One of the best ways authors can promote their message, sell a book, or market their brand is to utilize the power of the podium. Speak up, speak often. The opportunities are out there for speaking. How will you be an effective speaker and make the most of any opportunity to speak?
Here are 23 tips for authors who want to be better speakers:
1. No matter how big the room is or how large a viewership your screen reaches, the approach is the same: act as if you are talking one-on-one to an individual. That’s it. Focus on a single person. Have a conversation and be yourself.
2. Smile. Even laugh. Express yourself with your eyes, body language, energy, and passion in your voice. Show some emotion. Let them know you are not just an author or expert; you are a human being just like them. Acknowledge the crowd. Play off of their energy, if it is giving off a good vibe. Many don’t care so much about what you know until they see you care about them.
3. Speak from a glowing inside. Your radiance will shine from the outside. Emit warmth, speak with conviction, and act out of an authentic mindset.
4. Don’t overly rely on the strength of your presentation’s content quality. It is not just about what you say, but how you say it that inspires others to act. Of course you should have strong facts, interesting stories, some eye-opening stats, a famous few quotes, some jokes, and references to people and things in the news — but all of that gets diluted or lost if you don’t share it in a certain way.
5. Never appear to be scripted even if you are to a degree. Make sure you can see your notes and read your prompts. If you have multiple pages of notes, don’t clip or staple them. I don’t want to be distracted by seeing that. I don’t want a reminder that you are packaged like a machine. Avoid flipping pages. Never speak when looking down at your notes. When you are stiff, stilted, rushed, or low energy, you project zzzzzzzz.
6. Create a speaking sanctuary. This is your place where you can silently prepare, and even give yourself a pep talk. Visualize taking the stage and killing it.
7. Seek to make eye contact across the room at various people, but do not really fixate on any one person.
8. Make sure the first 100 words are not boring. Start off strong and invite others in for a special time.
9. Pause for drama and effect. Don’t rush through the most important or powerful stuff. Let your words sink in. Change the speed and cadence in which you speak. Alter your voice and its level of loudness. Know when to whisper for effect, shout condemnation, build momentum, and talk with emotion and attitude.
10. Have a clear take-away. Raise some good points but focus on a key theme, feeling, or idea that they need to be left with.
11. Brevity in an ADHD world rules. Nuff said.
12. Rehearse but don’t come off as staged. Record yourself practicing. Review it and be a harsh critic. Fix what needs improvement.
13. Drink water before you speak. Hit the bathroom before you go on. Then have water near by during your speech. Please, no alcohol or anything with caffeine.
14. Use language that is lively, current, and clean. Avoid industry jargon, words that people could find to be confusing, complicated, or offensive, or words coined just yesterday. Neither sound like a snotty, PC, woke, big-city elitist nor a conspiracy-minded, monkey IQ, militant stick hick. See, not so hard.
15. Stop mumbling, bumbling, stumbling over your words. Stop the ums, uhs, and likes. Consult a thesaurus — don’t overuse phrases or constantly repeat the same exact word.
16. Avoid distracting people with jingly coins, glittery jewelry, clothes that do not fit properly, or hats that seem out of place. Dress for the setting. How formal should you be? How casual? Women, you can be pretty without oozing sex. Men, show off your muscles at the gym, but not at the podium. You can be a strong visual aid— to your advantage or detriment.
17. Whatever you talk about, give examples. Create a visual. People need to feel what you feel and see what you see. Take us to where you are going.
18. Express yourself in soundbites. Be quotable and memorable. Headlines sell the newspaper. Subject lines get your emails opened. What will you say in a similar vane to pierce the cluttered minds and distracted souls of your viewers and listeners?
19. Don’t rush. Don’t linger. Just right.
20. Customize your presentation. Poll your audience to see what the majority knows, thinks, or does. This will guide you on what to emphasize or ignore.
21. Engage others with questions that you ask of them. Make them think a little. Ask them things they should ponder. If you want, let them share their answers.
22. If the situation permits, let people ask you questions. Lively discussions can correct any misunderstandings, fill in voids, and re-emphasize your strongest points.
23. Make the assumptive close. Ask for the sale. No, not ask: tell them what they should naturally feel they must do. Never forget why you are there. Sell the book, without apology. But only do so at the very end. Your whole speech is a tryout, an audition, a job interview. The wrap-up is the foregone conclusion. It is not a question of will you buy my book, but how many?
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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at [email protected] He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in helping thousands of authors in all genres.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a “best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: .