However, many people don’t realize that I still get nervous giving presentations on my craft. It comes from the fact that I don’t always feel like an authority on the subjects I want to talk about. However, I realized I’ve worked on my writing since high school and have almost 20 years of experience under my belt. I just need some practice to boost my confidence and polish my presentation skills.
For this, I talked to a connection I have at Truman State University (from my years as a student) and arranged to give a presentation on publishing this past Monday. I was afraid, at first, that no one would show up. I was unsure how much interest there was on campus to hear about publishing from a newbie. However, the chance to connect with other writers on my favorite campus (sorry MWSU) was worth the 2.5 hours we drove (okay, my husband drove) to get there.
When we arrived, I was sad to see an empty room in the Student Union Building. Tom, my support, gave me some words of encouragement and helped me set up my PowerPoint presentation. He actually had to fix the projector screen for me, since I was too short to get it to work. As the clock on the wall moved quickly to high noon, four young ladies showed up and took a seat. Then, two more arrived and I was elated to have an audience.
I gave my presentation and left plenty of time for questions. Time went by quickly. My nerves were gone by the end of it and I felt like I could talk for another hour or two if I had the chance. The young ladies (yes, there were no men in attendance) asked great questions and they were really interested in what I had to say.
To top it all off, I arranged a book signing at the bookstore and was quite surprised to sell three books. One of them to a past professor of mine in the Communication department. It was nice to chat with him and reconnect with someone still there. This kind of networking is vital to keep a current connection with my alma mater.
No matter if you are an extrovert or an introvert, being able to communicate effectively about your craft is key to making connections and building your brand. You have to continue to practice and stretch yourself as a speaker just as much as you need to as a writer.
So, keep on working on your craft and don’t be afraid to try new things. Get out there and talk about what you are working on and your accomplishes. No one can sell your work as well as you can.