If you want to run a business as an author, professional speaking can add another stream of income to your portfolio, and there are lots more reasons you might consider adding speaking to your repertoire.
I’ve been a professional (i.e. paid) speaker for 6 years now, and I love connecting with audiences in person. But I’m still an introvert who needs a lot of alone time and finds crowds difficult. In this interview, Viv Oyolu from AudioByte interviews me about being an introvert author and a public speaker, and quizzes me on my tips for starting to speak, or improving along the way, as well as managing anxiety. (Viv also has a lovely voice so you’ll enjoy listening!)
Everything I know about speaking is included in my book, ‘Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and Other Introverts.’ While much of it is aimed at anyone who wants to speak, there are some specific chapters around introversion, as well as the business side of being a speaker.
This SlideShare contains some of the highlights:
You can find the book in print and ebook formats here:
Do you have any tips or questions about public speaking? Please leave them in the comments below.
Transcript of Interview with Joanna and Viv Oyolu
Viv: Hello and welcome to the Expert Interview Series for Authors with Viv Oyolu. Interviews are with expert entrepreneurs within the publishing industry who provide support and know-how for authors and writers to increase their visibility and sales of their book. You can find out more about me at Audio Byte, at audio-byte.co.uk.
Today’s interview is with Joanna Penn. Joanna is an international professional speaker on creative entrepreneurship, digital publisher, and internet marketing. She was rated one of the Guardian UK’s Top 100 Creative Professionals in 2013. As a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of thrillers on the edge, she writes as J.F. Penn, and for her non-fiction books for authors, as Joanna Penn. She loves to inspire, educate, and entertain in person as well as online, and her so popular podcast, The Creative Penn. Please sit back and enjoy our journey.
So hi, Joanna, welcome to the podcast.
Joanna: Hi, Viv, thanks for having me on the show.
Viv: I’m really excited and for anyone listening, I just have to do a bit of fan worship and some gush about Joanna’s book. That’s what we would be talking about today, because it is truly, truly exceptional. If you’re an author and you’re an introvert, then this podcast is for you. So just get your pens and paper ready, or better still, buy the book at the end of it, because you’re going to get lots of juicy stuff.
Joanna, you describe yourself as an introvert. How does that work or how would you describe yourself then?
Joanna: Yes and I think this is actually a big deal, because so many people think an introvert means somebody who’s shy, and actually, introversion and shyness are different things. So the main thing about being an introvert, for me and what I discovered, mainly through Susan Cain’s book called “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” which is a fantastic book, is that introverts get their energy from being alone and extroverts get their energy from other people. So I’m not shy. I’m quite happy meeting people. I really enjoy being with people, but it’s very tiring for me.
So for me to recharge, I need to go and spend time on my own. When I speak, I have to make sure I schedule time away. Multi-day conferences are very hard for me. I have to make sure I have time in my room. And so you can take a Myers-Briggs test and I am an INFJ, which is a common personality amongst writers. But I also, obviously, make my money as a professional speaker as well. So introversion, I think, just as a basic thing, is how you get your energy.
Viv: And did you have to read that book to discover that you’re an introvert or you had already thought about it and realized that you were and that book just confirmed it for you?
Joanna: I think that book really solidified it for me. I mean, I’d always known that I can’t take too much time with people. I don’t go to concerts. I don’t really like crowds. It’s funny, because I do a lot of podcasting. I have a podcast too, but I don’t like talking on the phone. I certainly will never do cold calling or anything like that. I don’t like small talk. I’d rather talk to you about what you think about life after death than the latest TV thing. And I’ve always known that about myself.
It was actually at a professional speaking conference, a number of years back, and I said to my friend, “You know, I’m so tired. Why am I so tired? I just can’t cope with going to this gala dinner thing. I just do not want to sit in a room with people.” And she said, “Look, you’re an introvert. That’s all it is.” We talked about it as a speaker, because her point was that a lot of actors are introverts, a lot of professional speakers are introverts, because what is quite weird about that situation is it is easier as an introvert to be on the stage than it is to be amongst the crowd. Because there is a separation, a natural separation, obviously, but also people treat you a bit differently and you’re not in amongst that big group.
