Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Help Required!

I know you lot in Blog Land have helped me before and I'm very grateful.  But I'm after your help again! I need some quotes from writers on public speaking for an article I'm writing on this very subject! I'm particularly interested in writers who have been nervous in the past about speaking about their work/doing workshops/ book signings etc -  how it made them feel, and how they got over it. Or have you not got over the fear? How do you cope with it?

I know the thought of standing up in front of people and talking fills me to the core with dread! So how do you get over yourself and your fears and just get on with it? I know that if you want to be a successful writer, networking and giving talks - meeting the public is an essential activity - but how do you make it less traumatic and more effective?

Anyone got any thoughts on this?If you want to help please contact me at julie210phillips@btinternet.com


Julie xx


Carole Anne Carr said...

Have been in that situation lots of time, in school halls, stepping onto a darkened theatre stage along to begin a play in front of a huge audience, many parents' evenings, talks I've given, sermons from the pulpit in an abbey.........
One answer is you just do it! The more you do it the easier it becomes, trust me.
Can you use anything to help? Yes, one method I have used is Paul McKenna's Confidence disc. Lasts about 25 mins and IT REALLY WORKS. By listening quietly, on your own where you won't be disturbed, and doing this every day for a while and then later at least once a week, you will find a difference in yourself and be more able to cope in these situations. IT REALLY WORKS! I can't say more than that. Go on line, type in Paul McKenna and look for the one on Confidence, it will be worth every penny, Julie. Go for it!!!
Carole xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Carole,

That's great! I'm not too bad in small groups that I know but if it's strangers and lots of them I've had it!!

Julie xx

Olivia Ryan said...

I've e-mailed you, Julie. Let me know if I can help. xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Olivia! I've emailed you back.

Julie xx

Mike said...


Of course, I don't usually appear as myself.
The first few times I appeared on stage I hoped no one could see my legs shaking inside my trousers. In my first part I had two-and-half lines and was terrified. With practice I got used to it. There's always some nervousness; if you didn't have that your performance would be flat. And it is a performance. You're playing someone who's confident and knows what they're talking about.

Mike xx

Sue Ross said...

Julie, I don't do talks on writing but I do teach at adult college and often speak to groups of new learners.
A couple of deep breaths immediately calms me down.
I'd also say speak just a little slower than you would normally do; nerves speed up speech and there's a danger of becoming garbled.
Smile and make some eye contact with everyone in the room. People will smile back and your body language will be what people unknowingly pick up on; this is what makes them decide whether to trust you or not.
Some movement is good, but avoid pacing. I once attended a seminar where one speaker prowled back and forth like a tiger.
Very uncomfortable and a bit scary.
Hope this helps.

Julie P said...

Hi, Mike

I don't know how you and the rest of HADS do it! But you're right as you're not being yourself but being someone else - so you become a character. I don't know if that makes it easier? I find that whenever I've had to speak in public - in my nursing career - I just had to practise and practise and just get on with it. But that was usually talking about a topic within the sphere of nursing and not about myself.

I think when you are talking about yourself and your writing it makes it so much more personal and sometimes too close for comfort! And that's why I wanted to write this article, as I haven't up until now had to speak about my writing to a group, but I know I might do in the future so I wanted people who do talk about their writing to large groups to share their advice to help people like me who do find the prospect so terrifying!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Sue!

I like the prowling tiger! My word - I'd have been scared they were about to pounce! That's one of my difficulties when speaking, I tend to speak too fast and sometimes too quietly - it's frustrating for those listening but it's more frustrating for me!! I have to remember to take my time and speak up - mind you I don't think it will so much of a problem now ever since I've been taking small groups of three and four year olds! My voice is definitely louder - it had to be to carry over their noise! (I sound just like my mother when I'm talking to the. "No thank you Michael we don't want all that noise do we?" And "sit on your bottoms please and hands in your laps. I'm not gping to choose children who shout at me!" )

Julie xx