1) Expanding my readership (large-readership submissions)
3) Public Speaking
I had some good info on expanding my readership (here), but didn’t quite get the results I was looking for regarding portfolios and public speaking. Instead of canceling my subscriptions to everyone’s blogs (and unfriending them on Facebook!), I decided to do some research. I gathered some good portfolio suggestions here. But that still left one area with unanswered questions…public speaking.
God bless the inventor of Google Alert.
If you ever wondered whether it’s worth it to specifically name authors/speakers/writers on your blog, then I encourage you to please do so now. If you visit my previous post about public speaking , you’ll notice that I mentioned Nancy Vogl – an award-winning author and public speaker.
Well, her Google Alert went off, and she sent me an email inviting me to go with her to her next presentation at a local school (where she’s going to talk with middle schoolers about writing). As a visual learner, this is an amazing opportunity for me – when I can see an example of what I need to do, it’s much more likely that I’ll be able to duplicate it.
So, lesson number one: name drop! You never know where it will lead.
But that’s not all. Nancy also took some time to answer a few questions about what it takes to start your speaking career! As promised, here is some more info on getting started (courtesy of Nancy Vogl):
How many different presentations do you have “up your sleeve?”
Several. Three based on my books (two are diversity presentations, the other is for single parents). I also have many stories of an inspirational/motivational nature, so I can create a presentation and frame it in a way that suits the clients with their themes.
How do you prepare your presentations?
I don’t prepare the way most speakers do. I rarely write out a speech, but will make an outline, noting the stories and points I want to make. If you know your material inside and out (and you should!), then it’s much easier to speak.
Do you practice before you speak at an event?
No. The best practice is to simply speak as much as you can. The more you do it, the better you will be each time. You also find out what works and what doesn’t.
How do you make contacts with organizations?*
It’s a lot of pounding the pavement. (She told me in an interview that when she makes personal contact with individuals they are more likely to call her back, so she hand delivers most of her promotional materials locally). I never promote myself to any organization that I’m not a perfect fit for. As I owned a nationwide speakers bureau for a number of years, I have a lot of experience promoting big name speakers and authors, but I do find it difficult to promote myself. I just keep working at it.
How do you set rates?
If you don’t set a rate, people won’t take you seriously. A modest honorarium is all you can expect in the beginning stages, maybe $50-100. Later on, as you become more well-know, your rates must be commensurate with your experience, your expertise, your marketing materials (which need to be up to snuff) and the marketplace.
If you’re looking for organizations you can join to help with this type of thing (come on, we all joined writers’ groups, why not speakers’ groups?), here are two of which I’m aware:
I hope this helps! Is there something I didn’t mention about which you’d like more info? Or do you have some other suggestions/ideas?
*Since this interview originally posted in 2010, Nancy has created her own speakers bureau. You can find it here!