The first thing my publicist Kim Plumley had me do was join toastmasters. It’s been a couple months of meetings and all I can say, is that she was SO right. Even though I’m still a beginner, the simple practice of public speaking has really helped me in all sort of social situations.
Just over a year ago I attended an outdoor church event where I was elected to talk with a lot of different people. There was so much going on and so many strangers to meet that I was totally overwhelmed. I actually had a bit of a breakdown and cried a bit. My husband saved me that day. Seeing that I was in trouble, he took me for a walk to get some tea and visit my favorite used bookshop.
Today, I’m doing a lot better. I’m becoming steadily more comfortable being in the public eye… I didn’t even freak out too much shooting a feature on my book for shaw TV. I can’t really remember just what it was that I said in the interview, but I’m left with this warm fuzzy impression that it wasn’t TOO bad. 🙂
So yeah, the reason that I even bring this all up, is that if you are a writer like me, chances are you’re more the solitary bookworm type… And you could probably use some help with public speaking. I highly recommend toastmasters, it will help you with more than speeches. To sell your book, you’re most likely going to have to give a fast confident verbal pitch to an agent and/or and editor eventually.
Something else that has helped me in this area is belonging to a critique group. My fellow WIP members have always been helpful and supportive. A writing group is the perfect way to practice your verbal pitches without too much heart-pounding pressure. :p
Hope that this helps/inspires you!
PS The Shaw interview will air sometime at the end of this month… And I’ll post a link on this blog.