Blogs by Linda Lange
EDUCATION OF A NEWBIE AUTHOR: LUNCHEON SPEAKER
9/16/2012 1:50:14 PM
Neophyte author attempts networking and (the dreaded) public speaking.
Stepping up to the podium felt like jumping into a chilly swimming pool. “Here goes nothing,” I thought.
I was pretty good at public speaking in high school. But I hadn’t done any since then. Now seventy-two people expected me to entertain them. I was scared spitless. (Cleaned that one up nicely, didn’t I? Besides, it’s accurate—dry mouth, ugh.)
A woman I met in aerobics class, Jan Abbott, is president of The Guild of Mercy Hospital Anderson. Jan was planning the Guild’s fall luncheon, and she’d read and enjoyed Incomplete Passes. She asked if I would speak at the affair, to be held at Cincinnati’s Hyde Park Country Club. “If I can’t do this,” I reasoned, “I don’t have any business trying to market a book.”
But as the date neared, I became increasingly nervous. When I vented to my friends, they offered two pieces of advice: “Start with a joke,” and “Be yourself.” Could I put the two together? Jan has said she especially enjoys my self-deprecating humor. (I love hanging with people who use words like “self-deprecating.”) So I tried it in my speech.
“I was really nervous about coming here today,” I began. “All my friends gave me the same advice: Be yourself. What? I don’t want to be myself. I want to be … J.K. Rowling!”
Aha, some laughs. I may get through this after all.
I’d grade myself B- or C+ on the speech. A passing grade, anyway. I had some trouble with the microphone. When I came in, it was on a stand on the lectern. But the speakers who preceded me held it in their hands. I didn’t want to take time to replace and adjust it, but I had trouble organizing my notes and bookmarked pages one-handed. That impeded the flow of my speech. Next time (if there is one), I’ll make the audience wait until I get the mic right. I’ll also make sure there is water within reach.
When I called for questions, I was surprised that people asked whether I knew Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr, rather than about the life of an author. I tried to keep my talk upbeat and funny, but now I wish I’d spoken less about my book and more about growing old with my friends and how precious is the time we spend together. My audience would have identified with that.
I guess I didn’t totally stink. I sold nine books, although eight purchases came before the talk and only one afterwards. But the organizers of the event talked about including Incomplete Passes in a gift basket they’re putting together. And they offered me a vendor booth at their October fundraiser.
Before the event, I hadn’t thought much about hospital guilds and what they do. I Googled this one and found a picture of my friend Jan presenting a check for $117,000 to a hospital spokesman, for the purchase of new equipment. I’ve been treated at that hospital, and I took their services for granted. I hadn’t considered who runs the gift shop or who holds fundraisers to improve the facility. These people do good work, hard work. It seemed appropriate to donate a portion of the money I’d made back to the Guild, and so I wrote Jan a modest check.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak to the Guild, and I hope more invitations will follow. This was a learning experience, and on balance, an enjoyable one. The adventure continues …
Post a Comment new!
More Blogs by Linda Lange
HALLOWEEN AS IT USED TO BE - Tuesday, October 29, 2013
IT'S HER BODY, BUT ... - Tuesday, October 22, 2013
ARE OLD LADIES CUTE? - Tuesday, October 01, 2013
NONE OF MY BUSINESS - Tuesday, September 24, 2013
TOM BROWNING SAVED MY LIFE - Tuesday, September 10, 2013
SOCIAL SECURITY? ME? - Saturday, August 17, 2013
THE TOUGHEST LOVE - Saturday, July 27, 2013
GET OVER IT? - Wednesday, July 17, 2013
EULOGY FOR A SUPPER CLUB - Tuesday, July 02, 2013
I DON'T LIKE TO SEE MY HEROES HURTING - Sunday, June 23, 2013
MEMORIES IN A BOTTLE - Sunday, June 09, 2013
CULTURE SHOCK IN A '13 CIVIC - Saturday, May 25, 2013
BAMBI GO HOME - Saturday, May 04, 2013
WHAT FAMILY DOES - Monday, April 29, 2013
THE TALK - Tuesday, April 09, 2013
I SAID "NO"! - Tuesday, April 02, 2013
BOOMER LIT - Tuesday, March 05, 2013
A PIECE OF MY LIFE, ON STAGE - Sunday, February 24, 2013
I MISS NEWSPAPERS! - Tuesday, February 12, 2013
SOMETHING TO HOLD ONTO - Tuesday, February 05, 2013
SNOW DAY - Sunday, January 27, 2013
KAEPERNICKING, OR YOU GOTTA HAVE A GIMMICK - Thursday, January 17, 2013
STILL SO INTO THIS - Monday, January 14, 2013
A NEW START FOR LILY AND ELLIE - Sunday, January 06, 2013
REFLECTING ON MY 2012 - Monday, December 31, 2012
HONEY, HAVE THE STEINBERGS PUT UP THEIR LIGHTS? - Thursday, December 20, 2012
REQUIEM FOR TWO SPORTS BARS - Saturday, December 08, 2012
THE YEAR WE WERE REALLY THANKFUL - Tuesday, November 20, 2012
MY CREATIVE FOUNTAIN IS A CHLORINATED POOL - Sunday, November 18, 2012
CIVIC DUTY? - Monday, November 05, 2012
FOOTBALL FASHION - Monday, October 29, 2012
GREEN TOMATOES - Sunday, October 21, 2012
THIS BIG ONE DOESN'T NECESSARILY BITE - Sunday, October 14, 2012
THE KNEECAP - Saturday, October 06, 2012
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN - Sunday, September 23, 2012
EDUCATION OF A NEWBIE AUTHOR: LUNCHEON SPEAKER - Sunday, September 16, 2012
A QUIET DINNER - Saturday, September 08, 2012
BATIK AND OLIVER COME HOME - Sunday, September 02, 2012
ARTSTREET AND HOMETOWN PRIDE - Thursday, August 30, 2012
OF FOOD, AND LOVE, AND LOVING FOOD - Sunday, August 19, 2012
NEW BABY/NO PETS? - Sunday, August 05, 2012
I HOPE I'LL KNOW - Sunday, July 29, 2012
CONFESSIONS OF AN INTERNET JUNKIE - Sunday, July 15, 2012
SECONDHAND SMOKE - Saturday, July 07, 2012
BAY BEACH MEMORIES - Monday, July 02, 2012
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, TITLE IX! - Sunday, June 24, 2012
THE CHAPTER MY HUSBAND MUSTN'T READ - Sunday, June 17, 2012
JUNE, MOON, BRIDES AND ALL THAT - Sunday, June 03, 2012
JESSE WHITTENTON RODE IN MY CAR - Thursday, May 24, 2012
THE PACKERS HERITAGE TRAIL AND ME - Sunday, May 20, 2012
THE HARDEST THING I'VE EVER HAD TO DO - Monday, May 14, 2012