Mystery Author and Chatty Gal
I have a confession to make. I'm the president of the Orange County chapter of Sisters in Crime, and I was recently approached (via email) by someone looking for an author to come and speak to her group. I responded with a list of our local SinC authors and their websites, including my own. She asked some questions about my experience at speaking to groups, of which I've had quite a bit.
The result was, even though I tried to point her toward our other authors, she contracted with me to come and speak. I feel guilty about this. No one else got the opportunity to talk to her about their abilities as a speaker. How else was she to choose someone?
Then I looked around. I know many of our authors are interesting and informative speakers. Many of them have a section on their websites featuring radio interviews, past and future appearances, etc. But no one has a section dedicated to "If You're Looking for a Speaker, Pick Me."
Yes, we are authors and want to spend our time
I'm not trying to say that if you are painfully shy, you should suck it up and learn to speak publically. I'm just saying that if you like to talk to groups, or even don't mind talking to them, this is one more way to get your name known.
After I contracted with this group, I immediately updated my webpage to add a "Speaking/Teaching" page. I listed all the topics I've spoken on (individually, not on panels), all the workshops I've taught, and references for each. I also included some video clips. Now I'm ready for anyone who might want me to come and talk, about writing, about my personal journeys, even about horses.
Are you an author who likes to speak to groups? Do you have an easy way for groups to check you out?
Who knows? Today, your local Rotary Club. Tomorrow, a TED talk.
I used to do much more of it. But public speaking is never easy for me, and I've decided to never teach another workshop. I spend too much time preparing and worrying about them. But when local students reach out to me, I visit their class or do some mentoring. And I'm always game to visit with a book club.ReplyDelete
You are already pretty established, so I can imagine you may not have to do many public gigs. I don't think of you as being uneasy in front of an audience - you've sure got me fooled!Delete
Good ideas, Gayle! I've presented at several conferences and to writers' groups and have a "Workshops, etc." page on both of my websites. Several people I didn't know have contacted me to speak to their group or present a webinar, so I assume they found the info on my website. I like the idea of adding a video clip or two! I must do that - seems pretty essential for someone who wants to speak to a live audience. Great tips!ReplyDelete
I'm not certain that my clips are any great shakes, but they at least show whether I can show up sober and engage the audience. LOLDelete
Adding a page to your website is a great idea, Gayle! I'm not an author, but it makes me think of all the things I could speak about, too. And, I'm a trained storyteller, too.ReplyDelete
Marlyn, you could definitely find wonderful things to give talks about. I'd come and listen to you!Delete
I do and I absolutely don't.ReplyDelete
Great advice! But who knows when I'll actually be able to follow it.
There are never enough hours, are there? Maybe you could hire a personal assistant. Wait- maybe I could hire one...Delete