Do you dissect your presentations—break them up in order to offer some variety for your audiences? How can you make your presentations more interesting/entertaining? Here are a few ideas:
1: Make sure that the program chairperson/MC has your bio so he or she can introduce you properly—generally, who you are and your credentials, accomplishments with regard to your speech topic/book.
2: Prepare your own introduction—something different from what the MC presents. This might include a brief explanation as to what promoted you to write your book, a personal anecdote reflecting your background for writing this book or something interesting about the process of producing the book or of your affiliation with the topic of your book.
3: For a presentation designed to teach or inform, introduce 3 points related to your topic and flesh them out so everyone understands the concepts. If your intent is to entertain, do so using anecdotes and narrative. You might also use props or show slides.
4: Involve the audience. I sometimes ask early on, how many of them are writing a book, how many have produced a book, how many are thinking about writing a book. If it’s a more intimate setting, I may ask each person to describe their projects in 50 words or less. Sometimes I ask them to tell me what they hope to learn from my presentation. Then I can refer to audience comments and questions throughout my speech.
5: I mentioned using anecdotes. People love hearing real stories about others to whom they can relate. When I speak to audiences, I often share stories of some of my clients, people I meet at writers’ conferences and book festivals, etc. Of course I camouflage their identity.
6: Provide a question and answer period. Repeat audience questions before responding so no audience member feels left out. If it is a topic that probably no one else is interested in, give a brief response and then offer to talk to the person after the presentation. Very often, people will show up with their own agenda and attempt to use your time and energy toward resolving a personal issue that no one else can relate to.
I once had a gentleman show up in my book marketing seminar 4 minutes before it was to end. Of course, he heard no part of my presentation. But he boldly stands up, raises his book in the air and says, “I published a book, now how do I promote it?” Did he really expect me to respond to such a complex question in such a short time? That would be like asking someone to explain in 4 minutes or less how to raise a teenager or how to become a good cook.
I am open to questions about publishing and book promotion as well as the subject of giving presentations. Just email me at PLFry620@yahoo.com or leave your comment/question here. And don’t forget to sign up for your FREE ebooklet at my newest website, http://www.patriciafry.com