So yeah, it’s been a journey of being an author and a speaker that’s made me ready embrace this. And I wanted to write a book because every time I speak, because I’m an author, people say to me, “Oh, but I’m an introvert,” and I’m like, “Well, I am too.”
Viv: And that dispels the myth of being an introvert and being a speaker, of course.
Joanna: I think they don’t believe me. And then I say, “Okay, I’m not coming to the party. I’m going to sit in my room.”
Viv: You alluded to this earlier on that a lot of authors are introverts.
Why do you think people are reluctant to admit that they’re introverts?
Joanna: I really think it’s that to deal with shyness and the fact that, in the past, introvert has almost meant just being a hermit. Now, of course, as writers, we are hermits a lot of the time. I spend most of my time quiet and alone, and even when I’m in the library, I’m not talking to anyone. I like being alone. The book “Quiet” says it very well, “The power of introverts in a world that won’t stop talking.” In our culture, being extroverted, being outwardly confident, being noisier, in general, all of these things are rewarded.
At schools, for example, kids are rewarded when they actually always speak up, when they’re the first to speak up, the first to put their hands up. And if kids are not speaking up, they’re almost seen as remedial in some way, whereas often, they might be introverts and they think a lot more and maybe they express themselves through writing or maybe that’s the way they’ll become.
I think the definition has been really why people haven’t understood it, but when Susan’s book came out, that really started to change the perception, and I felt able to write this book.
Viv: Well done, Susan, for writing that book. Well done her. And for you, because you mentioned you were at a conference, at a speaker’s conference.
Was it easy for you as a writer to decide that you are going to be a speaker?
Joanna: I actually decided to be a speaker before I even wrote my first book.
Viv: Oh, really?
Joanna: This was way back in 2006. I was working as an IT consultant, business consultant, and I did a lot of speaking within my job. I did a lot of training, and I did conferences and that type of thing. And when I wanted to leave my job, I was coming up with things I wanted to do, and a professional speaking, I understood to be something that pays quite well and that didn’t worry me very much. I joined the National Speakers Association. I started to train professionally as a speaker who would be paid as opposed to a free speaker, which unfortunately most authors seem to do.
I started speaking before the book came out and then my first book was around career change, and I started to speak about how you can discover what you really want to do with your life. I was a classic non-fiction speaker with a book.
And then I started writing fiction. My speaking career has really morphed, but it remains around 25% of my income is from professional speaking, and now, it’s really my vehicle for traveling as well. So yeah, I love it.
Viv: Would you recommend that authors go and train to be speakers?
Joanna: I think it’s important for authors to be able to speak and there are a couple of reasons. One is if you’re a non-fiction author, it is a good business plan to have multiple streams of income. It also helps to share your message. It’s a bit like with a podcast, you can actually touch people very quickly with your voice. And if you can share your message succinctly, you can help a lot more people than you can with a book, because they actually have to spend a lot more time with the book.
It can also be transformative personally. I find it very challenging and rewarding to be a speaker.
But then as an author, whether you’re a non-fiction or fiction author, if your book does well, you are going to have to speak. So you’re either asked to come on a podcast, you’re asked to speak at a literary festival. I was sharing a panel at a literary conference a few weeks ago. I’m going to New York in a couple of weeks to speak at ThrillerFest. You have to speak as an author who wants to sell books. And if you speak well, it can make the difference between selling your books and people just being turned off by you. So I do think that having some training is actually a good idea.
Viv: Was it easy for you to create your message, because you straddled between both — non-fiction and fiction?
Was it easy to decide what your message is or do you have different messages actually?
Joanna: It is a difficult thing, and I have two brands. So I have two different messages. One, I’m a fiction author under the J.F. Penn and under that, I speak at, like New York ThrillerFest as J.F. Penn, speaking about fiction-y type topics; whereas as Joanna Penn and at thecreativepenn.com, I speak to authors and publishing execs and small business entrepreneurs about marketing.
