Get Comfortable with Public Speaking



Several years ago I attended the book launch party of a friend at a local bookstore. While she was speaking about her publishing journey, a fellow author whispered to me, “I could never do that.” I replied, “I could!”

After self-publishing my novel last year, I spoke during an author’s lunch at a church. Afterward, the organizer complimented me on my talk and added that not all authors were such fluent and entertaining speakers. I was flattered, but not surprised. After all, I had prepared for just such an opportunity many years ago when I joined a local Toastmasters club. Since my ice breaker speech I have not only given 32 speeches in my club, but more than 50 presentations in the local community. My topics include backyard habitats, birds, nature photography, self-publishing a book, and my life in Cold War Germany. They all have one thing in common: I speak about a theme I am passionate about and I sprinkle personal stories throughout my talk.

I recommend all authors to get comfortable with public speaking. After all, the task of marketing a book falls more and more on the author’s shoulders. The rewards are many. You might be asked to:


  1. Participate in an author forum
  2. Teach a workshop in your community
  3. Present a workshop at a writers conference
  4. Give an interview on TV or radio
  5. Record a podcast or video
  6. Accept an award or give a keynote speech
  7. Host a book launch party


Would you rather say, “I could never do that!” or would you like to grow in your personal and your professional life?


Image: (Author: Johannes Jansson)



One thought on “Get Comfortable with Public Speaking

  1. Tiegan

    I do public speaking activities for my school, and that has helped me a lot with my confidence. I used to be one of those kids who absolutely DREADED class presentations. But now they’re a piece of cake.

    I still can’t handle high pressure situations, though, like formal public speaking activities (i.e Debating).I’m still working on that.


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