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 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!
July 8, 2021- I watched a YouTube video once of a veterinarian and was advising on how to care for a dog or check for fleas or something like that; I can’t quite remember; but what I do remember is how many times she said the words umm, uhh, and you know. Twenty-seven times in a five-minute and thirty-three-second video. TWENTY-SEVEN TIMES. Don’t let this happen to you!
Lots of authors stumble over their words during public speaking for several reasons. Maybe it’s nerves? Perhaps it’s being unprepared? Maybe it’s a lack of understanding on the subject being spoken? Whatever the reason is, there’s no place for it in your speech or presentation. Yes, we all make mistakes, but it’s different when it’s being repeated multiple times.
How can you ensure that your next talk is error-free and that you’re not tripping over your words or saying too many of the same in one sentence? Here are three tips:
- Record yourself. Either by video or voice recording, one of the best ways to find out if you’re repetitious, dull, or using filler words like umm and uhh is to record yourself! Play it back and see if you’re engaging your audience, that your tone and pitch are on point, and that your energy and enthusiasm are palpable.
- Audience. Enlist the help of an audience, even if it’s just one person! They’ll let you know where room for improvement lies in your speech and if it was exciting and held their attention. Take their feedback constructively and choose someone who is going to give you an honest opinion.
- Cut the fat. Get rid of the filler words. Filler words are what we use when we panic and are buying our brain time. Some of them include um, uh, you know, like, well, kind of, sort of, like I said and so on. Filler words distract your audience, primarily when used excessively throughout your speech or presentation. The audience now focuses on the filler words rather than the valuable information they came to hear you speak on.
Use these tips to your advantage and continue to join us all month as we talk about Public Speaking for Authors!
July 5, 2021– What is it that most people fear more than death? Public speaking. Yep, that’s right! People are more afraid of speaking in public than they are dying, which boggles my mind. This month, we’ll be focusing on Public Speaking for Authors; I encourage you to download the Podbean App so that you can listen to our Pandamonium Publishing House podcast. It’s always free, and there’s a lot of additional, helpful content that compliments our written posts. Here’s the link: https://www.podbean.com/pu/pbblog-idwit-460248
Public speaking is a big part of author life, and you must get over your fear of it. School visits, book signings, public Q&A, media interviews, and public events can send most authors into a bumbling, grumbling mess. Don’t fret; I’m here to help! I’ve had the privilege of speaking in public on many occasions for many different things such as book marketing, book presentations, transitioning from writer to author etc. I really love public speaking because it allows me to connect intimately with the audience and experience in-depth questions to help writers with what they want to know.
Here are two quick tips you can use to be more confident in any speaking situation (we’ll dive in to specific speaking engagement situations and tips this month, but for today, we want to get your feet wet) :
- Stand up straight. Posture is important. Nothing gives away someone’s confidence quite like posture; it’s something that you can’t fake and that everyone notices. Pretend a string connects the tip of your nose to your belly button-keep the imaginary string taught, and you’ll have perfect posture every time.
- Make eye contact. I’ll never forget a teacher I had in high school who would stare at the back of the room while he was lecturing and NEVER made eye contact with us, even when he called on us to answer a question. It was bizarre and uncomfortable for everyone (even though he was a heck of a teacher). Now I realize why he did this; he was afraid of speaking to us, afraid of being on display in front of his students, and was nervous about public speaking even though we saw him every fourth period. He did this with ALL of his classes, not just ours. It’s how he got through the nerves. I don’t recommend this as a public speaking author because of the lack of connection it gives your audience and the distraction factor (students would often turn around to see if they could find what he was looking at). You don’t have to focus on one person (that’s just as weird), but ensure that you’re engaging in eye contact with multiple people in the audience that you’re speaking to. This simple gesture lets everyone know that you’re tuned in and confident. * Pro Tip: When I first started public speaking, I would focus on people’s necklaces, ties, collars of their shirts etc. I was far enough away from them that they couldn’t tell that I wasn’t looking at them:) It helped me get over the fear of making direct eye contact with my audience until I was completely comfortable doing so.
I hope you enjoy the theme this month as we dive in to specifics of public speaking; stay tuned for practical tips, tricks, and ideas to make you a confident, well-spoken author.