Why Authors Should Hone Their Speaking Skills
edited: Tuesday, November 02, 2010
By Blondie Clayton
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Posted: Tuesday, November 02, 2010
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Self published authors who conquer their fears of public speaking will rack up bigger profits faster and more consistent
Speaking publicly is something we can’t avoid. When we meet people they introduce themselves and we do the same. That’s talking and it is more often than not to strangers. Yet people are fearful of talking to others or in front of others.
I was like that. It is one thing to be so afraid of speaking in front of a crowd that you sabotage your career goals, and another thing to be afraid and do it any way. I was afraid but I did it any way. As a publishing coach I find that many first time authors have no interest in the speaking part of being a self published author. They are afraid of the new territory, but what most don’t realize, you are published and money is not going to fall into your lap, but at some point you will have to talk about your book.
I can tell you if I had chosen to be silent, I would not have lasted this long as a self-published author. I conquered my fear, and you can too. What are you afraid of? My fear started in my youth. One of my grandmother’s like to stand me in front of giggling relatives, forcing me to read my personal letters from my father.
Fear entered my life through this experience, but I had a book on the inside that was haunting me to bring forth. I procrastinated for almost a year but it wouldn’t go away. Somehow I figured that if I wrote it I would have to talk about it, so don’t write it yet. I was okay talking about my book one-on-one but to stand before a group was not my cup of tea.
I remember praying for help. One day as fate would have it, I was in the post office in a nearby city and I saw this flyer titled: Learn How to be a Professional Speaker. I knew this was the solution to my problem, so I decided to pursue. It was an opportunity of a lifetime, to be coached by Dr. Tina Dupree (The Chickenlady), an internationally known speaker. Don’t laugh. You can read her story of how she got that brand at www.tinadupree.com.
Five years later the “me” emerged that I never knew was hidden inside the prison of fear. That speaker training experience forced me to talk, taught me how to create talks and how to deliver and more. Here are a few things I had to overcome: the fear of speaking in front of a group, not knowing what to say and how to say it. Dr. Dupree taught me techniques, such as the 30-second commercial; how to put a speech together from open to close. The training was priceless.
One of the ways I have learned to handle my fears when I speak: arrive early, shake hands, get to know some of the folks in the crowd, that way you at least have a few familiar faces staring at you. My goal was to get the edge in promoting my book.
If you have written and published a book, expect to talk about it. Books that sit in cyberspace without speaking being a part of the marketing plan will not be as profitable, at least for self published authors.
A few resources to help you to hone your speaking skills as a self-published author: www.toastmasters.org; and www.fearspeakingnomore.blogspot.com.
Read 8-Reasons to Hone Speaking Skills As A Self Published Author (here)