On Public Speaking & Other Forms of Author Torture (Important for Writers)

I must come up with a speech, Gentle Reader, for a possible event in a couple of months. It occurred to me that I use all of my best material online these days. Perhaps I should be a tad more reticent? I am hoping I will be given some guidelines on what to talk about – this always improves matters. Luckily, I am not one of those authors terrified of public speaking. That stage fright almost cured by being a museum guide for two years, was later fully fixed by teaching for two years too long. At least with guest author appearances one hopes the audience is there because they want to be there, unlike most college students.

The ideal speech contains something relevant to the venue, that incorporates the book, and amuses the audience – a rather tall order, in the end. And of coarse, rather like writing, one cannot hope to please everyone. I have to be careful, my base line is flippancy, which most people find offensive, so it helps if I at least come up with some species of short outline beforehand. I always think back to Emma Thompson’s Golden Globes speech back in 1996 from the screenplay of Sense & Sensibility.For some reason I was watching this award show at the time (let me think, ah yes undergraduate – I was much less discriminating in my television viewing) and have always remembered this particular speech. I would hold it up as the best acceptance speech ever given. Now, I myself am not receiving an award, but if I could only do something half as good I should be quite happy.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Tisane of Smart:
An FAQ on everyone’s favorite – Marmite!
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Dave discusses his jaunt into San FranciscoCAKE in Space: With agent.
“Thankfully there were no dogs and no children.”
~ Emma Thomson doing Jane Austen’s opinion of the Golden Globes

Posted by Gail Carriger

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