Wednesday, October 5, 2011


If you read my post last week, you know that I gave a talk. It wasn't very stressful, mainly because my audience was tiny and I felt I was just sitting in a room talking, not actually "giving a speech". (I like the quotes that way, OK? OK?)

However, I'm slated to give a longer speech, and to more people--tomorrow! Yikes! Why do I say I'll do these things? For some reason, I think I'm supposed to, that giving talks makes me a better (stronger?) person. Face your fears, right?

In this case, because I was asked and it was so flattering that I couldn't say no. It's a talk I gave over a year ago, updated. The person who asked, me, Sylvia Dickey Smith, heard the first version and must not have thought it stunk that bad. The truth is, my delivery is not the best. My paralyzing fear prevents me from being natural. Or it did the last time I gave this talk. It's about getting your name known as a writer, by the way. So much has changed with social media and publishing that I had to update it significantly!

In the months since I gave this (almost) same talk, I have done a few public appearances and hope I'm better at it now. After all, I've done a radio interview. I've also sat on a dais in front of many people on panels at conferences, but in those cases, I draw strength from the numbers sitting at the table with me. I'm going to pretend I'm at a conference, at one of those tables. Or maybe that I'm at the talk I gave last week with three people listening intently.

These two posts have helped a lot and I'll link you to them in case you're giving a talk soon. Ramona DeFelice Long, who has no trouble getting in front of people, gave tips for the performance author on the Sisters in Crime blog, Parts One and Two.

These were just in time for me! I hope they help some other people, too.

If you belong to the San Gabriel Writers' League, I'll see you tomorrow at the library in Georgetown!

Painting: Stump Speaking by George Caleb Bingham, public domain from wikimedia


  1. Will you be in G'town tomorrow, Ricky? :)

  2. Sorry, no, but I'll cheer you on anyway!

  3. Good luck! I speak in public quite a bit, since I facilitate meetings and also conduct trainings. Keep your notes handy - that's the easiest way to do it!

  4. Thanks, Margy! It went well and some people said they couldn't tell I was nervous. There were a couple of people in the audience who smiled and nodded. Bless them! They all laughed at my jokes, too, which was nice.

    AND, I sold some books!