Monday, July 29, 2013

Presenting As An Author

At some point in an authors career there comes the question of presenting. There are various forums at which an author can get involved to present, speak, or otherwise make an appearance: writer conferences, book festivals, bookstore promotions, school visits, national/regional/community events. For most of these occasions, an author needs to submit a presentation idea or outline.

But of course, this process begs the subsequent question: Are you, or will you be, ready to put yourself out there as an expert/one who knows a certain subject well enough to teach it?

The answer must be a resounding yes. Whether or not you consider yourself an "expert," or a fascinating public speaker, or some other kind of special person anyone would like to learn from is beside the point. You must do it! Or at least most of us must do it--some lucky B-words don't have to and still find amazing success. But whatever.

Here are some examples of authors who have built successful author platforms in part because of great presentations:
  • Elana Johnson's Killer Query Workshops - Elana is amazing when it comes to queries and everyone who has ever met her knows it. She is pretty much the query guru on the west coast and is constantly being asked to teach her query class at various events.
  • Dan Well's Story Structure Presentation - This series of presentations on story structure has gone viral and its all because how incredibly helpful it is to authors.
  • J. Scott Savage's Tour Schedule - This guy is an animal when it comes to school visits. He knows his audience and has found great success in presenting to them directly.
Those are just a few examples, but there are a plethora more. So now the challenge is for you and I to find our groundbreaking, super-helpful, amazing presentations. I have already committed to appearing at two events in the near future and am preparing to offer presentation ideas at two more.

Got any ideas for me? Any for yourself that I can steal?

16 comments:

  1. I just won't do microphones. Not yet. I think it's wise to know your limits and stick to them.

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  2. Eeek what a horrible thought! I hate public speaking. In fact, I'd probably find a way to make my social anxiety into a public speaking schtick. It's so common and I've actually found my voice through writing (and blogging). I'd also incorporate how living abroad has influenced my writing. You could talk about using your expertise in other fields (like law!) in your writing :)

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  3. Very cool Jessie! What type of presentations are you doing? You'll do great!

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    1. Storymakers 2014 and the Las Vegas Valley Book Festival. :) you'll be at both, right?

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  4. I think it's funny (and terrifying) that quiet introverted writers are expected to do a lot of public speaking. I'm sure I'll do it, but I'm not thrilled about it. Good luck!

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  5. The idea of it terrifies me. I'll do it if the need ever arises but I'll probably be sick to my stomach.

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  6. Even though I'm an attorney, that part scares me. And makes me wonder if I'm really an author. The online ones would be easier for me. Good luck when you present and share your tips!

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  7. Nice post and I'm both excited and curious about doing my own.

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  8. OOH! I hope you'll be presenting at something I can attend! You'll be amazing. Super expert J-Hump! WHOOT! (Can I call you that? Cuz I like it!) :) Wish I had some awesome ideas for you - but I know you're brilliant and will ROCK whatever you do!

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  9. I'm so intimidated by these guys! I know Elana and her awesome query mad skilz. I guess I should be thinking about this stuff too. Well, maybe tomorrow. :)

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  10. It's all about making yourself an expert at whatever subject you choose to present on. Which is probably why we all should do it...

    And probably why preparing presentations takes so freaking long...

    I'm excited you are going to do them! I can't wait to see you present. And I'll probably follow in Shelly Brown's shoes and text you during your presentation. :D

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  11. We must've been on the same wavelength this week! :)

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  12. You'll do awesome. Can I throw popcorn at you? ;)

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  13. wow! you go get em girl!
    start with a joke! break the ice. laughter will warm you up!

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  14. Just the thought of doing presentations like this makes me a little nervous, so kudos to you for stepping up. Good luck with your preparations, and may you wow every crowd.

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