This is a reblogged post. I merely added my comments at the bottom.
I deleted the reblogged post and decided to talk to you all from my own experiences.
- It’s always best if possible to already be in place when the audience arrive.I know some wait until the audience arrive to stand before them. But it’s best to be already seated when your host make the introduction. I know it’s terrifying but smile. Remember, each audience is going to be different. Watch your audience’s body movements as they come in to get a feel for the overtone needed to be taken. A small group is different from a large group.
- When your appointed speaking time arrive that’s when you rise and welcome your audience. Introduce yourself again and your work. Don’t go into a long story about your wife, husband and kids, cats and dogs, grandkids unless asked questions pertaining them or they are relevant to the book. These people are serious readers not your Facebook friends. They don’t want to know all that. They came to learn about the book not to hear how much you love your husband or wife or honey. This is not the Internet. This is real life. Too much talk about the spouse or insignificant other sends a fluffy feeling to readers and the readers start to feel you can’t do anything without the other person being there. Stand firmly on your own merit. They want to listen someone who knows what they are talking about and can go to steps without saying something about her husband or wife. You’re in love with that person. Your audience is not. They couldn’t care less. They wants to know what’s on those pages.
- Tell stories from your book. Remember, this is all about you and your books. Talk to them and don’t pitch to them to buy your book. Some authors read to their audiences. Well, I don’t because people feel if you wrote it then why do you need to read it? You should ready know what it says. But each people has their own way but I tell my audience what the character said or did and have occasionally acted it out.
- Keep watch on the time. Sometime another author is due to speak after you. Leave yourself enough space for questions. If you don’t have enough time to answer them all give out business cards but always try to answer as many as possible. But never leave before your audience. That’s bad manners.
The post below are my comments to the deleted post.
Whomever this crowd is I hope to never encounter them. LOL! For I am often nervous when speaking to a crowd of people I don’t know from Adam and Eve. Sometimes I calm myself by remembering my days from school drama when I acted before a live audience and oftentimes my siblings were in the audience making faces so I didn’t look at my family or my siblings would make me laugh and forget my lines.
I probably do say, “Uh, or Er,” a few times, I don’t know but thanks goodness the people I’ve encountered so far aren’t malicious barracudas. From my experience in living a life and encountering people from all walks of it: anyone who can conduct all these things expertly are quite a gifted liar. Nervousness doesn’t always constitute lying and anyone who thinks so haven’t experienced life enough to be an accurate judge of behaviorism. It’s being human. Some of the smoothest liars can look you dead in the face and smile ever so charmingly and lie their fanny off. I am leery of people who don’t display any of the traits above said not to display than I’m of those who do. Who ever heard of a con-artists using any of these words said not to use. They don’t. Their perfect pitch and overt of emotions are what ‘could’ send an alarm off in people’s head but sadly it doesn’t.
Again, from my experience, (yes, I speak from experience because that’s all I have to go on and life itself, is the greatest teacher.) the audience if they seriously came to listen to you tell them about your book. They give you time to get your flow of rhythm going. They aren’t expecting you to be a politician or motivational speaker. (But no, you can’t fumble and mumble through the entire presentation anymore than you would if you are at a job giving one.) If you start sounding like sales pitch, or a motivational speaker a lot of readers will lose interest. They feel you are pitching to them, not talking to them and they want to feel they can make up their own minds in rather or not to buy your book. They want you to tell them about your book. Talk to them about it like you would a friend. Joke, or act out scenes from your books, I find this works well to give your audience a better understanding of you and your work. Answer their questions and most readers are fine. Most I have encountered aren’t trying to trip you up in anything. Most do not ask questions about your personal life. I really don’t think they care. Maybe there are some out there who care about these kinds of things but I haven’t encountered them yet.
I agree one hundred percent, always have your facts together before stepping before an audience. And if your work is fictional but based upon a real person tell them so. Tell them the historical facts first about the person and then tell them your version of history. Some input what they know about the subject. There’s no way one person can know everything there’s to know about a subject. Be willing to listen. Your audience can be a value source of information.
I’ve even heard Barack Obama, one of the greatest orators of our time used,”Er” and “You know,” a few times but the man said he would pull the country back from the brink of a Great Depression and he did. He kept the whole world’s economy from going down into the sinkhole that the US economy was pulling it into.
Abraham Lincoln said a lot of “Uh” in the reedy recording of the “Gettysburg Address.” It was hard not to be emotional dedicating thousands of dead soldiers to their final resting place. People would have thought him to be very cold hearted had not he shown emotions and wondered what was wrong with him? In the recording at the Smithsonian, Lincoln’s voice is not as we often imaged it. It has an Appalachian twang but by gosh! By the time he finished he’s thundering and the twang is gone. So, I have to disagree with some of the assessments.
So, I think speaking is a lot like writing. One must develop their own style of presenting their work and remember critics are going to look for reasons to criticize no matter what style of speaking you use. You can speak long and vocal as “Mussolini on the Balcony” and they’ll still find fault. My advice on public speaking about your book, your greatest asset is your confident. Let it shine through and if you believe in it then others will too.