There is a skill set that, when mastered, will not only help you reap significantly better results in book sales over the long haul, but will vastly increase your self concept and confidence and is something that fewer than .05% of the population can do.
Not only can they not do it, but the majority of them would rather die than try.
It’s easy to see that you would have a serious leg up on everybody if you could join that .05% group.
I am talking of course about public speaking.
As a writer, it is possible that the percentages of comfortable, accomplished speakers in your group are even smaller than .05%. Writers tend to be shy types, happy to hole up in remote cabins and drafty guestrooms, turning down social invitations in favor of a laptop and a bottomless cup of coffee. Which makes the benefits that much greater if you can learn to conquer your issues with speaking publicly.
Six Ways that being a speaker can help your writing career:
1. You will sell more books at the back of the room after your talk. I have watched people read directly from notecards and then charge ridiculous amounts for self-published books I wouldn’t look at in a garage sale—and they sell out within minutes of leaving the podium.
2. The more you speak, the better you get, and the better your speaking resume gets and the more writers conferences you’ll be invited to speak at. Attending a writers conference as a speaker (read: expert) is much better than attending as a participant. You get instant credibility, even before your work is examined. Plus, you get to sit at the editors and agents’ table!
3. Speakers are looked upon as subject matter experts, even if they aren’t.
4. Speaking enhances your author’s brand and extends the efforts you make through social media because your audience is very likely tweeting or blogging about the conference.
5. Speaking helps to promote your reach online. If you have more than one book, you’ll have people looking online for the stuff you’ve written. Plus, people who have heard you speak are more inclined to like you because there’s a feeling of ownership or discovery for them.
6. When you speak, everything you touch is worth more. There is a kind of celebrity involved with speaking. When you speak, no one else is talking; it’s not a give and take. It’s YOU talking, and the audience listening. That dynamic illustrates a premise that you are someone important who can be learned from. Plus, you are performing and so the value of anything attached to you is increased. If you give out business cards or bookmarks with your information on it—blog site, amazon book page, website—people will snap them up like they are valuable because you have been set apart as a VIP.
So, how do you achieve this desirable state of speaking without throwing up? I don’t absolutely promise there will be no vomit involved, but you could read articles online or buy any number of how-to’s. Personally, I think learning by doing is the best way. Because there’s such a psychological element to public speaking (“My God, they’re all looking at ME!!”) you really need to feel the experience over and over again. You very well may feel like you’re going to throw up the first few times you speak in front of group, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.
I found Toastmaster’s to be a great way to learn this skill in a friendly, supportive way. Everyone at the meetings is working to be a better speaker so you’re in good company. After a few months of having a helpful, friendly group of people listening to and critiquing your speeches, trust me, heading out to a public forum where people are simply listening to you for content not “ums” and “ers” will have you confident in no time.
It’s worth a try anyway, right?
What about you? Are you afraid to get up in front of a group or do you do it all the time? If so, got any tried and true tips for new speakers to help chase (or redirect) the butterflies? Would love to hear from you!
192 thoughts on “The Scariest Thing You Will Ever Do As A Writer”
of course you’re right, unless you include the first time you actually put words on paper ( that first paragraph takes some doing) or the first time you reached under the bed and pulled out that box filled with scraps of paper and partly filled journals for the first time and showed them to a friend. I’ve got stuff that was written 30 years ago that’s never seen the light of day or been read by anyone but me. a couple of friends and I have formed a spoken word group that performs the first Thursday of every month at a local pub. we found out that the only thing more fun than writing stuff is to perform it out loud in front of a group of real live people.
Excellent post. Thank you for sharing.
This is fabulous. I am a full-time freelance writer, and I have also taught college courses on public speaking; yet I don’t know that I’ve really made the connection between my writing and my ability to speak.
I’m totally on board to join the .05%!
One of the tips I’d always share in my college classrooms: Your audience WANTS you to succeed. If you look at it that way — instead of deciding that everyone is there to watch you fall flat on your face — I think it helps inspire confidence.
At least for me…
This is AWESOME advice. It’s the sort of thing that would be so easy to overlook, but it seems so important and such good self-promotion.
I agree with you 100%. As a writer and one of those people who dread public speaking, I make myself read at writers workshops, and at more public venues (ie: libraries and one bar). The more you do it, the easier (well, mabye not easy but at least less bad) it becomes. It just about kills me, but hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
I enjoyed your post!
I actually love speaking publicly. If I’m in a group setting, that’s hard, because then I need to balance the give and take and all that. But public speaking is fun and I actually think I’m half way decent at it.
Too bad I don’t ever get to do it for that many people. 😦
This is fantastic advice. Before I moved, I belonged to a great writer’s group. We’d meet once a week, gather around tables at a local cafe, and then one person at each table would set a timer. All the sudden everyone stopped talking and bent over their papers to write until the timer went off (20 minutes later).
Once it was finished, we’d take turns around the individual tables reading what we wrote. It may not sound like much, but so much power and energy flowed through the cafe during the readings. We’d get so loud the heads at each table would press in to hear the speaker. And the effect? If you’d written something funny, you got to see someone laugh. If you wrote something “real,” you could actually watch the others at your table lean away, struck by your words.
The power of the spoken word cannot be underestimated. Great post, and great advice. (PS — If you’re looking for a local writer’s group, to have real human contact 🙂 start with the local chapters of national writer’s organizations. They’ve got meetings all the time with people who live in the same area as you.)
Awesome post! Helpful and fun to read! A real winner!
Now if I could only master these skills…
Great advice! I agree wholeheartedly. I have done some public speaking engagements and pseudo public speaking (i.e. web based). My events have not been related to writing, but I can attest to the idea that experience is the *only* way to truly get comfortable. I chuckle a bit now when I think about how nervous I was that first time I had to stand up in front of a bunch of people and talk as an “expert.” I froze on stage. I recovered quickly, but wow, that was a rough 5 seconds or so. Now it is more rote (thank goodness!). The goal now is to arrange for some writing-related speaking engagements (of course, I need to get my book published first!). Thanks for the post!
I’m 18 years old, love to write, and am in charge of managing a 150+ high school marching band as the Band Captain. Having to speak publicly isn’t fun for me – at all – but having my second in command, the First Lieutenant, there with me when I have to address the band helps a LOT. When you go to speak publicly about any matter, bring someone who agrees and believes in you unconditionally — having an encouraging face to focus on really does help the nerves go away.
I don’t typically have an issue with public speaking, but I’m a fidget-er in the extreme. I’m constantly moving some part of my body. I need to master holding myself still without feeling like I’m too stiff. I want to be still, not stiff. Any advice?
It sounds simple, but the key is breathing. When we say, “take a deep breath,” most people breath hard into their upper chest which has a number of detrimental effects. It tightens the upper body, including the vocal muscles and carries a risk of hyperventilating. What you need to practise is inter-costal, diaphragmatic breathing, which will not only get maximum air into the lungs, but will relax and centre you.
