View Full Version : Just Curious

07-12-2008, 06:37 AM
Since we now have this nice & cozy Public Speaking & Education board...

Who currently does public speaking as part of being a writer?

If you don't, have you in the past?

If you don't (again), is this something you're interested in doing? Why or why not?

Is there anyone here who is a member of a public speaking group, such as Toastmasters International?

(That last one applies to me. *s*)

I've done some speaking recently. The last, not counting Toastmasters, was in May.

07-12-2008, 10:52 AM
I've done a lot of public speaking about my writing. I've just finished a series at libraries during school holidays. The local libraries have the theme of The Middle Ages during these two weeks and I've spoken at six libraries because my YA fantesty novel is set mainly in the mid thirteenth century.
I've spoken to high school classes about creative writing and I've spoken to service groups like National Seniors groups and Prubus clubs about writing and the levels of publishing for their various needs.
I don't aqsk for payment but usually sell a few books.

Soccer Mom
07-13-2008, 06:33 AM
Public speaking is a large part of my job. It isn't a big part of my fiction writing (yet!) but in the workplace I write for schools about legislative changes that affect them and then go to schools and and train them in ways to implement the new laws.

07-13-2008, 07:06 AM
I do some public speaking as part of my corporate job--mostly presentations and training. And, I am a member of Toastmasters International. I haven't done public speaking as part of my writing, but it's something I am interested in doing.

07-13-2008, 08:06 AM
I have done some public speaking. I do so because I enjoy it, use it as a means to promote and sell my books, and to help aspiring writers. I have spoken to students in schools, at libraries, in bookstores, and at meetings held by various organizations and associations (e.g., PTA's). I have also been fortunate to have spoken (been interviewed) on a couple of out of town TV and radio programs. I love it, and the more impromptu the better.

Sometimes I charge and other times I do not.

L M Ashton
07-14-2008, 05:38 AM
I haven't done any public speaking related to writing. Nope. But I have done public speaking related to training people in various areas.

07-14-2008, 06:36 AM
I had some catching up on work to do this weekend, so even though I've been here & there, I've not come back in here to really post yet.

I almost said I've never had a job where I had to do any public speaking, but I forgot about one. I was an adminstrative assistant to the executive director/human resources director at a smallish non-profit organization in Dallas for almost a year. I started this thing based on Brown Bag Seminars (lost the link long ago) where I did do monthly presentations to staff members. I never had to do any presentations to the general public though. Probably because I wasn't there long enough.

I was just kind of curious about if anyone had any kind of public speaking experience. Until last year, I honestly hadn't done any since that particular job, which I left in 1999.

When I got serious about nonfiction, particularly a couple nonfiction books, I decided that as part of my platform, I needed to do some presentations/workshops. After doing one as part of the writing residency I did last year, I decided I needed help/re-education, so I joined Toastmasters in March. :)

07-14-2008, 11:20 PM
I do bits and pieces of speaking at churches, nothing big. Always for non-profit groups. They like me to write my own stuff b/c I'm a good writer. (Yeah, tell that to the agents! :) )

It took me a long time to get comfortable with a microphone and a big crowd. Anyone else still get stage fright?

07-15-2008, 01:03 AM
I've done some speaking now because of my book. I've talked to middle school kids, teenagers and adults. It's really interesting the differences between each group.

Heyjude - I really enjoy it, but I always get really nervous before each time. But once I get going the fear goes away. And I call myself an actress . . . sigh . . .

07-16-2008, 05:58 PM
I'm terrible when it comes to public speaking mainly because it terrifies me. I've done a considerable amount of it in the past for training and things like that, but it's been years since I've done any. I have to get back into it, though, for promotion . . . as much as my stomach tells me it just isn't necessary. :)

07-18-2008, 06:30 AM
I have done dozens of speaking gigs in the last year, and probably hundreds in the last decade. Most of them were somehow related to the content of my book (scholarships) although I've done a few on collaboration, grassroots marketing, fundraising and other topics.

I really enjoy it. There is no better market analysis or real-time feedback than presenting your information or creating a learning session and watching how different groups of people react to it. I even have participants fill out a report card about me or what they learned so I can try to improve. Public engagements really helped me during the book editing stage. Word choices, concepts, thought processes change with different groups, genders, ages, etc. and it was awesome to have that feedback before the book was printed.

I never set out to be a public speaker - it happened through my job, as others have said, and sort of took off.

07-23-2008, 05:19 PM
I have two different slideshow presentations I do. Or, I can do a presentation, or "speech" on the topic of my first book, the history of the subway and (lack of) rapid transit in Cincinnati.

I've given the talks at libraries mostly, a few in front of local groups. One at a school to a third grade class. That last was about the history of public transporation.

I haven't given a talk in two years, though. Ever since I got my job where I have to be up by 4, I can't give late evening talks anymore.

I also got somewhat frustrated by groups calling or emailing me asking if I could talk to their group, but "can't afford to pay you anything." I don't give free talks anymore. It's not worth my time, and my time is valuable. Plus, with gas over $4 a gallon, I can't afford to drive across town for nothing. At least libraries paid me. Even the school did.

I love giving talks. I kind of trained my voice when I was in college and did voicework and was a DJ on the campus radio station for six years.

