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This may be scary idea for some people, but here are 7 reasons why you need to be a good speaker as well as a great writer.
- Successful best-selling authors speak at Writer's Festivals. Therefore, if you want to be a successful author, you need to prepare for these events and make sure you fulfill the audience expectation when you get there. (I have been at too many festivals and been terribly disappointed when the author gave a poor performance).
- Reading your own book aloud is a common request at book launches, author events and more. If you stutter and stumble on your words, or you cannot deliver with aplomb your own sparkling prose, will those people buy your books?
- It makes you stand out in the crowded marketplace of authors. Thousands of books are published each week so how do you stand out? If you are a speaker as well as an author, you stand out amongst those authors who prefer to stay out of the limelight. These days you need to be a bit pushy to get some attention for your book.
- Speaking can generally make you more money than book sales. Speakers can earn a hefty speaking fee for a keynote, but you can also run day workshops or other events that can make you money. You can charge several hundred for a day's workshop per person, and several thousand for a keynote (some speakers charge 10's of thousands). It is certainly another significant income stream that provides an addition to book sales.
- You can sell books at your speaking gigs. Back of the room sales are guaranteed if you give a great talk/workshop/seminar. People want to take a piece of you home. Therefore, you can add this income stream to your speaking fee.
- Speaking enables you to connect with people and they are more likely to become fans. If people listen to you and see you in action, they get to know you better. They can ask you questions and you can demonstrate your knowledge. You connect with individuals this way and great marketing is best done with a personal connection.
- Speaking generates word of mouth marketing. If you give a great talk or seminar, if you are memorable for all the right reasons, people will talk about you to their friends. This generates word of mouth publicity for you which is the very best kind. People will then buy your books, or attend your next workshop or may pass the word on in turn.
What do you think about public speaking? Is it critical for authors these days?
Image: Flickr CC Hiddedevries