10 Short Presentation Tips For Authors

It is estimated that more than 50% of the population in the United States wants to write a book. In my experience, it is much more than that. One of the best things about being a publisher is listening to people share their stories and their passions with me. I love hearing new ideas and listening to someone who wants to change my mind. (Share your idea with us here)
Millions want to write, but few ever do. Fewer still will actually sell very many copies of their book. It is true that writing a book and publishing it are very difficult steps to take, but they are just the first steps. After a book is published, an author needs to have other skills in their toolbox besides just writing. One of the most important is an author’s public speaking skill.

What is the 3rd biggest thing people are afraid of? Death. As the old Seinfeld joke goes, people would rather be in the coffin than the one giving the eulogy. We have given presentation tips on our blog before, but it is also important to lower your stress level before going in to it. Here are some quick tips.

  1. Get plenty of sleep. Don’t try to present when you are too tired.
  2. Skip the carbonation. Don’t drink carbonated drinks for at least 4 hours before you present.
  3. Know your material. Don’t use a script, it looks bad. Don’t use notecards unless you have to.
  4. Stop using PowerPoint. Keep your PowerPoint use to a bare minimum. Seth Godin suggests you should never have more than 6 words on any one slide. Use it for images, visual impact, and short terms – don’t outline your entire talk.
  5. Use a memory aid. Rather than use notecards, follow the in the ancient Greek’s footsteps and use a loci method to memorize your speech. For more on this, see  and .
  6. Rehearse in your head. Imagine as clearly as possible you giving your speech in the location you will give it. Your brain’s imagination is so powerful that it will feel as if you actually rehearsed there.
  7. Rehearse at the location. If possible, run through your speech in the location you will give it. Besides making you more comfortable, you will often remember your speeches more effectively this way.
  8. Be passionate. Talk about what you are passionate about, not what you think the audience wants to hear. Passion works.
  9. Handouts. Handouts are useful, but our suggestion is waiting until the presentation is over to hand them out.
  10. Ask. Always ask them to buy your book. Many authors make the mistake of not presenting this at the end of their speech or giving the audience reasons to buy their book.

These are all principles that hold true most of the time. Don’t worry if one does not fit your style exactly, just adjust and move on. The important thing is that you are comfortable and able to convey the material in a passionate manner, and sell some books!