I've always wanted to be part of some public speaker's club, where large organizations call me to give talks to big groups and pay me a lot more than $100 a pop. I've never figured out how to get my name out, though.


07-23-2008, 06:28 PM
Hello underthecity,

I am not yet part of a speaker's club. I've thought about it but, I am not yet certain it is something I want to do. The reason I am hesitant is because I am in overload at the moment with decision making responsibilities. This is one of those decisions I have had to put on the back burner while I address more immediate ... Argh! my cat is driving me crazy!! lol He keeps smacking me in the face with his tail.

Pardon me while I give him some attention....


07-24-2008, 07:05 AM
There are some speakers' bureaus you can join. I found one online a while back, but they had a steep registration fee.

I'm not home at the moment, but when I get back, I'll look it up in my bookmarks.

07-25-2008, 04:17 PM
UndertheCity, last year I gave talks for free to practice and sort of get my name out.This year I'm going to try charging, but I'm also going a different route. The people I dealt with last year didn't have the authority or funds to pay me. But, as you said, with gas $4.00/gallon, I can't afford to be driving around giving speeches for free. Plus, I'm not talking about driving across town, I'm talking about driving across the state.

I'll let you all know how it goes.

Elaine Margarett
07-25-2008, 05:17 PM
I used to do a lot of public speaking when I was involved in Search and Rescue. I met and spoke to responding agencies like police departments explaining what we did and when to have us respond. I also spoke to schools and civic organizations. I was tapped to do this because a) I was the president of our unit, and b) because no one else wanted to.

I didn't mind speaking to the responding agencies as it was important for the success of our unit; still I hated what I called the *dog and pony shows* and saw them as a necessary evil.

Funny thing is, I'd rather speak to a crowd, than have a single conversation with a stranger. Sheesh, guess I am anti-social.

who must now surrender my borrowed computer

07-26-2008, 10:12 PM
UndertheCity, last year I gave talks for free to practice and sort of get my name out.This year I'm going to try charging, but I'm also going a different route.

One problem with this idea, as I discovered, was that once you get your name out as a "free speaker," you get more requests to do them for free.

Not worth my time.


08-01-2008, 01:24 AM
I was top of my drama class in high school. During my first year in college, one very negative rehearsal experience with a moody director was followed by a bout of all-consuming stage fright on opening night and every night thereafter. After that, I decided stage life was not for me and changed my major to communications. (Later I would change again to journalism.) Since then, anytime I have to present anything, whether it be a sales pitch to colleagues or a joke among friends, my heart rate increases, my palms get sweaty, and the knot in my stomach just churns until it's all over. It's a wonder I made it as long as I did at some of my past sales jobs. It's even more wonderous that I don't have an ulcer!

I've heard of Toastmasters. I think I'd be terrified to try it, but what exactly do you DO in the group?

You know what terrifies me the most about public speaking? Having to speak off the cuff. The thought of forgetting my place in my notes, or a memorized line, and not knowing what to say to fill the void is what pretty much keeps me off stages and away from moving cameras. I am truly amazed by those improv-skit comedians and by TV spokespeople who just keep going no matter what curve balls get thrown their way.

08-01-2008, 06:39 PM
NES, I think I'm going to answer your question about what you do in Toastmasters in a new thread. I'm on my way out so it'll be later today before I do it.

08-03-2008, 06:52 PM
I'm a preacher. :tonuge

Not full time, as it happens, but I do enough preaching to keep me in the swing of things. I've also done a few group presentations, and taught a few seminars/courses. I'd really like to add public speaking gigs to my writing at some point--it's something I both enjoy and do well.

My problem isn't speaking up in public, it's shutting up...


08-06-2008, 11:06 PM
Public speaking is a big part of my writing. I do it to promote my author's books in the series I edit and I encourage them to lecture also. I find my own business is promoted when I lecture on an article I've written is published. I started out speaking for free and now I can charge a fee. But if the market is one I want to reach but they don't offer an honorarium, I consider the publicity they will give my presentation , if it is good I will speak for free. I have also ask the sponsoring organization to make a donation to the local Women's Center. At almost all of my presentations I have raffled off books authored by friends as door prizes- a real popular activity that adds to what might have just been an ordinary continuing education requirement.

Nick Russell
08-07-2008, 01:41 AM
I do a lot of public speaking. I am an instrutor wth the Life on Wheels program www.rvlifeonwheels.com, and at their conferences (which range from three to five days in length) I present from 10 to 13 ninety minute seminars. I also present seminars at RV rallies. These are all paid speaking gigs. Sometimes the audience is as much as 1,000 people, depending on the venue.

Besides the RV/travel seminars, I do a fair amount of speaking to writers groups, and I hold day long self-publishing workshops.

This is all a relatively recent achievement in my life. For 25 years or so I owned small town newspapers, and my fear of public speaking was so great that whenever we won an award from the Chamber of Commerce or some other group, I would send one of my editors or reporters to pick it up, because the thought of getting up in front of a grounp and even saying thank you terrified me. The first time I agreed to present a travel seminar at an RV rally, I actually threw up three times between the parking lot and the building. Thank God for trash cans! But by the time I had been on stage about fifteen minutes, I realized that I really enjoyed it.

For ayone interested, here is a link to the page on my RV website about the seminars I present for that crowd: http://gypsyjournal.net/Bring_Nick.html