Lets Talk Public Speaking/ Writing Wednesday

 

Writing Wednesday

Wednesday is the day I share what I’ve learned on my journey from writing, publication, marketing; and doing it all again, and again. The kind of information I wish someone shared with me when I started.

Let’s Talk Public Speaking Part 2 of 3

Have you ever stumbled for words when someone asks you what you do, what do you blog about, what is your book about? I have and it always leaves me feeling so unprofessional.

As writers our happy place is writing in solitude.

Unfortunately, if we want readers to find out about, buy, read, review and share our books we must get out there among people and talk about our work.
Speaking in public shows up on many “What is your greatest fear?” lists. The best way to get past your fear is to be prepared.

Don’t agree to speak in front of 900 people if you’ve never spoken in public before.

An author panel is a great way to get practice. The hardest part of sitting on an author panel is the elevator pitch you need to give in the beginning. After that it gets easier. It’s all about answering questions.

An elevator speech is a 30-60 second summary of your book, your blog or your, business. It could also be your short bio.

 

The point of the speech or pitch is NOT to sell anything; the point is to get the recipient to want to know more, to start a conversation with you and to ask you for more information and a submission.
Imagine stepping on the elevator at a writing or blogging conference and standing next to you is one of the most sought after, literary agents in the business. It would be normal to feel tongue tied and nervous but these opportunities are few and far between so you should be prepared.

Coming up with 30-60 seconds that answers who, what, when, why and where is not easy.

As uncomfortable as it can be you must practice it out loud until your pitch feels and sounds natural not rehearsed. You also want to have two or three versions so you can adjust for the audience and practice, practice and practice.
Keep in mind that 9 out of ten times while you’re trying to sell someone they aren’t listening to you. They are trying to come up with a way to sell something to you, so you have about 5 seconds to make enough of an impact, so they listen to you.

A few tips:

  • Don’t give spoilers
  • Don’t go into plots or characters
  • Give the title and genre
  • Be enthusiastic
  • What do you offer?
  • Present a call to action towards the end
  • End with a question that requires more than a yes or no to answer
  • Avoid buzzwords ex: out of the box, streamline, awesome etc.
  • Try to come up with a word or a phrase that will help the recipient remember your name and the title of your book or blog.
  • Did I say Practice, practice and practice?
  • And finally, smile and be prepared to answer follow-up questions after you give your speech.

Do you have an elevator speech and if so do you have any tips?

If you give me your best pitch in 140 characters and your twitter user name I will tweet them out throughout the week.

Happy Writing,
Doreen

2 Responses to “Lets Talk Public Speaking/ Writing Wednesday”

  • Great tips! I love your last section where you talk about not using buzzwords and especially smile! I think most people, especially writers, dislike talking to strangers so I totally agree on the importance of practice. And I also think it is important to critique yourself after you do a pitch. You always want to think about how you can do better…

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