I am in the process of setting up as a freelance vocal coach, but if you would like some free advice, please don’t hesitate to contact me via my website – http://www.devilsaardvark.com
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I’m a new 45 year old writer / blogger. This was a great post. Thank you for the inspiration.
I really enjoyed your post – thankyou 🙂
0.05%? Really? Public speaking’s a laugh! I even volunteer to do it for other people sometimes :). I don’t think I’m especially good at it, but I enjoy it so what the heck 😀
You are so right: get on and do it. I teach and therefore spend my days talking to groups of teenagers which is now fine. But, tell me I have to address a group of parents and I visibly whither. Tell me I have to address my colleagues ‘on mass’ and I palpitate. However, increasingly this is becoming part of our role. I’m starting with smaller groups; addressing parents of a class rather than the whole school and talking to teachers of departments rather than the whole cohort. I keep practising and I think it’s getting better.
I think Dale Carnegie’s course on public speaking will be very helpful to all of us. its simple, practical and easy to understand. although we need practice, Carnegie makes it a fun adventure to master the art of public speaking 🙂
Great post! I am actually one of those writers who loves public speaking and I suppose you could say I have a gift for it. That’s not to say that I don’t get incredibly nervous before I speak in public but the thrill of being able to convey my words with the intended emotion behind them makes it all worth it. As Maya Angelou said, “Words mean much more thant what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.” I couldn’t agree more. Plus the moments of eye contact with an individual who is truly feeling and being touched by what I am saying is indescribable.
Try not to worry so much about your fidgets. Being perfectly still is not the answer. The real secret to becoming an effective speaker is to speak to a large group like you are talking to a friend. When we talk to a friend we use natural hand gestures. Our voices are animated. We make faces, we talk with our body. We don’t think “Oh my gosh, I’m giving a speech. I must be still.”
When you relax and act like you are talking with a friend, your audience will relax and stop worrying about you. Then they can hear and enjoy your message. They will love you.
Want to know a real secret? Speaking in front of a thousand is easier than speaking in front of ten people you know! Why? The laughter and emotion spreads more easily through a crowd. I once slipped and fell right down on the stage in front of over a thousand. I just got up and said something funny about it. Everyone laughed with me. They were so “on my side” after the fall I couldn’t possibly fail. Just try to relax and be yourself. You’ll be getting standing ovations before you know it.
I’ve never had a problem getting up in front of people and speaking, so hopefully that will help once I get published. 🙂
I just returned home from giving my third paid speech to a room full of business owners in a far away city. You’re right that speaking publicly is essential for any ambitious author who wants to sell (more) books, find more readers and create a crowd of people who can rave about how terrific you are in person. People want to relate to people, not just to words on a page. (I’m the author of two NF books and have done a lot of public speaking, which I really enjoy.) Yes, I still get a little nervous.
The answer to mastering it is pretty basic — hire a speaking coach! I did and it has made a huge difference to my skill and confidence. Practice is NOT enough. You need to find out as much about your audience as possible (they are not always going to be fellow writers) and what they most need or expect from you — and the other speakers they are going to be listening to. I always stay and listen to them, so I am not repetitive but can refer to their comments and build on them.
To Mythandra…stand at a podium and not (as mine was) one that is see-through. If you have to move your feet or legs, it will not be visible. But excessive gesticulation is very distracting.
Great post. Even though I know that many people aren’t in the 05% group, part of my always feels like I am the only one who isn’t great at public speaking. Good to read something like this because it normalizes my experience. I am an introvert who is also shy so I really need to prepare or else I can never speak when put on the spot.
Thanks for the post.
Great post! I was in Toastmasters for three years and it did get easier to get up in front of people and speak. My advice to anyone who has to get up in front of people and speak is to first, over-practice your speech so that when the jitters hit you, you aren’t thrown off course, and second, write bold notes to remind yourself what you’re speaking about. Don’t write out the entire speech and then read from it. One more suggestion that worked for me: practice actually giving your speech to a piece of furniture at home, with all of the gestures and expression that you’ll use for your real audience. Practice looking up at your “audience.” I used to get so frightened that I would feel faint before speaking in front of even a small group. But, by practicing in this way, I was able to learn to break through my fear and do it anyway. We even did two storytelling events to sold-out audiences. It’s actually possible to have fun speaking in front of a group. It helps to remember that the people in the audience are on your side.
This is great advice, particularly point 3. It seems anyone can be an “expert” these days, and the twenty-four hour news cycle needs talking heads. A friend of mine has parlayed a successful career as a mariner into an even more successful career as a maritime expert.
Fascinating. I can do public speaking, and hadn’t thought of that as a skill when it comes to eventually marketing my memoir. Great post!
Thanks so much for this post! I’ve been looking into Toastmasters myself and this was just the encouragement I needed, not just to improve my writing skills, but every area of my life. I want to make a difference in this world and being able to communicate well will make my efforts more effective.
Have a lovely day,
I’ve been asked to do a few different public speaking events as a student, and I have to say they are the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever done! But the more you do it, the more you know you can, so even though those feelings don’t go away, you do build up some strength by doing it more.
Thanks for the tips.
I don’t have a problem talking usually, even in front of a crowd – but reading something I have written brings all the emotion out – I can hear the tremor in my voice.
Wondered if that was common?
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Thanks for sharing, @D
I really like your post^^ I’ve always hated doing presentations and because I know I’m not a very good speaker, I try to make up for it through my PPTs since I’m more of a visual person O:
I’m actually really shy and don’t talk much to people I don’t know which makes it hard for me to meet new people…but when I’m with someone I know, I can talk to a stranger no problem. I guess it’s a fear of talking to strangers or what they would think about you by what you say, you know?
I love writing<3 And I guess it supports your statement when you say writers are usually the shy type because I'm trying to major for Journalism! 😀
It’s great post. Good for inspiration
Thank you very much.
I could use a few TM sessions. I usually feel pretty comfortable talking in front of people (lucky me), but I have a tendency to ramble, trail off, or repeat myself. So much easier when I have a little more time and the backspace button on my side!
You are so right. I did this for a local MOPs group on National Housewives Day and I gave 45 minute speech on being a REAL Real Housewife. The women were literally crying from laughing so hard. I was shocked initially, but then the positive response bolstered my confidence and I found myself playing off of their reactions for even more laughs! In an instant, I went from reclusive humor writer to stand up comedienne! It really helped me to know how readers react to my writing.
Oh, I hate public speaking. But, I think you’re right. If you can speak well in front of audience, it gives you a definite edge.
Fight your fears! 🙂
I don’t mind public speaking at all, but I am too lazy/undisciplined to write.
Great post, great advice. For me, public speaking is all about preparation – and I don’t mean reading off of note cards. As long as I feel confident about the information I am relaying and the general order in which I want to relay it, I love public speaking. As you said, the audience is looking to you as an authority, so as long as you have confidence in what you’re saying (ie you’re well prepared), they don’t even notice the minor flubs!
