Hello, Katy Lee here. Due to a speaking event I am attending this weekend, I decided to share my thoughts on public speaking again. Enjoy!
Writing is an isolated venture, except if you want to keep the lights on. For someone who wants to make a living as an author, stepping out to sell your work requires finesse in the art of public speaking. For an introvert, such as me, the idea of pitching to editors and agents to sell my work, triggers panic to set in. The concept of building a platform to gain readership means talking to people. Sometimes one-on-one. Sometimes on a stage. The point I am making here, though, is there comes a time when writing is no longer sequestered.
Are you ready to start talking?
Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, is remarkably common. In fact, some experts estimate that as much as 75% of the population has some level of anxiety when it comes to this. There are some people who fear it more than death, but most are able to control this fear to get the job done.
Many writers believe they have chosen a career that allows them to avoid public speaking. They think speaking jobs are in the corporate world or in sales. Or perhaps they think standing up in front of a group is found only in a classroom, teaching, or on a stage, acting. But things could not be further from the truth.
Agents and editors want to hear the excitement about your stories right from your mouth. If you have an opportunity to meet a literary professional face-to-face, you need to be ready to shine. Also, readers want to know you personally. With the social networks available now, this task is easier than ever, but chances for more intimate settings like a speaking event will help you connect with more people. Relationship building will give you a platform to succeed.
Now, I could tell you to get over your fears and get up there and start talking, but I’ve been in your shoes and know that’s not possible. Your fear is real. For me, prayer was my first step. As in inspirational writer, I firmly believe God has given me these stories to tell, and so I told Him if I was going to do this, then I would need His help in relieving some of this fear. And as always He came through.
Opportunities presented themselves to me where I could learn coping skills for stepping out and opening up. Leadership classes such as Toastmasters were taken. I was then offered the children’s ministry director position for my church – speaking to children. Now there’s a scary task. But I did it, and little by little my fear went away. My fumbling over words lessened. My voice got louder, and I stood straighter. Yay God!
But about a year ago, I was invited to speak to a group of women at a monthly Aglow meeting. At first I said, “No, I could never do that. Children were one thing, but adults? Never.” But in the end I did end up accepting the invitation. Since then I have been invited to speak all over New England. It has been an amazing adventure.
The Unlocked Secret: God does not want us to fear anything. In fact, His Word tells us, He did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) And I don’t know about you, but if it’s not from Him, then I don’t want it. So goodbye fear, and let’s talk.
Question: Do you suffer with a little bit of Glossophobia, too? How do you overcome it?