Kindle Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready for my first event today and I'm incredibly nervous. It's just a local Authors' Book fair at one of our libraries, so it shouldn't be too overwhelming, but I am one of those types of people who has always had a fear of interacting with people I don't know :-/ Not going to work today!

Anyone have any tips for getting over the jitters and fears?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
DDark said:
What helps me put things in perspective is pretend your looking at this day from the perspective of your 80 year old self, reminiscing about your life. It's all behind you, it's all over. She wishes she could go back and live in the moment again, because her fears were only in her head, and everything always turned out okay.

Of course, I'm sure someone here might direct you toward some tranquilizers or mantras that help them..lol I just try to look at life retrospectively, because we're only here but a moment in time.
That is a very good response. Thanks :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,123 Posts
I haven't done signings etc but I have a lot of experience with trade shows. Nothing worse than sitting at a table (or standing in a booth) with something to offer and no one comes by. (And then it seems that everyone comes by at once)

Turn it around. Use the time to study people for your stories. Make up characters for them, keep a note pad ready (but don't bury your nose in work!). It'll keep your mind occupied.

When someone comes by, engage them in conversation, even if it's their pet poodle. A crowd draws a crowd. Smile lots, but do so sincerely. Find something you really like about a person and enjoy that without commenting on it, even if it's the sweater they're wearing. Imagine that they are a well-liked relative and treat them like that. Well-liked relatives don't make you nervous.
Be sincere. No one is there to admire your hair-do or smell your perfume. Phony buy-my-book flattery is spotted a mile away and just makes you seem desperate. Deal with the person, not the book-buyer.
Talk about yourself only if asked. Dale Carnegie's Number One message is that that people like you because you are interested in THEM. If they feel that you're a nice person, they will tell others about their meeting with you, the author.
Make your mission to learn about the people you meet. It'll keep you too busy to be nervous.

Oh, and bring chocolate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
I was blessed (cursed) with being born into a theatrical family, so my experiences dealing with public speaking and interacting with others started early, and were well-developed.

Which is not to say that I'm extroverted, per-se. I hang out in the middle, and in my personal life I need very few people to really keep me going.

But some things that I feel help when out in public:

1) Smile. This is something people forget. Just and easy, natural smile. (Not like my avatar. That says "serial-killer" if you lead off like that . . .)
2) Be prepared with a few things you know you can fall back on for conversation. This is context oriented, but if you are somewhere to talk about a specific book, then have your elevator pitch down pat, have a few moderately successful authors or books that you can compare to for style, theme, or whatnot, and have a couple of inspirations for the book at hand. By this I mean actors, or people in your life who do things like your characters do. Just funny anecdotes, really.
3) When out around peers, engage with them. If it's a bunch of other writers, do things like compliment covers, or titles. Don't lie or flatter or anything, just find something you can appreciate, and be complimentary.

Being out in public is (or should be) just giving yourself permission to be a bright, friendly you.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
DDark said:
That smiling thing is overrated. Every time I smile, I get that "What are you smiling about response?" Or, it's comparable to a sh*-eating grin. Apparently, I just can't pull off a smile.
Some people have a smile that looks like they ate bad shellfish. Practice, practice, practice. :) Mirrors are good. ;)
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top