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How to Ace a Speaking Engagement


Although some writers may cringe at the idea of having to speak in front of a crowd, it’s one of the most important ways authors can market their book. Public speaking may seem intimidating, but with the right preparation, the process can be painless:

Embrace any opportunities you have to speak to a group. If you write fiction, you may be asked to read excerpts or make speeches at book-signing events. If you’re a nonfiction writer, you may be invited to speak at gatherings pertinent to your topic of expertise. Book authors are required to speak constantly when they’re on tour. Even if the only crowd you ever address is your local writers’ group, knowing what you might face at your first speaking gig can relieve some of the tension you may be feeling.

The first thing you should do is research your audience. Knowing who you’re addressing can help you tailor your presentation. Also, never write out your speech word for word. Limit yourself to an outline as it will make you sound less rehearsed.

For more speaking tips, including how to structure your presentation, read: 5 Tips on Nailing Your First Speaking Gig.

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