I think for me, what I speak on has actually sprung out of what I do for myself. So people should look at their expertise and then they can speak on that. For example, you have Audio byte, you can speak on your expertise with audio and podcasting and that kind of thing. And I think that credibility is very important. So that’s one thing.
I also think that you have to look at what people pay for and where you might fit in that. For example, I made a very conscious decision to not speak about career change to corporates. I mean, I would probably make much more money if I went and spoke about creativity in corporates or something like that. But that’s not my market anymore. Where I thrive is helping authors sell more books, I guess.
Viv: Is it easy or easier for non-fiction authors to have a message compared to fiction authors?
Because imagine somebody who is writing a book about — a romance book, for instance. I guess they will have a challenge trying to define a message that they can take.
Joanna: If you’re a romance author, you don’t necessarily have a message, as in you don’t speak like a non-fiction author. You might speak at conferences on a panel as a romance author. Your topic will be things like how to write a sex scene or how to write amazing heroines or heroes that. At ThrillerFest, I’m on a panel about great endings of a book. So stuff like that. It’s very, very different. It’s more of a marketing thing than a paid thing.
But then equally at this literary conference I spoke at a few weeks ago, I actually spoke on self-publishing to a group of authors. Fiction authors can talk about that type of thing. But mainly they’ll speak to writers about writing that particular niche.
Whereas, for non-fiction authors, it is a much better, easier thing, and you can also get paid a lot more. So many non-fiction authors will make far more money from speaking and then upselling books at the back of the room and other products like video courses, than from selling a book on Kindle.
Viv: At what stage does the author decide, “You know what, I want to become a speaker?” Is it when they’ve finished their first book or in the process of all that?
Joanna: I think it goes both ways. So for example, when I joined the National Speakers Association, what was so funny, one of the mantras they have in these professional organizations is you must have a book. So speakers are all encouraged to have books, and many of them have multiple books, because it’s another product they can sell. And from the other direction, I think most non-fiction authors love their topics so much that they naturally speak.
Now for fiction authors, most of the fiction authors who’ve bought this book, basically have got big enough that they’ve been asked to speak, and they feel anxiety and they’re worried. They’ve had an email from somebody that says, “We’d love you to speak at our conference,” and they just don’t know what to do. So it’s a kind of in that sort of need to know basis. It’s like, “Okay, now I need to know.” Yes, it goes both ways.
Viv: In the book, which I have to say is excellent, so anybody who is listening, if you’re an introvert and you’re thinking of becoming a speaker, this is the book for you, honestly, and it’s also for people who want to become speakers. So you may not even be an introvert, there’s still a lot of juicy stuff for them.
In the book, you talk about mindset, tackling anxiety, growing confidence and authenticity. Why are these things important in terms of mindset?
Joanna: I think what people forget or may not realize is that all speakers feel anxiety. And the way to think about it is how to reframe the anxiety into something else. So in the book, I interview a few people, and everyone has different ways of dealing with it.
For me, the anxiety manifests as sweating, dry mouth like I have to drink water and at the same time, I need to go to the toilet about three times before I speak, and of course, the whole tummy thing. I pretty much clear out my system before. That starts the night before, really. The reason, I wanted to write this, and I do so, you know, warning: bodily function discussion of in this section. But the fact is all of that is entirely normal.
I sometimes get this before I go on a phone call for a podcast. I recently interviewed Steven Pressfield who for me is like a god. He wrote “The War of Art.” I have his quotes on my wall and things like that. And I felt that same anxiety. So that mindset around speaking is how to use that energy. Think of it as energy and how do we use that energy to enhance our performance and also how to cope with it, and how it gets better over time basically.
One of my tips is I’m actually hanging out beforehand and meeting people in the audience, because people are really nice. And if you actually introduce yourself and then I normal say to people, “So why you’re here today?” And they’ll tell me a little story, and then, I often try and include little tidbits of those stories into the talk, which helps me ground it in people’s lives.
Also, I can meet the eyes of the people in the audience and feel like they see me and that everything’s good, and that normally gets rid of any residual anxiety. And also, you grow over time, you grow confidence. But basically, you have to go through this initial step before you get to the point of being confident in what you’re doing.
