by Priscilla Y. Huff
If you have had stories, articles, poems, or books published, many other aspiring (and published) writers want to hear your success “secrets.” One way to share your writing success tips is giving talks to writers’ groups and at writers’ conferences. Not comfortable doing public speaking? Maybe you were thinking of past oral reports you did for high school and-or college, and how you dreaded them. But talking in front of adults is not the same as giving a report to teenager classmates. Your audience generally wants to be there. They want to know how to succeed like you did, so they will be eager to learn and hopefully, not sending text messages while your are speaking.
Here are some added tips to make your talk or workshop successful:
*Know your audience and the reasons they came to your talk or class.
*Dress professionally and appropriately for your audience.
*Open with an anecdotal problem related to your experience or another person’s. End your talk with how this problem was resolved.
*Involve your audience by asking them questions, having them briefly working together and encouraging their input.
*Provide useful information, with handouts that reinforce your talking points; and also sheets that list your published works and contact information, including your web site, and business e-mail address. Include order forms if you have books to sell; and any information about upcoming workshops you might be holding.
*Allow some time at the end of your talk for audience questions or further discussion.
*Practice, practice your talk or speech.
Speaking to groups, helps establish you as an “expert” on your topic, garners publicity for your writing, and often provides leads for more publishing opportunities. You will have also the satisfaction of encouraging your attendees and helping them to reach their own publishing goals.
101 Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers, 3rd Ed.
Controlling Fear, Commanding Attention by Caryl R Krannich
Priscilla Y. Huff led two workshops at 2010's BDWN’s writer’s conference