July 15, 2021- As we continue our theme of public speaking for authors this month, I’d be doing you a great disservice if I didn’t touch on something that seems obvious-speed.
I’m not talking about the action movie; I’m talking about the speed of your speech! Here are four tips that will help you perfect your next presentation:
- Too slowly. If you speak too slowly when talking to your audience, you’ll risk putting them to sleep. A regular, conversational tone and pace are best. Remember to use pitch and inflection to keep your audience engaged. Visualize that you’re speaking with a friend; this is the correct pace to use.
- Too quickly. If you speak too fast, people will not understand you or the message you’re trying to convey. We all know people like this, and the ridiculous pace at which they speak is obnoxious when you’re trying to figure out what in the world they’re talking about. Plus, speaking too quickly makes your audience deem you less intelligent.
- Consider the pause. To hammer home the main points you want to make during your presentation, consider pausing for three seconds after asking a question or making a statement and don’t shy away from using a pause for effect. Short, calculated pauses allow your audience to digest what you’re saying. Don’t go all William Shatner on your audience, though; they’ll pay more attention to how you say things rather than what you’re saying!
- No Mumbling. Articulate your words, annunciate in the right places, and don’t use words that you’re unsure about the meaning of. Yes, people do this all the time to make themselves seem more intelligent. Don’t do this; you’ll only end up embarrassing yourself! Mumbling makes you come across as insecure, shy, and less than the expert you are.
Tone, pitch, cadence, words, and body language are essential to giving a great speech as an author. Stay tuned as we continue to dive into this subject for July!
July 6, 2021-Public Speaking can be very intimidating as an author (most of us are introverts who shun the spotlight) and here’s where author mindset comes in. Sometimes when we go up in front of crowds, audiences or people at book signings, we feel very much under the microscope, like we’re an imposter or that we don’t really have a handle on what we’re talking about. Public speaking can seem like a daunting task, but there’s good news! Public speaking is a learnable skill. Here’s how you can start and sustain (which is equally important) your public speaking career as an author:
- What are you an expert in? Maybe you know everything there is to know about self-publishing storybooks. Maybe you’re an expert in marketing your self-published book. Perhaps you’ve hit the best-sellers list. Whatever it is, you offer a unique perspective! To supercharge the expertise that you have, niche it down even further (if the topic is too narrow, don’t worry, you can broaden your scope later). For example, maybe you studied marketing in school, and you have a background in consumer neuromarketing (I’m using myself as an example). Give a talk on Consumer Neuromarketing and Why it Matters for Self-Published Authors. This leads directly into point two below…
- Identify your target audience. Who are you speaking to, and why would they benefit from it? What type of author needs to hear your message? (We defined it as self-published above), Where do they live? Do they write full time, or do they work for someone and writing is their side hustle? The more clearly you can define your target audience (essential for ALL marketing), the better.
- Education and Practice. Make these your two best friends, because with both of them combined, there’s nothing you can’t do! Educate yourself on your topics, your stage presence, your tone, pitch, and speed, watch YouTube videos of some of the greatest professional presenters/speakers and continue to hone your skills, sharpen them by practicing as much as possible. Take courses, classes, and workshops to glean techniques from those who captivate you during their presentation. There’s nothing worse than sitting through a two-hour presentation or weekend workshop given by someone who is boring and an impassionate speaker.
Stay tuned this month as we dole out more tips on Public Speaking for Authors and go further down the rabbit hole of how public speaking can open new doors you’ve never dreamed of!