Great post, great inspiration, as an aspiring, Christian writer. I know, more and more, how important my words are, on paper, and that which, I speak. I am very careful, with my words. Literally. Your post, is very inspiring. It just reminded me, whats ahead for me, even more so. God bless you.
I am one of those shy writers, but being a resident assistant at WVU helped me come out of my shell (had to talk during floor meetings and had to be a teaching assistant for Univ101).
Now, I still get butterflies when i have to speak in front of a crowd, but at least I project more. My students (I teach creative writing to adults) can hear me LOL. I think the best way to calm nerves is to practice, practice, and practice some more before the public speaking event happens.
Hold cue cards with you in case you need them and find a smiling face in the audience, who you can keep looking at to see you have support.
Thank you for the good reminders! Great post!
I think some of us have a tremor in our voices because of the subject matter. Maybe it happens because it means so much to us. It’s special, you know? It’s near and dear to our hearts!
A very helpful post! I’ve known people who were scared to death of public speaking and then did a knockout job when they finally had to do it.
The public speaking was never a problem for me, even at a very young age. As my Italian Father said, “John, you have the gift of gab.” The only fear I have at this stage of my life (turning 70 this week) is that I might not be totally pleasing to my Lord in my spiritually-centered poetry writing, in this special gift that He has rendered me.. Still the fine points of this blog were well done.
i’ve been teaching 25 years. public speaking has been my life. however, i can’t sell books to kids in my classroom. so where are these speaking opportunities at which i would set up a table and sell books?
Thank you for this article. I have shared it with my meet-up group called SHe Writes Steamboat – a group providing networking opportunity for indie publishers and fostering independent publishing success. Last month at our meeting we began giving our elevator speeches – a babystep toward giving a full book presentation.
When speaking in front of any group, I think you have to tell yourself that no one wants to see you fail. Your audience wants to see you succeed.
For anyone who’s required to speak in front of any crowd definitely check out books written by Nancy Duarte and Garr Reynolds. Also watch presentations at http://www.TED.com to get an idea of what a great presentation should be like. (If 0.05% can speak in public, then only 0.005% can do it well.)
I joined Toastmasters to overcome my fear of public speaking. I was a member for a year, made one speech (the icebreaker), and then stopped going. At least I made that speech. My main problem is I forget to breathe properly while speaking. I guess I try to rush through…
Hi from England. I used to do stand-up comedy which was a sharp learning curve but helped me learn to go ‘off script’ (in case the projector/prompt cards/audience misbehave). I have done some talks and multi-media events for my self-published books but I really need to do more of it because, being honest, it never stops being nerve wracking until I step on stage and get going.
My personal tips if they help anyone would be: Video yourself and watch it back if you can, adjusting any distracting habits you spot, mumbling or not projecting to areas of the room etc. Body language books really help as you give off so much by the way you move, more than what is coming out of your mouth and your body will also give you away if you are nervous (most people are nervous even famous stars like Springsteen openly admit it) but that ‘churning’ adrenaline kick can be used for energy if you can channel it right.
I find it helps when public speaking at the start if you take a moment to stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart, survey the room a bit and take a good breath through your nostrils as you focus on a point at the back of the room above the audience. Then drop your shoulders a little before you start.
Don’t be afraid to move around (unless at a fixed mike) and adjust volume as you address larger rooms. If you are whispering then it won’t matter how interesting it all is, for fun why not take a singing lesson so they can show you how to control your voice? Rehearse your talk over and over, practise a pause here and there on key points even if it feels weird don’t be afraid of silence or you will start to ramble and your chest tightens. (I saw one person do this on my course years ago and her voice got higher and higher and her face grew redder and redder and we were all on the edge of our seats as tense as she was). Find out about the crowd if you can beforehand (In comedy we used this to get a clue for an icebreaker while you get comfortable on stage, even something about the local traffic or unique landmark).
Use prompt cards and a glass/bottle of water will also act as a prop and reminder to pause and take a good breath or look at notes as well as refreshing that dry mouth! Most of all if you smile and look like you are enjoying it the audience will too!
Hope that was useful and thanks again for the post. I need to get out there more myself and stop moaning about lack of marketing opportunities now I’ve posted this!
I had to give a 5 minute talk to my class whilst at college and I was so nervous my hands were shaking. If I’d had the option of jumping off a cliff instead I’d have seriously considered it! These days I do lots of public speaking and I enjoy it. It does get easier the more you do, but the keys to success are preparation and practice.
I am so glad in college we had to take public speaking… First lesson I was petrified, and then with time, learned to love it! It is a great skill to have, you learn to be very persuasive… always good for marketing….;o)
Good read, lots of great advice!
Amazing post! I’m a terrible public speaker… I’m ok with the script and 2-3 takes though .. ; ) thank you for sharing this!
Wonderful post. Thank you. Now just to get that book on honeybees published and I’ll talk up a storm about it.
Thanks for the advice! I need to find myself a Toastmasters group!
I’m one of those rare breeds that enjoys public speaking, but I know that most people are not that way. I also do Toastmasters and love it! I’ve really enjoyed the feedback from the group in making my presentations better and also enjoyed having a community and shared experience. Plus, it’s international, so you can always find a group and in multiple languages!
Hi, great advice thank you.
Wonderful post, thank you for sharing! I just did my second sermon and i’m feeling better about public speaking. I am also coming out with a book this coming May and you are correct in saying public speaking helps.
You gave me inspiration and more excitement as a writer 🙂
Hot advice, thank you.
Speaking as a person with a lot more performance than writing experience, I would highly recommend acting or improv classes for anyone who wants to be a better public speaker. The advice and analysis of how effective speaking enhances the desire toward purchase in this article is all true, but authenticity in face-to-face situations is just as important as knowing your material. You have to be able to think on your feet to take advantage of the immediate reactions your audience has to what you are saying, by varying emphasis, or altering the tone of your message. The more your presentations come across as if you are making it up on the spot, the better they will be received.
This is an important and useful blog. I spent 20 years teaching Public Speaking to executives. As intimidating as some of those important people are many of them freeze when they get in front of a group to speak.
Some advice: If you have any way of having yourself videotaped with a camcorder do it. Everyone hates speaking in front of a camera, but our clients told us it was the most useful thing they did. Watch yourself objectively. Are you using many “filler or junk words?” Are you shifting your weight from side to side? If you’re a woman are you assuming the “model pose?” Try standing with feet shoulder width apart instead. You look more professional in that stance.
Everyone is nervous speaking before an audience. Instead of trying to hold back that nervous energy use it. Use it to be animated, to make meaningful gestures.
Make eye contact with as many as you can. That is important! Good luck and remember that you know more about your subject than anyone in your audience does.
