Thursday, May 21, 2015

LIFE IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Take 1 by Kim Briggs

As writers, we constantly work on our craft. We attend workshops where we dig into the heart and soul of our novels. We zip through writing exercises at home to ensure we yank our readers into our gripping tale. We read books, lots of them. We spend hours upon hours upon hours writing and revising.

But what happens once our book goes to publication? Sure, our royalty checks will keep us living on chocolate bars and chai lattes for the next few weeks, or if we sell enough copies, months, but unless you're J.K. Rowling or James Patterson, you need to take your show on the road.

You'll make your rounds at the local schools and libraries. Then your circle will grow and you'll drive a little further or you'll fly. You'll hit the book tour circuit, signing books for all your adoring fans. You might even get invited to speak at a conference. First, you'll think JACKPOT! Then, you'll think...OH NO, WHAT DID I DO?    

Because now, you're in the spotlight...

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Do you run, do you hide, 
do you rescind your acceptance?
NO, you swallow the lump in your throat, 
you shake out your jitters 
and you find a way to make your 
Presentation the best it can be.   




But how?

If there's time, attend The Highlights Foundation: Life in the Spotlight Workshop with Peter Jacobi. Peter is the Master, the Guru, the King of Public Speaking and he will help you develop your Presentation Craft--because that's what it is. 

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We don't think about our skills as a presentator and that's WRONG. We disservice ourselves and our audience. No one wins. But if we develop our Presentation Craft, we will all be WINNERS!

If you can't attend Life in the Spotlight before your Big Event, here's some QUICK tips: 

REMEMBER THE CROWD WANTS YOU TO SUCCEED. They do. They REALLY do. Use their energy to keep yours up.

BE IN THE MOMENT. Sounds like a no brainer, but it's not, at least not for me. I often think about what comes next. Blame it on A.D.D. Blame it on a long line of hyperactive women, but I might hurry through a passage or I might worry the crowd isn't interested in what I'm reading or I might think about that chocolate bar waiting for me back in my room. DON'T. Be in the Moment. Read each word as if it is the most important word you've ever read. 

ACT NATURAL. Be yourself. YOU were asked to present because people want to hear what you have to say. 

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.  You wrote this brilliant, amazing, inspiring speech. Now it's time to practice it over and over again. Record yourself. You'll be surprised what you see, (Shocked probably), but don't run and hide. Now that you've seen and heard that you read too fast or you stumbled over a passage or you forgot to look at your audience or you read in a quiet, monotone voice that bored even you, you can practice and practice until you get it right. You WILL. I KNOW you will. 

And once your speech is over and the applause dies down, Go to Highlights Foundation  http://www.highlightsfoundation.org and Sign up for next year's workshop because you nailed your presentation, but you can always do better and don't your fans deserve it? 

I plan to write a number of blog posts discussing the Presentation Craft. Sign up for emails so you don't miss anything!

You work on the craft of writing everyday. Now it's time to develop your Presentation Craft. 

Write on,
Kim Briggs