One of the things I never anticipated, but have come to realize more and more as I continue to market my book, is that authors are also expected to be speakers. There is a certain comfort and security as a writer in knowing that you can delete things that don’t make sense, reword sentences for precision, add illustrations that come to you later, etc. All of that is non-existent in the world of speaking! You have to be able to think quickly, formulate cohesive thoughts and present them with clarity, articulate with precision, and more. These things do not come naturally for me, but I am having to learn them on the fly!
So far this year I’ve had an average of one speaking engagement per month. The opportunities are varied, but each one has been a learning and growing experience. From presenting a workshop to a group of university students, to speaking for an on-line conference, to being a featured speaker at a women’s retreat, to sharing with a MOPS group, to participating in radio interviews. Above all, these experiences have been a real-life education in learning to trust God and depend upon Him for the words to speak. I recently came across this statement by author, poet, and hymn-writer Frances Ridley Havergal that applies to both writing and speaking:
“Writing is praying with me, for I never seem to write even a verse by myself, and feel like a little child writing; you know a child would look up at every sentence and say, ‘And what shall I say next?’ That is just what I do; I ask that every line He would give me, not merely thoughts and power, but also every word, even the very rhymes.”
I pray that this will be the attitude of my heart, not only now when I still feel nervous and inexperienced as a speaker, but even as I develop greater skill in this area in the years ahead (Lord-willing!). Here are links to a couple of the speaking engagements I’ve had this year:
This is from the on-line homeschool conference that I spoke at in February: Everything Your Child Needs to Know…and How to Teach it to Them (right click and select “Save As” to download the file; left click to open the file and listen via the internet).
This one’s hot off the press (or whatever the radio equivalent is!): An interview hosted by Kevin Swanson on Generations Radio. Posted on July 19, 2010.
If you listen to either of the above and have any constructive criticism you’d be willing to share, I would love to take any suggestions that would help me improve in this area! Feel free to e-mail me or leave it in the comments section.