Speaking in small groups at parties scares the willies out of me because I really have to interact. However public speaking doesn’t really bother me at all because I’m in control. Wow, that kind of makes me sound like a control freak, which I’m not, but it’s still easier for me. And I kind of learned that from the late great talk show host Johnny Carson when he expressed similar views. Great blog, loved it!
Glad to know that I’m not the only one. I would LOVE to improve my public speaking skills. Thanks for challenging us to give this further thought…instead of scurrying away all the time!
take acting lessons
if you are writing for screen, you should do that anyway
life is a pitch
then somebody buys
Toastmasters is good, I have some friends that have joined. Another way, one I used, is to take a part-time job as a substitute teacher. You’ll learn real quick not only how to speak in public, but also how to think on your feet.
I was OK with public speaking in high school, but my freshman speech class cured me of that. I was in a section taught by the tough teacher. She would sit in the back of the room and scowel at us.
Encouraging to know that I’m part of the .o5%
However, do you suppose that’s why I have so much trouble sitting and writing something actually worth reading?!?!
I love it! I used to do public speaking at school – maybe that helped? I’ve already prepared my acceptance speech for my next job as British Prime Minister 😉 http://jessseeker.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/with-great-power-comes-great-responsibility-stan-lee/
Thanks for the post, I look forward to reading many more 🙂
Public speaking is such an interesting entity in itself…my husband literally falls apart on the stage and u can watch his crumble from the moment he is approaching (I know this because his work sent him for classes and they filmed them!!)…
For me, I feel as though I am about to die and lose all of my breath, but somehow it disappears once I get about 15seconds into speaking….then somehow pull off the entire speech and everyone thinks I love doing it…meanwhile for me after I always wonder what happens and how I survive…lol…it is almost as though something else takes over and the terrified person of the first 15 seconds has dissipated…I cannot explain it…but I am always excited and happy at the end with a sense of accomplishment
Nice article 🙂
I have been speaking in front of groups, both small and extremely large, for more than 700 times. Often whole days, sometimes evenings. As I’ve literally grown up speaking in front of people, I can’t clearly remember the very first time. But I do remember one of the first. It was horror. More than a hundred people staring at me in silence. Waiting for me to entertain them. I was horrified and went into a shock state. I blocked completely. It was then that I learned about group dynamics, the hard way. They turned against me. But, I finished eventually what I came for. And I made sure that would never happen again.
Now, almost 30 years later, I would do something like that without any problem whatsoever. Without any preparation, I can get in front of a thousand people and just speak. I will entertain them, interact with them and make sure they have fun and even learn a few valuable things. As soon as I open my mouth, they are quiet. It just happens. And when I pause, even for more than just a few seconds, you can hear a pin drop. The first time I realized that all these hundreds of people were actually eagerly waiting for me to continue, I was amazed. I almost forgot where I was. Moments you just don’t forget.
Over the years I have helped people speak in front of groups many times. There is a secret to doing this well, and it is a simple one: Be the genuine you. Always speak about what you really believe in. Never ever sell something that you don’t believe in. Never promote something or someone that you don’t stand behind 100%. Speak your opinion and be bold. Never start a discussion about your opinion. If it is open for discussion, you didn’t have a solid foundation and you shouldn’t have expressed it. This is about you and what you believe. You don’t negotiate you. But be most willing to express you perception on things. If it has a foundation that can help others, they will listen carefully. They will respect you, for you are you, which is the most wanted thing in the world. And you will have nothing to be afraid of, ever.
Thanks for your time!
Great post! It’s ironic how some who so desperately want their words to be read are terrified of them being heard!
Reblogged this on Sarah's Blog and commented:
I never had problems with public speaking….Maybe this will help someone…
Reblogged this on Sarah Marie.
Speech is an art！very good article
Great Post! For me, public speaking is all about practice as you said in your post. I was always really good at it when I was younger and doing it all the time at school. Now, I can get by as it’s something I love, but the nerves are definitely there, and nothing can calm them but repeating the action over and over! Now I need to get over my fear of showing someone my writing and possibly being told it’s crap!
I absolutely agree! This is pretty scary for me to do as a writer. I can see now that that public speaking class I was required to take in college does come in handy.
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For all of you writers…
I’ve just started blogging but ultimately I would love to write a book and the entire speaking thing is what scares me the most. I have however been stepping outside my comfort zone and doing small speaking engagements when asked. Great advice. Thank you.
After self-publishing my 1st book I realized that in order to generate sales, I was going to have to sell myself…something I loath doing. I hate talking about myself or my accomplishments, but I know a face to face with those who’ve chosen to read my words is a necessary evil. Book signings and public appearances were a part of my schedule last summer and I disliked each and every one of them. Although I rarely sold out or some days hadn’t even sold a single copy, I made very important contacts and handed out business cards to every one I could. My sales increased throughout the following months. My book was talked about and had generated enough interest that I could call those book signings “a success.”
Your words of advice are very helpful and I will take them with me at my next book signing or public speaking.
This is very encouraging to people like me who are scared of public speaking. I usually just babble.
Thanks for sharing this great advice. I was asked to do my first signficant public speaking assignment, which will occur in a few weeks. Your advice, and those of your readers, is helpful. Thank you all for sharing!
Blessings to you all!
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I get flustered just talking one on one to a person I dont know. I have the social skills of a speed bump.
At a very early stage in my education, I was blessed with various teachers who insisted all the students make presentations to the class. Sometimes we had to prepare an oral book report, or present the results of a science project, discuss/debate issues raised by a piece of literature we had read, or even recite poetry memorized in a foreign language. At the time, I did not consider these challenges a blessing! However, I must say that, as a result of these assignments over the years, I really don’t deal with fear anymore when speaking for a group of people. Occasionally I embarrass myself with mistakes in phrasing or syntax, but I make a joke out of it; the audience is generally very empathetic. My philosophy is, in a nutshell, to have a good time and enjoy the experience, and your listeners are nearly guaranteed to do the same. I love engaging people with a topic for which I myself have a passion. It is so exciting to connect with people’s hearts and minds by using the spoken word as a tool.
I thought of going to Toast Masters years ago but never got around to it. I have to look them up and give them a try. Great post!
Fortunately for me this is a skill I mastered in Jr High due to a diligent drama teacher who also taught public speaking. But great post.
It’s so much ‘safer’ reading these comments behind the laptop screen, than ‘voicing’ in front of an audience. I have always been comfortable (or at least I convinced myself that I was comfortable) being out in front, leading, speaking, teaching. Having been involved in teaching fitness classes, giving on board seminars about healthy living etc on cruise liners, and generally ‘leading’, I find now that I am a little older, and having had so much time away from that kind of environment (time out to have daughter), and now living a family life, it feels like all the ‘zap’ and confidence of being in front of an audience has dwindled somewhat. It feels like a terrifying prospect to revisit that assuredness.
