The other day, Sarah Davies from Greenhouse mentioned it was critical for every author to be sure they learn to speak well. The way you speak and present yourself in public is part of your brand. Are you funny? Engaging? How do you look? It is all a part of the brand image you are building.
For example: for me when I speak, I try to be organized in though but flexible, informative but engaging, funny, yet relaxed. I usually wear jeans when I speak - not trashy ones but I don't wear a suit or business attire. I want to be approachable. That is all a part of my brand.
Here are a few resources to begin learning speaking skills. Everyone can get a head start.
- Toastmasters- International organization to help people overcome public speaking fears and speak more effectively.
- SpeechSkills - help you achieve the impact you want to have on your audience.
- Be passionate.
- Be enthusiastic.
- Be natural.
- Let your body language and/or voice reflect your personality.
- Be there to genuinely teach the audience something
- Dress well
My Unlucky Charms
Yesterday, I definitely had a lucky day.
After getting a lucky email on being a Quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel award (which BTW I am so glad it is not called the "This is a good read" award. Sounds much more dramatic with Breakthrough Novel! :)
All day, I celebrated how lucky I was to have my life, my family, and my friends.
Then, being the pessimist and sarcastic gal that I am, I started thinking of all the unlucky things that have happened to me that turned out to be lucky.
Here are just a few:
Should your proportions be small?
- Unlucky - When I was 3 - 12, I was a competing gymnast which made my shoulders develop to be quiet broad.
- Lucky - But now, no matter how big my mid-section gets, my waist always looks thin b/c my shoulders are so broad!
Out on the Streets
- Unlucky - When I was about 10ish. I got dragged by a dog when I started my own dog-walking gig for the ONE dog that lived on our street. It was a huge sheepdog and I got dragged down the street on my face. A scab on my lip made me look like Hitler - at least that is what the kids said in my class.
- Lucky - Now I know not to wrap my hand up in a leash and not to buy a sheep dog. Also I vowed to never be a dog walker.
Moons should probably stay in the sky
- Unlucky - When I was about 11 and went to horse camp, I mooned a car. It so happened to be the camp director.
- Lucky - I learned how to deep clean a horse stall and did not become a stripper due to the total humiliation.
Clean-up on aisle 9
- Unlucky - When I was 15 my dad made me work at the local Kroger to make my own money. Kids laughed at me as I bagged groceries for their moms.
- Lucky - Today, I am very aware of the changes in grocery prices. And I always let the person at the end bag my groceries so they feel included and useful.
Vans are all that!
- Unlucky - my dad made me drive his huge Chevrolet Van as my first car. It was blue and white and had an airbrushed sign from Panama City, FL that said, USS Johannes.
- Lucky - Lots of lessons here. 1) all the cheerleaders could fit in my car. 2) When I hit a mailbox, there were no dents (at least not in my car. Mailbox? Not so lucky.), and 3) I am a dang good parallel parker today because of it. Oh yeah - and I learned that being cool - is all in the attitude.
Don't drink and cheer.
- Unlucky - When I was a senior in high school, I along with a few other cheerleaders each drank one beer before a game and....of course...got caught. How were we caught you ask? To make a long story short - I was the only one who told the truth in the Principal's office. We were suspended for 3 days and kicked off the squad right before Homecoming. Total despair at the time.
- Lucky - Now I realize, honesty is not always the best policy but all you have in life is your intergrity:) Ok so that was a canned answer. I realized that one beer was not worth it - I should have gone for 6. Oh yeah, I also learned not to drink and cheer.
A broken heart
- Unlucky - after 10 years and living with my colleg sweetheart who also happend to be my crush in 6th grade - the guy (who we can call - "Mr Jerky Pants" for fun) - called off the wedding 2 weeks before the date (and yes that was after after all the bridal showers had happened, all my money was put down, and the gifts received/open and some even used....by him! Can I get a collective groan from the peanut gallery?)
- Lucky - I met my husband 9 months later and am the luckiest wifey in the world (trust me he has it made too ;)
A job is not everything
- Unlucky - When I worked as a VP at a bank, I lost my job due to a weasel attack during a political windstorm.
- Lucky - I decided I wanted to be a writer and started my own marketing biz. More importantly, I now do what I love....write and write and write.
See how that all works out?
So celebrate your unluckiness - if you study it hard enough - you may just find your great luck!
Thanks for all your congrads on my day yesterday!