Viv: Do you still get nervous during a talk?
Joanna: Yeah, definitely.
Viv: I think that’s quite encouraging for some people, not that you know, I don’t mean it in that way.
Joanna: Yeah, I know. I’ve been speaking for about six, no, more than six years now, I guess, eight years, seven, eight years, and yeah, I still get nervous. For example, I’m a self-published author, I’m an Indie author, and I regularly speak at publishing conferences. There was one I was at last year with the CEO of HarperCollins and people from the industry, and I was very worried about that, because I thought, “This is like the lion’s den.” And actually, it went very well.
And this is one little tip for people as well. It is not about you, and this is a fundamental psychological thing. People don’t care about you. They’re not interested in you and how you feel. Never apologize, never say you’re feeling bad or whatever. It is about the audience and about what they want.
Put yourself in their shoes. What do they want to get out of your talk? Make sure you give them something, and just forget yourself. So that particular talk at that publishing conference went really well. People said it was one of the best of the day. I got amazing feedback. I don’t even remember what I said. But I prepared so hard beforehand to make sure I gave them something that would be interesting or useful or something and just focused on serving the audience. If you focus on serving the audience, you become less important.
Viv: That’s one of the key things you talk about in your book is preparation actually gives you more confidence.
If you’ve done the work that is required of you to stand up and give a great talk, then you’d be more confident delivering that and there’d be lesser anxiety.
Joanna: Exactly. Many people will have a slide presentation, for example, or some written notes, at least, in your hand. Now, last year, I actually did some training on doing a TED talk and of course, with TED talks, you do have slides, but you’re pretty much talking without notes.
I normally speak for whole days. I normally speak for like eight hours. For me to speak for 10 minutes without notes is very, very hard. So it’s interesting.
The other thing to remember is that most of the authenticity part is people don’t just want how to information. They want your story. So you know, this is my story about being a speaker. The reason the book is called “Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and Other Introverts,” and you said, you know, it’s true. Most of the book is valid for anyone who wants to speak. But it’s called “authors, creatives and other introverts,” because that’s me. And this book is spun with my story and the things that have happened to me as a speaker.
When you and people listening are putting together a talk, always think about how do I share my stories to make this real for people? How do I take this from some abstract discussion on creativity, for example, to how I specifically was able to conquer my lack of creativity and write a book or something like that.
Viv: When it comes to marketing yourself as a speaker, I guess authors are marketing their book, okay, it’s still debatable, some people, I assume not many fail with doing it, and doing it with the passion that they’ve written the book with. I think that’s the best way.
Joanna: Yeah, that’s true.
Viv: That’s the best way to put it.
Do you think that this would transfer to marketing themselves as a speaker as well? Because you’re putting yourself out there, and it’s almost as if you’re putting your book out there.
Joanna: Yes. I found basically what I say is if you want to be a speaker and you’re already an author, so you already have a website, for example, then all you need to do is put up a page called Speaker or Speaking, and populate that with a bit of the stuff that you could speak on. And basically, I’ve never pitched for speaking. It’s always come to me through just my blog and my social media. If you’re an expert who has content out there and SEO means that you’re found on the internet, and you have a page called Speaker, then you’re likely to get pitched at some point. So really that’s the first thing, if you haven’t done any marketing yet.
And then, I find that you do talk about it. I mean, one of the reasons for writing a book or being a speaker is to illustrate that I am a speaker. And then all the usual marketing stuff applies. For example, again, you doing this podcast. One of the things, I have at the beginning of my podcast is I say, “Welcome to The Creative Penn podcast. I am an author and a speaker.” So I say that in the introduction to my podcast. And then I’m interviewing somebody and it’s a really useful show, but it’s very clear that I’m a speaker. And then it’s on my business card, it’s on my Twitter account, it’s on my LinkedIn.
