware that mimicking is NOT the same as mirroring. Mimicking is insulting and offensive.
- Trust. Quite frankly, we trust people who are just like us. We feel like they understand us and that we can be ourselves around them, and that they hold the same values as we do without even saying so. By mirroring our readers, we subconsciously tell them that they can trust us to make the right book recommendation, take our course, or sign up for our free newsletter.
I’m not advising anyone ever to use mirroring as a manipulation tactic. Mirroring is a valuable tool to connect with your readers and let them know that you’re a friendly expert who can be trusted to recommend a great book!