I have no doubt that what was once there, has not disappeared completely, but has just been hybernating and waiting to be resurfaced. Thank you for this amazing article and for the beautiful reminder of what once was and what is there to be re-tapped.
I’m terrified of public speaking, but I’m really good at it. Odd paradox. I do it when I must and not a moment longer. xD
Great read! I’ve been trying to join Toastmasters for quite some time here in the Chicagoland reader. In college, I took a great Public Speaking course with Professor Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow (look her up!). Her class left the taste of Public Speaking in my mouth all these years. However, I find that the Toastmasters groups I’ve been calling have not been responding my calls. It’s been some time since I’ve tried to contact them, but as of reading this essay I’ve resolved to call as many groups as I can tomorrow. Thanks!
Great post & you’ve nailed the thing that a lot of writers fear. Curiously, I don’t. I look on public speaking as an integral part of what I have to do to help promote and sell my books to readers. I do a lot of it, to the point these days where I don’t carry more than a few notes as an aide memoir. I have never had a problem with standing up in front of an audience.
What I find scary is introducing myself to somebody or actually trying to figure out how to have a conversation with people I don’t know. Paradox? No. The audience are at a distance. It’s better that way.
Very nice post. I found I had no choice one semester but to take “public speaking” for one of my requirements. I dreaded the whole thing. But it turned out to be one of my favorite classes, and made me a much better writer of essays. My last speech for the class had to be and “Ode To” Mine was Ode To Short Skirts. I got an A+ and I didn’t even wear the short skirt, it was minus 30 that day! It was a great experience!
I speak to several hundred people every day, five days a week. Speaking to the public is my vocation. Nice to know that all my years of working in retail have in fact been the perfect training ground for the art of public speeches.
Now I just have to get my book out, so I can give all those speeches!
Public speaking and writing go hand in hand in a lot of ways, since being able to speak well reflects on your ability to write well. Great article 🙂
Great post, thanks for sharing. While I’ve never been, I have heard great things about toastmasters. Personally, I’ve been a member of BNI (Business Networking International) for years now, and have found it to be another excellent way to practice public speaking while also perfecting your “elevator speech”…due to the mandatory weekly 60 second blurb about your business.
While I have done some public speaking in say a Public Speaking Class or even in an English class I have, it’s never been easy for me to talk about subject matters I care about in front of a group of my “Peers”. Sure – we’re all there having to do the same ‘assignment’ – but it doesn’t mean anyone else in the class REALLY wants to hear what you have to say. I think that’s what always made me nervous about public speaking in class.
Personally, I think I’d feel much better if I could speak about something I care about and see a room full of people who ‘WANT’ to be there who might even be excited to be there. I’ve only had one experience like this and the only unfortunate part was – we got started late and while I said to hold all questions till the end – at least one person didn’t listen and I had to stop a few times in the middle of my discussion and answer the question. It wasn’t all bad but – made me wish people would simply learn to “listen”.
As a Singer, I was in choir for five years and you’d think that would make being the center of attention easier on someone. WRONG! I had stage-fright bad when I was a kid and up. I didn’t really get a chance to work it out until High School where I participated in the Talent Shows hosted by the School. I kept doing this and YES – it did help gradually eliminate the “Butterflies” and the like. So I definitely feel – practice makes perfect and even perhaps – easier.
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The audience size is a big issue when speaking. Generally, the larger the audience, the easier it is.
The big question is . . .how to get a group to get in front of?
Teaching and writing go hand in hand. Teachers have to hear their own voice every day. And, they get go home at night and edit papers, and if they’re lucky, they have time to write for fun.
I really enjoyed reading your post!
Well, at least it helps me a lot when it comes to writing. Thank you!!!
0.05%? really?! Wow! Maybe I ought to self publish something… I would much rather do public speaking than actually publish my first real book… or maybe somehow I’ll end up promoting blogging with public speaking… after a little while…
I remember that university was a time for practicing public speaking. Standing up in a classroom in front of your peers explaining your research always made for a nervous time for me. But after a few sentences – a few ums and ahhs – I find that I’ll eventually settle down.
I would pretend that no one in the room is listening to me and I’m talking to myself! It usually worked, but Q & A sessions almost always make me panic!
True, true oh Queen! Live forever!
I’m in the process of setting up as a freelance vocal coach for public speakers. With 20 years theatre, radio and teaching experience, I know that there are ‘tricks’ to the trade, but I am also aware of how daunting a prospect public speaking is for some. I would be happy to offer some free advice if anyone wants to contact me via my blog.
Great advice but one thing entered my mind: Where do you set up speaking? Public libraries maybe. Book signings (if you can get one). If you write novels, who will offer you the podium at a college? Just curious as to the HOW.
Another way to take baby steps into the world of public speaking yet really connect with a large audience is to talk direct to camera on your computer and put the film on You Tube. Find something topical that you’re passionate about and think others might be too, something connected with your blog or book. Filming a piece to camera gets you into the public speaking mindset and lets you connect with potentially thousands of people, without actually having to stand up and do the scary-biscuits thing of staring into the whites of their eyes. It’s a good starting point!
I love public speaking because I love telling a story that I think is worthy of an audience, be it an educational story or a humorous one, or both. As a photographer, my presentations are accompanied by images that help illustrate my tale. But I can go it alone too. Do I get nervous? Sure. But feeling confident that most of the audience if not all is going to enjoy what I have to say keeps me standing tall and smiling. And if it’s all in my head then at least they can believe that I think I am interesting. Ha, ha!
This is brilliant advice. Thank you for making me hate my phobia even more. For me the public speaking hurdle reaches high above the atmosphere and it would require lots of keep-alive drugs and safety gear to encourage me to jump it!
Of course, I’ve been told millions of times not to exaggerate.
Everything you say is spot on, however. I think the fear of failure is probably the biggest barrier. It’s been said that speaking about a subject you know well is a good starting point because the self-doubt is already low to begin with.
I am encouraged by your advice. Perhaps one day I’ll climb out of my remote cabin and leave the laptop behind!
Indeed, in my life-long experience as a writer there’s nothing better than giving a talk, holding open discussion Q&A, and then watching the line form as person after person stuffs a $20 bill in your hand. This world of people is STARVING for serious good books, and publishers who don’t know that be damned. Meanwhile, if you are not as confident and/or skilled at speaking as you should be, you can easily evaluate where you’re at (and move forward) with this simple “how to” manual based on my 20 years of teaching public speaking—-“21st Century Speaking: Power Toward Every Goal” at ANCIENT LIGHTS dot org ……
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I totally know the feeling, great post! I have spoken to authors and its the ones that speak that capture my attention more than the ones that hide but I am an introvert by nature. Though I want to be a teacher so public speaking is a definite must. I am improving all the time though by practicing and working out the kinks, it takes time and yeah you do feel like you want to vomit the first couple of times but it’s okay. Considering that 99.95% of the rest of the world all want to do the same thing! XD I love that statistic. Great post! Excellent Blog! Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed.
