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Author Speaking Essentials
The benefits of speaking.

As authors, we often find ourselves locked away behind closed doors, working on our writing projects. This is all well and good but in order to see the fruits of our labors become successful, we need to open that closed door, step out into the light and share our story, our passion, our experience with others while we grow our craft. One of the best ways to do that is to seek out speaking opportunities. Some of us shun away from that thought, thinking we don’t have any words to speak out loud as we are writers, therefore it is necessary for us to take a deep breath, open the door and look out into the larger world.

The benefits of speaking are many. 

Speaking builds a platform—literally—that helps us to stand a few inches higher than our public where they can see us. It is an opportunity for us to tell our story, to talk about our passions and to present our credentials as writers. Now I’m not saying we have to have a lot of credentials like diplomas and such. Our credentials are what we’ve written, where we’ve been published and what we talk about in our stories.

Speaking gives us an opportunity to display and grow our brand. 

We want our expertise to become evident when people see us, hear us, read us and there is no better way to do this than to be there in person, to participate in current events, and to present our work in our own words.

Speaking helps sales. 

When we are there, in public, we are connecting with the people. These personal connections will help us increase our sales. We’ve connected with the people and soon referrals will begin to happen from those connections. Those connections will help us grow our income which, in the long run, will provide more free time to do what we love the most – W R I T E!

When we speak for an organization, be it for profit or for a non-profit, we receive their stamp of approval just by our being there and that is a huge one-up in the sales arena. They – the organization – are saying they approve of us and that is a great endorsement. 
Learn to enjoy speaking.

Make it a goal to give at least one speech a month – about what you do. Keep your speech short, timely—within the time limit the organization gives you—and on theme.

Meet more people.

Public speaking gives you an opportunity to meet more people and to learn about them. Once you’ve given your speech, and the questions and answers are over with, then hang around and visit with the people. ASK about them. Don’t make it all about yourself. ASK them what they do, what their name is, where they live, what their interests are. People love to talk about themselves and if you give them an opportunity to do so, they will. That creates a bond, and they will connect with you much more than if you were domineering the entire conversation. Look. Listen. Hear.

Speaking gives you an opportunity to help others.

Helping others is something that will bring blessings to you in the long run. Maybe there is someone in your audience that wants to do what you are doing. They will open up to you if given the opportunity and there may be a way you can help them to take the next step toward success. Reach out, don’t close in.

Obtaining speaking engagements is not an impossibility but it does start with you. Let those around you know you are open and available for doing public speaking. Ask who they know, what organizations – civic, spiritual, political – that have an opening for a public speaker. Now don’t make the mistake of thinking you can talk about your book at a political rally unless you’ve been invited to do that specifically. Stay on task, within the theme, and be respectful of those who have come to hear you. They may not know as much as you do about the given subject but there was a day when you didn’t know about it either, so give them the opportunity to learn through you.

Social  media can be your agent.

Social media can be your agent when it comes to finding places to speak. Reach out to your friends and acquaintances on social media—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, whatever media you are using—and let them know you are a public speaker, and you are available for speaking engagements. Tell them to contact you via IM.
Be prepared to ask and answer questions. If you are invited to speak somewhere, ask what is expected of you, the theme, the time limits, and the rewards. If it is a group that doesn’t have money to pay you, and it’s a dinner, then ask if you can bring your assistant along to help you. That will provide a free meal for both of you. Ask if you can have a book table at the back of the room and maybe a sign-up sheet for your emails. Weigh the details. If they are asking of you but not willing to give back by having at least one free guest or other things you’ve asked for, then maybe you don’t want to speak for this group. BUT, be nice. Remember, you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

Promotional material.

Do you have promotional material? If you do, make sure you’ll have the opportunity to hand it out, display it, or use it in some way. Maybe do a drawing and give away a copy of your book. IF there are people in the room with birthdays, maybe you could give them a copy of your book and do it very publicly. Think of ways you can interact with the people and do it. You are building your brand – make sure it is the brand you want to build.

Above all else, know we are here to help you with advice or whatever suggestions you might need. Remember... "We Make Publishing Easy!"

About the Authors: Daniel J. Mawhinney & Darlene Shortridge

Dan & Darlene have a passion and a heart for helping independent authors to successfully publish and market their stories worth telling and messages worth sharing.
40 Day Media LLC, PO Box 950794, Oklahoma City, OK 73195
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