Dale Carnegie once said that there is nothing sweeter than the sound of your own name. I beg to differ. I have always loved the sound of my own voice, especially when accompanied by audience applause, or the rapt attention of people wanting to hear more.
So, with great arrogance–er–confidence, I have signed up for a few speaking engagements. It’s probably something similar to the person who watches a bunch of baseball on television and decides to try out for the San Fransisco Giants. I’ve heard innumerable speakers before. I talk to myself in the car all the time (truly grateful for those invisible headsets–no one knows I’m not on the phone). I have subject expertise because I’ve read so many books on writing. Thing is, now that the irons I put in the fire are paying off, I now actually have to perform–YIKES!
Luckily, there is a Toastmasters about 5 minutes away and I’ll join them tomorrow to see if I fit in with this group. Have I told you how much I love Littleton? I’ve also spoken to groups before, so I’m not particularly frightened. My big concern is offering value for the time people spend with me.
Would you like to help? Even though I’ve outlined these projects, I’m always afraid I’ll disappoint people. I don’t want someone walking away saying, “I could have done that talk better than that goofy Liesa.” Here are my speeches, and a little about them. If you have a “be sure to mention” kind of comment, I’d appreciate hearing from you. I’m also open to general advice about public speaking (and guess what–Yep, I bought another book, It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It).
SPEECH 1 — WORDS MATTER
I will be talking with a group from the Colorado Talking Library in June. This group consists of people who are visually or otherwise challenged with regard to reading. My first book, Faith on the Rocks, is a part of this library, so someone went to the trouble of recording the book for these very special readers. While I realize that reading is more difficult for them, I passionately believe that the words we use can be combined in such a way as to inspire, educate, entertain, or inform, and I hope to show this through examples of great words in my life experience.
SPEECH 2 — WORKSHOP ON THE GOOD, BAD, & UGLY OF NON-HUMAN CHARACTERS
Okay, this is more of a workshop than a speech, and I’ll be working with the great Robin Owens to present on the topic. I, of course, am enthralled with animals–dogs, cats, elephants, etc., but in today’s world of fantasy and horror, Robin brings the depth of paranormal into the picture. We’re planning to cover everything from Fido to Dracula, ghosts to goldfish and how to write them well in the books we’re working on. My personal no-no is when an author uses a pet on the cover of his/her book, and then hardly mentions the pet inside. Grrr! We’re going to explore better ways to use animal characters in good writing. This workshop will be given as part of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s Colorado Gold conference in September.
SPEECH 3 – AUTHOR PLATFORM 101
I may have mentioned this talk before. It will also be given at Colorado Gold. Right now I’m looking for ways to bribe the audience into liking what I say (yes, I can be shameless in my presentations, and have been known to throw out bite-sized candies in order to improve audience participation). Anyway, a bit on the scary side is that I will NOT be 100% focused on social media expertise, but will be going back to what I feel are the true foundations of a successful platform–know your product (or in this case, yourself)–know your market (who actually reads the kind of stories you write)–know what you want (what does success look and feel like). I think this is a great topic, but I’m worried that people are so tech-dependent that they won’t care for the real work that must be done in building a solid industry reputation.
What do you think? Would you be interested in hearing these presentations?
Wishing you a great writing week.