I’ve been asked to give a talk about my book by a local organization. HELP!
Public speaking does not faze me but I’ve never done it about a book. Do you have any ideas, advice, dos and don’ts? Am I supposed to read sections of the book as I’ve seen people do in movies?
As you can see, I haven’t got a clue. – N.
I recommend doing a reading of a portion of your book – the most tantalizing section of your book and/or one that you feel will most directly and personally connect with that particular audience. Then, do a Q&A with the audience about that section/chapter. When you’re doing the reading, be sure to look up often at your audience so they will feel connected to you. If they are, they will be much more likely to want to engage with you by asking questions or making comments.
Be sure to interject plenty of personal info. into your answers! People LOVE hearing personal stories from authors. Storytelling is a VERY effective marketing technique.
If the audience starts to get quiet, and stops asking questions, have a list of questions for yourself…but don’t ask yourself the questions out loud, of course. Rather, say “Some of you might be wondering how I discovered…” or “You might be asking yourself why I chose to….” That way, you can fill in any dead time between potential readers’ questions.
If things are really quiet, read another tantalizing portion, and then begin the Q&A step all over again.
During the entire process, remember that the more engaged and excited you are about your topic, the more engaged and excited your audience will be as well. Be animated, talk with your hands, walk around while answering questions (don’t stand in just one spot), smile a lot (unless it’s a depressing topic), and don’t be shy about sharing not just your writing with your audience, but sharing the real YOU with them as well.
Be sure to have plenty of copies to sell to that excited, engaged audience when you’re finished! The most connected they feel with you, the more likely they will want to support you by buying your book. And, remember to have a way to collect money – cash, checks, AND credit cards. For the latter, I recommend Square.
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