Suprisingly, I am actually a great public speaker. I’m an attorney and speak at meetings and conferences for other industries. My biggest fear…how to navigate through the publishing process, or actually get published! I am going to be working on my first book this next year, so any advice you can give would be appreciated. If I can get published, I’ll be great at getting up and talking about it! 🙂
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I am a retired physician I also was a semi-professional mandolin player most of my adult life. My Lit agent always said my background made me a more natural writer. All I did all day was communicate with people. Then I just had to learn how to put it to paper.
Dr. Tom Bibey, author, “The Mandolin Case”
Wow… this is awesome. And congrats to you! I am currently in a military public affairs training course and I have to give a speech tomorrow… thanks for pumping me up!!
I talk to my computer as I type the book. It helps when speaking time rolls around because you have said it all before! The little bugs also pop up faster that way and can be exterminated quickly. Now if only my neighbors would stop thinking I am a total nutcase.
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Great post about something all writers should be able to do. Luckily for me, I’ve always been pretty fearless about public speaking. Early in my career I showed up to talk to a college Creative Writing class with no notes, spoke for an hour, and the instructor told me it was the best-organized speech she’d ever heard in that class.
But it never occurred to me that I could take copies of my books and hawk them when it was over. Doh!
We can all still learn, folks. And it’s not too late for you. Get out there and speak.
I like that!
And the reason I am not a speaker is because I am a writer. I’ve always said I can express myself better with the written word, and I dread to hear my voice echo through a room full of people.
I didn’t enjoy getting up in front of people. But then I worked in a place where I had to speak to 10 – 325 people on a stage each day (Outdoor Recreation Centre). One day, with 325 women, I was talking about the Run for the Cure, and how I was raising money in honour of a friend and started to get emotional and cry. I had to excuse myself and let someone else take over. I came back and appologied and kept going with what I had to say. After I was done I had numerous women come to me and tell me what a great thing I was doing and they felt the emotional connection. They ended up donating money and coming for my morning walk. I am now comfortable with speaking in front of people. Again, presentations to small-large groups is now part of my job.
I am the VP of Education in my Toastmaster’s club. It’s a great organization that teaches not only public speaking, but also leadership. You can’t go wrong by joining.
I think I’m one of the .05%. I’ve never had a problem with public speaking. Great post though! You make good points.
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I love this article about public speaking as a writer. When I first embarked on my speaking career, I was terrified. Standing in front of large groups of children numbering between 100, 200, or even 300 children was daunting, but now, eleven years later, it’s second nature to me. I don’t even think about it. I feel right at home in front of large groups of kids. Small groups of adults…that’s a different story!
Though I am always nervous when I speak in front of a group, I tend to do better than I expect, particularly when I am speaking about something for which I am passionate (like education, adoption, or my faith). However, phone interviews are totally another story! Yesterday, I had a phone interview with a local newspaper about my book “Nine Year Pregnancy.” It was quite challenging to think spontaneously to answer questions. When I prepare to speak to a group, I have made notes and had time to think about what I want to say.
You were right that the more you public speak the more comfortable it gets. I took a public speaking class and I was more confident afterwards, but of course it’s not something I do frequently so I always have jitters when I need to speak. I’m making a conscious effort though to become less nervous about it. Enjoyable post!
For me, the best environment to learn how to speak publicly is in front of a small group of your peers. I took a class in college where we’d stand up, take small pieces of paper out of a jar and then speak for 2 minutes on the random topic. Class would tally your ‘ums’ and ‘ers’, but at the end, nobody laughed and it ended up being a rewarding experience. It just takes time, practice and patience.
I love this post. When I’m speaking in public, it’s about helping others…sharing information with my audience and giving them useful tips that they can apply to their own lives. If you can start off with a joke and get people to laugh, that’s even better because your audience wakes up and pays attention. The best speech I ever heard started with “The Three Ups”: Know when to stand up, know when to speak up and know when to shut up. 🙂
Public speaking absolutely terrifies me, but I know I will have to do it if I want to become a relatively well known author so I will learn how to do it without sweating, stuttering, and long awkward pauses where I have no idea what to say. Practice, practice, practice I guess.
Great advice…I just hate that you called us on it! I know that I could do it – but have remained hidden all these years because I hate the thought of it. The moment of “push comes to shove” is on the horizon though – so thanks for laying it out there so clearly. I’ve worked too hard on my book to let the opportunity for success slip away just because of a little nervousness. Great blog…thanks!
Excellent advice. The speaker is always the “expert”
I loved this post. I just started a blog and really appreciate the advice.
I am pretty comfortable speaking in public, but could probably use a lot of practice. I’ll get on it!
Speaking is definitely a skill that takes practice. Thanks for sharing your advice! 🙂
Susan, I happened upon your article…good point! I’m an artist and writer, and did a speaking engagement once on my artistic journey. It was an amazing and scary opportunity. I found that bringing along a good friend, and my young son (at the time) was a big help in calming my nerves.
At my current ‘regular’ job, I have to make announcements on the loud speaker. When I first began doing it I was a bit nervous so I wrote my announcements down to guide me through. Now I do it like a natural. You’re correct about doing it as much as you can. Most times while announcing I’m right there with the customers, so it’s sort of like having an audience.
I think another good tip is to take ones time while speaking. You’ll be more in control of what you say and less likely to fumble over words. And finally, just enjoy the ride…you’ll be less likely to be so nervous. Remember that everyone is in the same boat of trying to make their way in the world. If you have something positive to offer, be proud of it, and just do it. It’s a good feeling to contribute joy and beauty to the world.
Thank you for letting me comment.
Enjoy the day,
I once read a short story at an event in a bar at the very point that two men decided to have a loud game of pool. They hadn’t expected to have their evening interrupted by a story reading so I can’t blame them really. I just read through it, even though I kind of wanted to break the pool cue over their heads. I think if you can read when people aren’t expecting it, then reading somewhere ‘purpose built’ (like a library or reading event) might be a whole lot easier. So, writers, go forth into your local bar (but ask first!). One writer equals weird person saying stuff in public; two or more equals an event. Enjoy. It’s exhilarating!
I have a presentation to do tomorrow, only 20 – 30 people they say, but my tummy is churning. Thanks for sharing your notes. “Namaste”
I don’t know what to say. I guess it depends in what area one wishes to be an expert, or not. Most people have nothing to say. What they do have to say is unimportant, and they don’t know how to say it.
The best advice I’ve ever heard or read is that one does not choose to be a writer. Those ambitious to write professionally, inevitably prove themselves marginal and common.
I’m not trying to be snooty, but no one in their right mind ought seek to write as a profession. It’s Hell!! And if you don’t write, you can’t speak.
Published authors are authorities, because anyone can say anything. But if it’s in print, it’s authoritative, and so much more the author. Lack of substance is the cardinal trait among those writers without worth.