Everything, I do, if people are looking for that type of thing, then that’s going to happen. I just booked today to go to Sweden in September, which I’m excited about, and they just found me because they Googled something and then I came up and then they found my website. So I don’t think you necessarily have to do anything particularly different to market your speaker business. It’s great if you can get some video at some point. But again, if you have a podcast, people can generally tell a bit about you that way.
Viv: It’s interesting you say that. From what you’ve said is there’s an intent to making sure people remember that you are a speaker. So you’ve put it up, having it on the website, having it on your social media profiles is a good way, and also talking about it as well.
Because if you shy away from it, then it’s almost as if it’s not going to happen, because you’ll inadvertently driving people away from thinking of you as a speaker.
Joanna: You do have to show a level of confidence about it. That’s why a lot of people start speaking for free, and which I absolutely recommend, to learn your craft as such. And also, you have to show a bit of dominance in your email communication. For example, this discussion with Sweden, we were emailing back and forth. It’s all very friendly and we have a Skype call and everything, and then they go, “Okay, so we’re definitely on,” and I’m like, “I just need to confirm the money aspect.” Because otherwise, whether it’s Sweden or Bristol down the road from where I am, you have to agree the terms of what you’re doing. And that confidence in setting your rate or guiding people through the process, making sure that things are right for you.
For example, I take my own laptop, I have a clicker for my slides. I make sure they’re in PowerPoint and Keynote and PDF. I’m a control freak around what I provide as a speaker. All of these things create confidence that you can deliver a good job. So it’s all important, but the fact is you can develop all of that over time, which, again, is part of the reason I wrote the book, so people understand this whole aspect.
Viv: It’s a journey actually.
People may see you or look at you and hear about you and think, “It all started yesterday.” But you’ve been working at this for some time now.
Joanna: Yeah. I think this is the thing with all of these. The internet is weird, because like you say, you stumble onto people, and I see it all the time with authors like Hugh Howey is really big name indie author, and people are like, “Oh, Hugh is just like an overnight success.” Whereas he’s been writing for like 15 years.
I feel I’m on a journey towards success, but when I started, I was working for three and a half years part-time when I built up the business that I run now with my books and my speaking things, and it all does take time. And there’s no way I could have ever written this book six, seven years ago, because I didn’t know what I was doing, the same way other people might not. And of course, the first talk I did, the first kind of serious talk as an author was just a local writers group and it was free and it was fine, I’m sure. But things are quite different now. Everything changes over time.
Viv: One thing, because we are talking about price for this Swedish group you’re going to talk to and was it easy, or how easy is it to establish a price to speak? Because some people charge… there’s a guy who charges $45,000, and that made me laugh out loud. And the reason why, I can’t remember his name now.
Joanna: That will be Neil Gaiman.
Viv: Yeah. I thought that was so funny. In fact, I was talking about it yesterday to someone, I said, “I’m reading this amazing book and this is what is in the book.”
And for people like that, they have the the confidence to charge that, because he’s been around for a while and he doesn’t really like to speak, so he can charge anything he likes. So take it or leave it.
Joanna: He actually gives that money to charity as well. So I mean, he is uber, uber famous in my world, and but yeah, speaking fees are difficult. One of the big, big things is who are your audience? So for example, you could speak to corporates about the power of audio in their content marketing, so could I, to be fair, but I have a very directed brand towards author, so you could definitely do that. And for that type of audience, you can charge a lot more money. Now again, it would be different if you were just going to speak at their headquarters for a company to a group of 20 people for an hour would be very different if you spoke to their national conference of 2000 people.
There are all kinds of things to think about when you consider a pricing. I usually speak in a really low-priced market. Authors, in general, don’t pay very much even to go to conferences. An author conference is considered expensive, a couple of hundred pounds, whereas corporates will quite happy send people on a six grand conference for a day. So obviously, you can charge more if you’re speaking to corporates.
Also think about how in demand you are. Neil Gaiman, as mentioned, he is famous. He can charge what he likes and people still want him. I mean, we all know that the Prime Minister and the President of the U.S. get paid a very little amount of money for their job, but when they leave office and become speakers, I think, Bill Clinton is like 250 grand for a keynote or something. When you’re famous, and even if you’re famous in your niche, you can demand a high speaking fee. So say you are the most well-known writer or speaker on organic tomatoes. You will get paid more than I would to speak about organic tomato. So this is the thing. You can never ever tell people what to charge.
