The format was for me to give a talk to the group first, followed by a Q&A section.
I always like to be really well-prepared when I give a talk—well, actually, I just like to be well-prepared for everything. In the past, this has meant that I put everything on note cards. While I didn’t read off the note cards (because that would be incredibly boring for everyone in attendance), I’ve always memorized my cards.
This time I used a great tip that I came across recently (and I wish I remembered where I read it.) This time I still had my paper with me, but I had a list of questions on it. Questions that I, of course, knew the answers to.
If you ask a list of questions, then answer them, your speech will sound more natural and relaxed. And—you still have a paper to go off of in case you lose your way.
So instead of note cards that detail what I’m going to say, my paper would say:
When did you start writing books? Why did you choose mysteries to write? How did you find your first publisher? When is your next release? That kind of thing. It worked out really well because I stayed on track but sounded more casual because my speech was less-rehearsed.
Have you got any public speaking tips? I’m always looking for new ways to improve because public speaking definitely doesn’t come naturally to me. :)