Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Is public speaking fun?



By W. S. Gager
 I thought I would continue with Beryl Reichenberg’s  post from Sunday about the class she did and how you always learn from each one you do. I enjoy doing public speaking appearances. And, no, I’m not crazy. Even when I try, no presentation is ever exactly like another.

My favorite presentations are with seventh graders. It is part of an enrichment segment for students who are interested in writing at Vandercook Lake Schools. I usually go a couple times a year to talk to students. I have an hour to discuss what makes good characters and how to describe them without telling. I use some crazy hats that students get to wear and we talk about what the characters would be like wearing it. Then we tip it, turn it or in some way adjust it and what does that say about the character. The energy and creativity is awesome and always makes for a great start to the day. (These presentations start at 7:45 a.m.)

This is Joey from A Case of Infatuation.
I also do presentations with adults but those are more difficult to get. I have teamed with the writers in my critic group to do some speaking in the area. We will be the first author speakers at a newly-expanded library in Newaygo, MI, next Wednesday. We have another set at the Artsplace in Fremont, MI on Aug. 1. For each one we have picked a different topic to discuss and we write in different genres and formats. to provide a variety of information. There will be four of us and because we are together, hopefully we will get a bigger turnout.

Being prepared is the biggest thing to make you feel comfortable standing in front of people, but that being said, you can’t be rigid. You have to be able to flow with questions that may take the discussion in another direction. Sometimes the things you think will be successful aren’t and you have to quickly regroup. Just don’t panic. Pause, and take a look at your notes. To you that time seems very long but your audience doesn’t even realize it. When you are taking about something you are passionate about, you will be entertaining and your audience will love you. If they love you, they will buy your books. Everyone wins!


Award winning mystery author W.S. Gager has lived in Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman's golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn't adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted with her life and that was to write mystery novels. Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter always on the hunt for the next Pulitzer and won't let anyone stop him. Her third book, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, was a finalist in the 2012 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS is the latest in the Mitch series.
 

9 comments:

WS Gager said...

What I forgot to mention was just because I enjoy public speaking, doesn't mean I don't get nervous at every event. The nerves just help sharpen my response time, I think!
Wendy

Beryl Reichenberg said...

I loved the idea of different hats; engaging your audience is the key to a successful presentation. We all get nervous, but I find that once I start, the "talk" takes over. Then I just go with the flow. Beryl

WS Gager said...

Thanks Beryl! We should do a presentation together one day soon!
Wendy

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Ok. I'd love to. Email me at beryl@charter.net. Beryl

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

That was a great post, Wendy.

WS Gager said...

Thanks Marilyn!
Wendy

Anurag Aggarwal said...

The entire post is so well written and I really liked the idea of different hats. Really good one.

Amparo said...

This is cool!

WS Gager said...

Thank you, Amparo! I have a great time doing the hats with people!
Wendy