The one thing I do know is that introverts, I think, and women, especially, if you’re been reading “The Confidence Code,” books like that, women underprice. I would always add on a bit more and then you can negotiate down.
Also important is to add on your expenses and your travels. So with Sweden, there is a price for the speaking plus travel and expenses, which includes a hotel, which includes taxi, which includes that type of thing on top. You can do a flat fee. There are people who do charge a flat fee, but that flat fee is normally a lot bigger.
So yeah, there are different ways to do pricing. Another way to do pricing is if you’re an author is to include a number of books, and to have a margin on those books, so the cost price might be $5 a book and you can include $10 a book, and the client will get a good deal and so do you. So there is basically all kinds of ways to do pricing.
Another thing that’s important to note, I guess, is you could go in with a free talk or a lower fee for the talk if you’re going to upsell. So a classic example recently of a speaker who I’m fascinated with is the guy who did “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
Viv: Oh, yes, I can’t remember his name.
Joanna: Jordan Belfort. To hear Jordan Belfort speak recently in London, at the ExCeL, which is a big conference center, it was about a £130, which actually isn’t that much money to hear somebody speak. I think it was a three-hour talk on sales, but he did an upsell of a product that was over £2,000 off the back of his talk of which he sold lots. And as a speaker, he is onto make a $100 million this year.
I want to say that I am very much the bottom of the league when it comes to speaking. And someone like Jordan, whose model is price reasonably as a speaker, but then upsell to a product for a lot more money. That is a very good business model. So yeah, but I write fiction. That’s my main thing, I’m not quite hip. But if people are interested in the business models for speaking, certainly thinking about other products is a really good idea.
Viv: Yes. I mean, just listening to you, it is a business and not just, “Oh, it’s part of what I do on the side as an author,” especially for fiction authors. Because non-fiction, they already have a business, so the book is just complementary and to upsell the service to corporate or to give them expertise and known as an expert.
I think for a fiction author, they have to be very intentional to become a speaker and make it a business.
Joanna: And the point is you will struggle to find a fiction author who speaks as a business. I mainly get paid for my non-fiction side, not the fiction side. And the tragedy of literary conferences is they mainly pay in a bottle of wine or you have the joy of selling your books in the bookstore. There is a movement amongst fiction authors to say, “Well, look, this takes time out of my writing schedule. Often, it costs money, because you have to pay for your own accommodation or maybe you get one night’s accommodation, but you don’t anything else.” I’m flying to New York, and it’s entirely my own cost. I’m not being paid for that. Compare that to this Swedish trip which is all paid for.
If, as a fiction author, you want to speak and charge for your speaking, then you do have to look at spinning a non- fiction thing off the back of that. So for example, if you do write romance, then teach a class on writing romance. And that would be a good way to spin that kind of angle. That really is the way to think about it. I would say that you will find most professional speakers write non-fiction.
Viv: Wow. That’s interesting. I think a lot of people listening would be pleased to hear that as well and give them some options on what to do going forward. There’s something you use in your book.
There’s a phrase you use, “social karma,” which I love. How did you come up with that? What does it mean?
Joanna: I don’t know. It probably came from someone. It’s one of these things that I’ve believed since the beginning. Now, content marketing is very trendy. It’s become a thing. I started my podcast four years ago before it really went on the uptick. I never really felt happy with the way that online marketing used to be around almost kind of scam-y and sucky. I like to be helpful and useful. And I think karma is about giving first, and then things come back to you. And you never know how they’re going to come back to you. Being useful and helpful and generous is fun and you enjoy it. It also builds up this kind of bank of goodwill and that does come back to you. I’m sure, you know, as well.
