Geist Workshop Review: Public Speaking 101

Last week I blogged about excitement about attending the Geist 3 hour evening workshop with Ivan Coyote called: The Art of Talking the Talk. I promised to report back on how it went and I’m here to say that, along with Toastmasters, Coyote’s workshop was probably one of the most valuable I have ever attended.

The timing was perfect as I leave for Ontario next week to visit and talk at High Schools for the upcoming White Pine Awards. Thanks to Ivan Coyote, the kids are in for a treat. Her tips on how to create and engaging, funny and informative talk were invaluable and included both the seemingly obvious and the brilliant. Here are a few examples:

1. Don’t just read from your book for a full hour (seems obvious, but I’ve seen lots of authors do this)
2. Don’t hesitate to adjust the microphone so you are not either bending over or standing on tip-toes because the last speaker wasn’t the exact same height as you
3. If you are giving 30 minutes to talk, don’t talk for 40 minutes or even 29 minutes. Leave room for questions and be respectful of other speaker’s time.
4. Enjoy yourself!

Those are only a few of her tips…I have spent the week writing my presentations and I know they are better because of that workshop. As Ivan said, “I’ve sold a lot of books just from being on stage and entertaining people – it’s a full time job now.” Isn’t that every writer’s dream – to not have a day job?

So, if you get the chance, take a workshop on public speaking – it’ll be worth the time and the money – guaranteed.

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