Vital Preparation for your Book Talk

Preparing for a book talk can be an overwhelming experience. Anxiety could cause the writer to over-prepare or attend to small detail that might have little consequence. The more important aspects of the speech could be overlooked. What are the most vital parts of preparing for a speech?

The Most Important Part to your Speech

Don’t sweat the small stuff, as they say. Begin with the big important parts of your speech. Over-preparing your book talk could still leaving gaping holes in your presentation that could leave you wondering what went wrong. What are the most vital things to consider when preparing your book talk? Well, firstly, know what you want to say and say it.

Know the Important things you want to Say in a Speech

Never mind the small things, this can be added at the last minute if time allows. If you wish to discuss your latest book and your marketing strategies, don’t get side-tracked into including something that could leave your presentation overcrowded. Do you really need to talk about how you fit your writing into your family life? Keep to the largest points and elaborate on them if time allows. Prepare your speech on paper and summarise the points you want to make. Use short sentences and short words. Ensure each point follows the previous one in a logical way.

Rehearse your Speech out Loud

Speaking your book talk out loud is vital if you need to establish whether the content will fit into the time slot allocated. You cannot possibly know if your speech is going to be too long or too short unless you practice out loud. Practicing out loud also helps familiarise yourself with your voice. Get used to hearing your own voice. Get acquainted with how you sound and get to know when to pause for breath. Pausing is essential in a book talk. It helps listeners take in what you have just said.

Record Yourself Talking about Your Books

Do you have a nervous twitch? Do you keep repeating phrases like ‘y’ know what I mean?’ or ‘you get me drift?’ you might also tend to mumble at the end of sentences. You might tend do speed up as you progress through your talk, making yourself look like a robot winding up. You might have annoying habits such as putting on or off your glasses throughout the speech. You might pick your nails or keep staring at one spot in the room. Recording yourself cannot fail to improve your delivery by stamping out distracting habits. Simulating real situations in front of friends will also help when it comes to getting honest feedback.


Leave the Questing and Answer Session until Last

Don’t invite the audience to chip in or ask questions during the talk. Wait until the end of the presentation or just before a break. Including a Q & A session within your presentation could ruin the rhythm of your book talk. You could lose track. The last thing you need is to lose yourself and then have to keep referring to your notes during the book talk. Your audience will feel excluded each time you break eye contact with them.

Anticipate Questions during the Speech

At the end of the book talk, a member of the audience might ask ‘what authors do you admire?’ you mind goes blank and yet this is a question that is likely to be asked in a book talk. Prepare answers to likely questions. Think of the most awkward questions likely to be asked and you will always have an answer prepared. If someone asks you something you never thought of, make a note of the question for the next talk. Increase your repertoire for diverse questions. You will always have an answer and you will always be prepared for the book presentation.

Write out your Introduction and your Conclusion

The most stressful parts of your book talk are just before the beginning and your closing speech. Knowing precisely how your book talk will begin and how it will end will reduce anxiety during these two crucial time periods. Knowing precisely how you will open your books talk will help get into the flow of the main presentation. Similarly, know how you intend to close the book talk. This will help reduce anxiety. No one wants to see a speaker end a great presentation on an awkward note.

The Logistics of Your Book Presentation

Know where you have to go. Have a point of contact, and know the route you are to drive. Take into account the time of day and allow for rush hour traffic. Arrive early to get a feel for the place before you begin. Know where the nearest power socket is if you have prepared slides or a PowerPoint. Have an idea of where you will be sitting to address issues with sun shining in your eyes. Know where your audience will be sitting to address potential problems that could distract your audience.

Tips on a Great Presentation for Authors

Don’t set sidetracked on unimportant things when asked to do a book talk. Think about the big things and include them in your talk. Time yourself and record yourself speaking. Does your book talk last the distance? Do you have any distracting habits? Know where the talk is to be held and plan your journey. But before all of this, practice, practice and practice again. Practice makes perfect.
More Tips on Book Talking