It’s almost as if one need not actually experience or learn, but only parrot nebulous jargon. There’s a limit to government-educated, book-buying drones.
Before I write a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g, I determine whether or not I have anything to write. If my mind is filled with random muses, I don’t bother. But if I am outside myself, I stand taller, no longer like a mortal.
I inspire what is spoken by God breathing near, His gentle spurs dig into my soft flesh, raging me on. My wild heart grows large with passion as I utter words not to be ignored!
Visit my blog. You’ll see what I mean.
I love this post!
I’m currently in Teacher’s College, and it’s funny how many of my colleagues lack speaking skills. People applied to teacher’s college based on their undergraduate marks – quite a few schools do not hold interview processes or require additional profiles. This means that the people teaching our future generations may be GREAT at writing essays, memorizing for exams, or filling out online reflections, but they are horrible when it comes to standing in front of a class and being engaging.
I will definitely be following your blog! Thanks again!
I agree so much with what you are saying. I am about to join a Toastmaster’s group in my area, which is something my aunt has wanted me to do for a long time. Thank you for sharing!
You are so funny, I couldnt stop smiling while reading your post and it was totally on the $$. Yes, I write and the thought of public speaking makes me want a bag to hurl in. I have spoke in front of crowds before, I never remember what I say or have done up there but people love it…If they only knew how much I felt like fainting or hitting the door at the end of the auditorium. My book is not yet published, in march we start the process. It was a pleasure to laugh thanks!
Such a wonderful post. Thank you for these tidbits of information and encouragement on public speaking. You are so right about public speaking related to selling books. I know I’ve bought items I would normally not have purchased because of the speaker. Being a good speaker helps, though – hence, Toast Masters and practice! Thank you!
I never thought about added book sales from speaking ….
That is a great idea.
I’m one of those bizarre writers – and people – who loves public speaking. This gave me hope! I am just never sure who might be interested in my speaking services…
I know what you mean. I have never had a problem speaking. Acting? Yes, I get the nerve issues acting. But, speaking is just being myself.
I sometimes wish I had the nervous energy to make my speaking a little better!
Oh man, I remember having trouble speaking front of a class of thirty, but now that seems like small game to me.
Being unprepared is the biggest fear for me. Practising what I’m going to say helps ensure that I won’t say something foolish, helps build my confidence.
Great post, Susan. I came to writing through my storytelling, so public speaking isn’t a problem for me. But I’ve heard that the majority of people fear public speaking worse even than death. So at a funeral, they would rather be in the coffin than delivering the eulogy! — Naomi
Thank you for the tips! I’ve done some public speaking before and my how-to tip would be: convince yourself that everyone is there in support of you before you go on stage. Usually, people tend to cut themselves down and think others are too, but if you can really believe that people are there with good intentions, the positive energy often makes a world of difference!
I’m totally one of those shy writers types. I just find it so much easier to express myself through writing rather than speaking. It’s something I still need to work on overcoming.
I think you will only sell more books and have added value etc if you come across well! If somebody stood on stage mumbling, shaking, and stuttering for 12 minutes before wetting themself, the only books they would be able to sell would be some kind of conspiracy about how the government is poisoning us all, the speaker being exhibit A. Congrats on the pressing!
My father was a minister, so I learned to stand in front of a group from the time I was knee high to a podium. I am actually looking forward to the speaking opportunities that writing will bring. Crazy, I know.
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Great advice! I am a teacher so stand in front of a class everyday but it is not the same as standing in front of a group of adults. I will look into toastmasters.
Public Speaking! I love this post. I am a public speaking instructor at a community college so I get to do this all the time, and I am younger than most of my students so I have the pressures of speaking in front of adults. I love teaching this subject and trying to instill into my students that they can be public speakers and it isn’t something to fear.
Those writers out there, follow this advice!
I admit, there are a lot of comments and thus I did not read them all, so if I am repeating something, I apologize. I find it really helpful to have notes with me on what I’m going to talk about. I’ve known people who thought being a good lecturer/ giving a good speech meant writing out the whole thing beforehand and reading it word for word like an essay, and I cannot express in enough words how boring that is. I’ve also met people who can just remember everything they’re going to say and it comes out flawlessly, but I am not one of those people. I make a few bullet points for important things I want to talk about (for my current purposes, I do no more than a page) and go from there.
Thanks Susan. I read every single word of this post and I’m looking forward to doing some public speaking myself, with my first ever booking due out late next month. Now following…
Excellent post, excellent advice. I joined TM four years ago when my book first came out. It is true, you speak, you will sell books.
Great advice. I actually love to speak, now I just need to write something worth speaking about.
Great post, I will definitely show it to my class at creative writing courses. I would like to add something basing on my recent experiences: it also helps to speak about the writing WHILE it’s still in progress. Of course, for marketing reasons, it cannot be done in front of a general public, but in a small group of people, preferably interested in literature, maybe writers. It helps encapsulate the ideas and enforces the faith in what we are doing.
One more thing: being able to speak publicly is a skill highly useful for every single adult. Even engineers nowadays are required to do presentations. Fortunately for me, I seem to be born to make speeches, I guess being good with words extends to the ease at this kind of performances.
Thanks for the good advice. I do agree. I have always been terrified of speaking but I knew I had to start doing it to promote my recently published book. I finally “bit the bullet” and did it and honestly it wasn’t bad at all, and I did sell some books! I believe you are right when you say people notice you more if you are a speaker. Now I am trying to get myself into the speaking circuit and am thinking of joining a local Toastmasters group.
How timely that I should come across this article. I just started college, only in my third week of classes now, and one of my classes is Public Speaking. I’m pretty introverted and there’s a small and tight-knit community on campus. I figured learning how to speak publicly would be a good skill. Also, this article is much better to read than to listen to my teacher blather on about nonsense.
I as well am a born public speaker, great on unscripted radio interviews, and your blog put that squarely back right in front of me to do more. Thanks Mucho!
I love public speaking and do it whenever and where ever I can find a soapbox. Unfortunately, no one has ever heard of my blog so I end up just talking in front of my friends, in an empty car park or in the court room (lawyer by trade, writer by vocation).
Susan, I so appreciated your post. I attended a few “trial” Toastmasters meetings and was very impressed, but I have to be honest: I – was – terrified, especially with the whole “speaking on the fly” scenarios. Hense, I never joined. Speaking in front of a group or publicly is not my strong point, but I know I’m not alone. Unfortunately, it is a blood-pressure raiser, but once you get through it (without passing out), it is a small victory — I’m just not ready to commit.
