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Planning My First Speaking Engagement in Southern Illinois

February 4, 2009 4 comments

A while back I talked about how my shyness has kept me from marketing my books locally. Well, I'm excited to let you know that I've decided to step outside of my shell this year. This decision came about when the Vice President and Program Chair of the Southern Illinois Writers Guild contacted me a few days ago and invited me to come speak at their September meeting. This is a writers guild in my local area that I'm familiar with. In fact, I've talked via e-mail to a couple of their members. That said, I look forward to meeting the writers I've talked with as well as more writers from my local area. The drive for me is approximately one hour, but I think it would be a perfect opportunity to market my books, myself and get a jump-start on my goal to start speaking to groups in my community.

Although this will be my first speaking engagement, I plan to speak from my heart. Yep, I'm diving in head first, without preparing a speech. Why? Because I want to sound natural and connect with my audience, some of whom I know have been following my accomplishments for a while. Furthermore, while the event is still a few months away, I'm already preparing the materials and freebies to give away, as well as the press releases and my media contact list. I began by sending a list of questions to the lady who contacted me so that I could get better organized for the big day.

I'll be sure to let you know how things go, and you can bet I'll have some advice to share as well. Speaking of sharing what I'll learn, I'll share the first piece of writing advice related to speaking engagements in my next post. At that time, you'll learn what questions you can ask to help you prepare for an upcoming speaking engagement. Just subscribe to my full RSS feed or via e-mail to be notified when this post is live.

If you're a writer from the Southern Illinois area or plan on being in the area on September 17, then I'd like to invite you to come and hear me speak at the Southern Illinois Writers Guild meeting on that date at 7:00pm (CST). The meeting will take place in the Terrace Dining Room (room C113A) at John A Logan College. The college is located on 700 Logan College Rd. in Carterville, Illinois. The topic that I'll be speaking about will be announced soon.

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4 comments: to “ Planning My First Speaking Engagement in Southern Illinois so far...

  • Lillie Ammann 10:34 PM CST

    Congratulations on your speaking engagement, Misti.

    I haven't done any speaking in some time because of health issues, but I used to do a lot of speaking in my former business and more recently as a writer. Although it's great to speak from the heart, I always like to have a few key points that I want to make and print out a few notes with items to cover. It helps when I'm standing in front of the room and see a sea of faces ... and can't remember what I wanted to say. And it keeps me from going off on a tangent and not covering something I really wanted to.

    Good luck with this speech and with lining up many more.

  • Misti Sandefur, Christian author/freelance writer 4:24 PM CST

    You know, I just may keep a few note cards in front of me in case I get so nervous that I can't remember something. But my plans are to speak directly from my heart, just as I would if I were chatting with a friend. ;)

  • Daniel 10:07 PM CST

    I agree with Lillie - just a few basic headings on note cards is worth preparing, even if you don't plan on using them. In addition to helping you in case your forget or go off on a tangent, just knowing you've got a backup resource will make you feel more self-assured. Confidence (or at least appearing confident!) is, IMO, the most important factor in public speaking. Having pre-prepared notes ready "just in case" will make you more relaxed and give you more confidence to speak from the heart without worry.

    Just my two cents. Good luck!

  • Misti Sandefur, Christian author/freelance writer 9:13 PM CST


    Thanks for your best wishes and comment. I believe I will take along a few note cards just in case, but hopefully I won't need them. As you said, though, it doesn't hurt to have the note cards to fall back on.