Joanna: For example, I’m sure, you get this. People email me every day with, “Can you tweet this please?” Or not even please, you know. “Can you tweet this or interview me about my book?” And I’m like, “Well, why would I? I don’t even know who you are. That’s not the way it works.” But when a friend emails or an author who’s been retweeting you or sharing your podcast or whatever, emails you and says, “You know, hey, by the way, I’ve got this thing happening. Could you help?” Then they’ve built up that bank of goodwill, so you’re happy to do it.
I think social karma for me is it underlies my marketing strategy which is generally to share other people’s stuff first and see what comes back. And it’s entirely based on science. Robert Cialdini’s book, “Influence” is the one to have a look at there.
Joanna: Yeah, the principle of reciprocity is what it actually is, what it comes down to. But it just feels nice as well.
Viv: Yes. I honestly get that so well. Even with Dream Corner, where I just interview and I love to interview, that has brought me so much joy and so much friends, many, many things. It’s just been unbelievable.
I think you don’t always quantify those sorts of things in monetary terms.
Joanna: No, I don’t think you can. And this speaking thing, as well, for example, I did five days in Bali one year, and that came from a tweet, that somebody found me on Twitter based on someone else’s tweeting something. And the whole thing, I mean, you just don’t know when you put out something into the world, how that’s going to come back in some way.
So what I would say that connecting with people is really important. And as we know, connecting is great if you do it with audio, because it just takes you further than that level of emails. So I definitely recommend that if people want to speak, join a community and join the National Speakers Association. Go along to speakers events. Force yourself to network as an introvert, which is really hard. Do podcasts, this type of thing. And by making connections, you often can get speaking work too.
I’ve been doing the Guardian Masterclass for the last year, and I’ve just decided that I don’t want to do that anymore. So I’ve passed that on to a friend of mine. It’s great to be able to help other people get into speaking.
Viv: That’s amazing karma, to be able to do that.
My final question, do you find it easier to network online as an introvert?
Joanna: I think this is the secret to being an introvert and in today’s marketing world, because basically, with my podcast, with my YouTube videos, with Twitter, with blogging, most of the time, you were sitting on your own, in your house. And therefore, you can do it when you have that energy.
Social media, you can do when you’ve got a bit of connection energy, and then the rest of the time, you don’t have to be on it. And using scheduling tools, like I use Buffer app, I can go several days without the internet and it’s still looks like I’m on it.
All of these things, I think, are brilliant for introverts. I am certainly far happier about doing interviews like this, and I can spend my day on my own, and then I can do… I mainly do interviews in the afternoon and do it this way. I’m happy to do this than go to a a party and meet people there, or do a networking thing. Sometimes, you do have to do these networking things, but most of what I do is online.
Viv: Oh, well thank you so much Joanna. Do you want to give any parting advice for anyone, any?
Joanna: The book is “Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and Other Introverts.” And it’s available in print and e-book on all the stores. And there’s also a SlideShare at thecreativepenn.com/speakingbook. There’s also, if people are interested in self-publishing, there’s a free 87-page e-book on the new world of self-publishing at thecreativepen.com. So yeah, and I’m on Twitter @thecreativepenn, if anyone wants to connect.
Viv: Well, thank you so much. You’re writing royalty, you know.
Joanna: Oh, you’re a sweetheart.
Viv: No, you see, I mean, I know you are. I knew you before I started my podcast. I was talking to a lady who I was interviewing in the States. She was saying, “Oh I don’t know if you’ve heard of Joanna Penn?” I was like, “Oh, yeah, yeah, I interviewed her.” She was like, “Really?” I try not to be over casual about it, but she was quite impressed.
Joanna: This is the thing. They say this about being a speaker as well. People seem to think that when you’re a speaker, you’re something special. Sometimes that’s good to use, but it’s also, it can be very gratifying, but it’s also a great way to help people. Use your speaker powers for good, everyone.
Viv: That’s a good note to end on.
Joanna: Thanks for having me, Viv. That was great.
Viv: That was brilliant. Thanks so much.
You can find out more about Joanna at thecreativepenn.com and connect with her on Twitter as thecreativepenn. If you enjoyed this interview and would like to leave a review, you can do so on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. You can also subscribe to more interviews at audio-byte.co.uk.