Public speaking is something I’ve yet to tackle. As you said, writers tend to have a hermit-like quality that often keeps them joyfully holed up in dark corners. This is certainly true of myself. When I attend parties particularly ones with strangers abound, I tend to clam up and keep to myself. Interestingly though, in much smaller intimate settings with folks that seem to “get me” I find myself coming to life and becoming quite the entertainer. I find it a delicate balance so it is hard for me to say how I would react if I actually climbed up on a stage to read from my writings. Knowing myself as I do, I would likely tackle the situation with a minimum of preparation. Not because I’m “that damned good,” mind you, lol but because I tend to psyche myself out in that type of situation. Mentally and emotionally preparing myself for any kind of social undertaking has often been my downfall. The nerves simply can’t take the pressure and anticipation. I know myself enough to know that going in cold would garner better results than a month of reading in front of the bathroom mirror. This type of speaking is something I’d like to make as a goal for myself. My writing tends to be rich in humor and would likely lend itself to a dynamic and animated public reading. Thanx for the great take on the subject.
Name above my reply should link to my blog at:
not whatever “gravatar” is
Easier said than done. My stomach gets butterflies just from reading a blog about public speaking. I guess I’m in the 99%.
Whew, I thought you were just going to say “read your book aloud!” I can fake my way through public speaking.
Public speaking probably helps authors now more than ever, thanks to making YouTube videos out of their lectures. They’ll last forever.
I’ve heard great things about Toast Masters — good for you for learning this skill!
Thanks for the post! I’ve heard of Toastmaster’s before – I may have to give it a try.
It’s funny, I’ve always heard the majority of people are more afraid of public speaking than death…strange creatures we are. But all you’ve noted here–too true.
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Awesome Post! I joined TM about 25 years ago, and got good at speaking… then I got busy, and life took over and I left the group… Then I started going out business networking, and ended up helping one of the group leaders organize the group! One day I got a call, “I won’t be able to make it to the networking meeting and need someone to lead it, will you do it” I was terrified! You have to keep practiced with public speaking just like writing or drawing or whatever you do…
Toastmasters is an awesome group! I recommend it highly!
Peace and Harmony,
I’ve been contemplating doing some speaking myself…even before I publish my book…thanks for the extra “oomph” under my you-know-what to encourage me to get started! I keep hearing about Toastmasters and wondered if it would be for me…I guess I always had the idea it was a bunch of retired men? Where did I get that idea?!!! Am I wrong???
Susan, you are definitely right about the audience counting ums and ahhs, but after having been in the Toastmaster for couple months, it’s as if we have been trained to look for those unconsciously.
It’s pretty annoying realizing how many ums and ahhhs the local news reporters actually use, it’s as if everyone needs Toastmasters
P.S Love this post, nagging to to be shared with my fellow Toasties, hope that’s alright with you?
Congratulations on being freshly pressed! As an introverted writer who lives alone, speaking – public or even conversational – is something I tend to grow into. With my closest friends and family, I can’t stop talking. However, I tend to shut up and become more of an observer in a large group of people. This was very important for me to read, and I hope to be able to use it at a future stage in my life.
Very informative. Basics unleashed for the novice. nice.
The key to life is balance. It’s so true what you have written. Writers are confined in their little space typing away. The profession itself leaves little room for social interaction. The only conversations you are bound to have are the ones with yourself as you contemplate the next sentence you are going to write. I think everyone should have basic writing and speaking skills. These are strengths for any individual to possess, which will benefit them in the long-run.
Thank you for your post and your helpful tips!
If it’s alright with you, I started a blog of my own not too long ago and I would like to invite you and your readers to please check out my posts, comment, and subscribe! I would really appreciate any feedback as well as your support by signing up! The link is http://www.logicmeetsreason.wordpress.com Thank you so much!
Public speaking can be really intimidating! I think it’s just facing your fear and one you start talking you’re fine!
WOW very insightful! I am still working on my first book, (for the last ten years that is lol) However I have been using short stories to practice and hone my skills. When the book is finally finished I most certainly will be using this information! Thank you so much for posting!
Thanks for the excellent advise! Will be checking out Toastmasters, me thinks!
Great blog. I’ve always been amazed at how the introduction of a camera in the audience causes the perspiration to form even faster.
I think I am very fortunate because I have a very good control of myself while in front of teh audience. I didi theater when I was small and had a body langauge course at school. My collegues envy me now 😀
I mean I do get stressed but I direct that stress to teh audience and transfer it to positive energy so the speaches I’ve given are nromally referred as “powerful” – I would never call them that but I think It’s because it’s energetic and people feel connected as I give thaaaaaat much of energy out to them. Sense of humor always help – learning to laugh about a slide show that woudlnt’ open at the most important moment is a way of showing that you are approachable and friendly – just like your audience.
Public speaking is a skill that improves with practice. After a while, it actually becomes enjoyable, because you get to see the effect of your words on an audience. In many ways, it’s simpler talking to a large crowd than a small group, because their emotional responses become simplified and more predictable.
To anyone nervous about doing it, my advice is prepare the rough structure of what you need to convey and then work of making your non-verbal communication congruent with your words. But the bottom line is simply doing it as many times as possible. Eventually, it really WILL become fun.
Yes – what a great post! There is something powerful about the combination of words and voice. I couldn’t agree more. Thanks.
Is it weird that I enjoy public speaking? I think I developed egotism early in life, and recognized that to soothe the savage beast, public oration was the way to go.
Nice post. I am a semi-retired doctor, and as far as I know the world’s only physician bluegrass fiction writer. Public speaking and mandolin playing don’t scare me because I figure the stakes aren’t as high as in my day job. If I bungle a phrase or miss a note, at least no one dies.
Dr. Tom Bibey, author, “The Mandolin Case” (Available as a free down-load to Amazon Prime members at this time)
Reblogged this on lifebeatsfiction and commented:
Wordpress just rolled out “reblogging” again and this couldn’t be a better inner to do that with. It caught my attention about writing but the principles easily apply to any industry. From marketing, business, technology, to the medical field those that speak are usually considered to be the “experts” wrong or right.
Nope. Can’t do it. I’d sooned chew a leg off than stand in front of a group of people
The best thing about speaking publicly is that every time you do it you get a little better. My first day of teaching high school in South Korea was absolutely terrifying. Now I can speak in front of large groups of people without even thinking about it. Has taken me two years to get there, but now I find myself having plenty of fun. Persistence!
I don’t think writers are as shy as u advocated. Writing requires a lot of beforehand social practice and understanding.
Wowee! Love this post! It’s funny, I’ve greatly benefited from having an equilibrium of both sides but it isn’t because of lack of nervousness, but to push past my nerves and focus on the audience who may (or may not) be eager to receive the message I deliver. One of the most intimidating audiences to deal with are definitely PhDs which I had a chance to present to on a bi-monthly basis for two years in an audience of 34 thanks to marketing and well-reception for a deeply researched topic on the academic job search. I was very thankful for the positive evaluations, and I guess my only tip is the above: pray, prepare, and deliver. It really helped me, and focused on what was really important: my audience. Not me. 😀
Thank you for sharing. 😀