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Public Speaking for Writers

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David Keener, an experienced public speaker, conference organizer and writer, will lead a workshop on public speaking for writers. In today’s publishing world, simply writing a story isn’t enough – you also need to get up in front of an audience and promote yourself. In this workshop, you’ll learn techniques to be a dynamic speaker. You’ll learn how to apply these techniques to be an effective panelist at conventions, whether as a moderator or as a participant. You’ll also learn to describe your fiction in succinct sound bites designed to intrigue potential readers.

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Public Speaking for Writers

  1. 1. The brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops unBl you stand up and speak in public. A Workshop by Capclave: October 12, 2014 -­‐ Anonymous
  2. 2. Agenda Introduc)on • Who am I? • Public Speaking Secrets 1: Talking Up Your Work • Exercise: WriBng • Public Speaking Basics • Exercise: Speaking 2: The Dreaded Panel • Panelist How-­‐To • Moderator How-­‐To • Exercise: Panel Prep • Exercise: Mock Panel Wrap-­‐Up Ques)ons/Next Steps
  3. 3. Who Am I? • Public speaker since 2007 • Runs technical conferences -­‐ RubyNaBon, DevIgniBon, NaBonJS, Toastmasters • SF/Fantasy Writer
  4. 4. Why Speak in Public? I’m a Writer…why do I need to worry about public speaking?
  5. 5. Why Speak in Public? I’m a Writer…why do I need to worry about public speaking? Answer: At some point, you need to be able to tell people about your work.
  6. 6. Pop Quiz
  7. 7. Who is This Man?
  8. 8. Answer: Mark Twain
  9. 9. This Famous Celebrity was a… a. Literary Writer b. SF Writer c. Self-­‐Published Writer d. Small Press Owner e. World-­‐Renowned Public Speaker f. All of the Above g. Only a, b and e
  10. 10. This Famous Celebrity was a… a. Literary Writer b. SF Writer c. Self-­‐Published Writer d. Small Press Owner e. World-­‐Renowned Public Speaker f. All of the Above g. Only a, b and e
  11. 11. Writers Are Like Baby Speakers • You can craZ a message that makes sense • You can create sound bites • You have something you’re passionate about • You have SOMETHING to say You just haven’t pracBced speaking in public…
  12. 12. PreparaBon PreparaBon lets you… • Organize your thoughts in advance • Start out with confidence • Ensures you have a roadmap to follow You’re WRITERS…you do PreparaBon for FUN
  13. 13. Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life. -­‐ Anonymous
  14. 14. Mark Twain Prepared He was noted for his seemingly effortless, off-­‐ the-­‐cuff speaking style. • He prepared RELENTLESSLY • Designed his speeches as frameworks • CraZed flexible modules • Could alter speeches on-­‐the-­‐fly by swapping modules
  15. 15. Failing to prepare is the same as preparing to fail. -­‐ Ben Franklin
  16. 16. The Secret About Audiences
  17. 17. The Secret About Audiences I have never seen a hosBle audience! Audiences self-­‐select according to their interests.
  18. 18. You Have What It Takes • You understand the power of words • You know how to prepare • You have no need to fear the audience The rest is just learning a few skills…
  19. 19. A CauBonary Tale (or, Dave Fails Badly Because He Didn’t Think Ahead) • Met Tom Doyle -­‐ Prior to a reading • Had a private conversaBon • MenBoned I was a writer • He asked about my story …and I had…nothing
  20. 20. Story Elevator Pitch • Start out strong • Be authenBc (no outlandish claims) • Keep it conversaBonal • No selling • Keep it short, short, short: < 100 words It’s a winner if the recipient expresses interest…
  21. 21. Mine: 68 Words (40 seconds) Somebody once said: “Our enemies define us.” My story starts with a 9-­‐year-­‐old homeless girl raised on the streets of a grim fantasy city by her older sister. When her sister is killed by the Nazi-­‐like cult that is steadily taking over the kingdom, she vows to get even. She’s so overmatched by her enemy, she has no choice but to become extraordinary. Anything less is unacceptable.
  22. 22. WriBng Exercise Write an Elevator Pitch for your story… • Sum up your story • DO NOT GIVE THE PLOT AWAY • Hook me so I want to know more • 10 minutes to write • 100 words MAX
  23. 23. Basic Speaking Tips • Look at the audience -­‐ Make it clear you’re engaging everybody • Be bold -­‐ Life is too short to be boring -­‐ If you’re gonna fail, go big • Speak to the person in the back row -­‐ You’re NEVER too loud
  24. 24. Speaking Exercise Tell us your Story Elevator Pitch… • Come up to the “stage” • Give us your Story Elevator Pitch • You Have 1 minute • Then We CriBque
  25. 25. Selling This is what lots of people think: • It’s all about selling • MenBon your book every Bme you can Let’s look at the economics…
  26. 26. ConnecBon • Impress the audience • Let the audience know you care -­‐ Care enough to prepare -­‐ Care enough to pracBce -­‐ Trying to give value for their Bme • Be yourself -­‐ Give ‘em an idea of who you are -­‐ Let them see your passion
  27. 27. If You Really Connect… • They will talk about you • They may check out your web site • They MAY buy something -­‐ Remember the “7 Times” rule • You have a chance at a TRUE FAN
  28. 28. Guess the Author • Published 1920’s and 1930’s • Died in 1935 • Fans kept the author’s work alive • Republished starBng in mid-­‐60’s -­‐ Famous covers by Frank Frazera • Works have been made into: -­‐ At least 5 movies, 3 TV series, comics, etc.
  29. 29. • Published Guess the Author 1920’s and 1930’s • Died in 1935 • Fans kept the author’s work alive • Republished starBng in mid-­‐60’s -­‐ Famous covers by Frank Frazera • Works have been made into: Robert E. Howard -­‐ At least 5 movies, 3 TV series, comics, etc.
  30. 30. Panels Are Hard • It’s easy to do a decent panel • It’s very difficult to do a great panel InformaBve Entertaining “CreaBng Religions for Your Secondary World Fantasy”
  31. 31. Panel Prep Exercise As a team, you have 10 minutes to develop a panel with: • Title • One Sentence DescripBon • Three QuesBons • Pick a Moderator
  32. 32. Panelist Tips • PreparaBon -­‐ Make sure you have something to say • Be Yourself • Be PosiBve -­‐ Respecuul disagreement is OK • Don’t Build a “Wall of Books” • Don’t hog the Spotlight
  33. 33. Moderator Tips • Prepare (at least a list of quesBons) -­‐ The quesBons are a GUIDE • Keep the flow going -­‐ Make sure the panel provides value • When in doubt, err towards entertainment • Let your panelists introduce themselves • Leave Bme for QuesBons -­‐ Let the audience be part of the magic
  34. 34. Mock Panel Exercise Run your panel for 5 minutes… • Moderators, run your panel • Skip the intros (due to Bme) • Make sure everybody gets to speak
  35. 35. Key Points • You’re writers, you bend words to your will • PreparaBon, preparaBon, preparaBon • Be yourself, be genuine The audience wants to hear you. Give them something worth hearing.
  36. 36. QuesBons David Keener Email: dkeener@dkeener.org Web: www.davidkeener.org Facebook: facebook.com/dkeener2010 Twirer: @keenersaurus

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