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Public speaking is a way for authors to promote your book. Solidify reader loyalty and find new readers by reading your book to an audience.

If public speaking, giving book readings isn't part of your marketing strategy it should be.


6 Reasons Why Authors Need to Embrace Public Speaking

As an author you may think that speaking is not for you but the benefits of speaking can immensely help your career. 

  1. Promote your books
  2. Build your brand
  3. Increase your platform
  4. Expand your reach
  5. Sell more books
  6. Get paid to speak

Every author should be able to discuss and promote their own book. Authors can start with book signings, book readings, library appearances, book clubs and writer groups. You can also do livestreams where you can practise. 

Public Speaking Tips for Authors

1. Use Speaking to Promote Your Books

Use speaking/reading opportunities to drum up media interest. Send out press releases. Invite traditional media (TV, radio and magazines) in addition to non-traditional (local bloggers, bookstagramers and influencers) to attend your event. 

At the event showcase all your books and plug the next one. 

2. Speaking Can Help You Build Your Author Brand

As an author/speaker you build your brand by speaking at more events. Build brand recognition and become the go-to person in your topic/genre. 

3. Increase Your Platform with Public Speaking

Speaking leads to more opportunities as an author/speaker. You'll get noticed by traditional publishers and media. Add Thought Leadership Marketing to your strategy.

4. Use Public Speaking to Expand Your Reach

Speaking can introduce you and your books to a whole new audience. Take time out to go on a book tour. Keep your readers happy as they get to meet you in person and meet new potential readers. 

Look for speaking gigs that can expand your readership. 

5. Sell More Books at Speaking Events

In addition to getting paid to speak you can also sell books at the event. Back of room sales is a nice boost in book sales. 

You don't have to only sell books at the back of the room. You can also sell merch, online programs, workshops and more. 

6. Increase Your Author Income by Getting Paid to Speak

Public speaking is a way to supplement your author income. 

Speaking for especially non-fiction authors, can become very lucrative. You can build a platform around your topic and sell your knowledge, expertise and skills. Start growing your speaker business.

Becoming a professional speaker can only enhance your author career. 

4 Ways Authors Can Become Better Speakers to Sell More Books

Good Authors/Speakers Prepare Before They Speak

When you’re passionate about your books, you’ll never run out of sections to read. However, that burning passion you have can also cause you to overload your audience with too much. Prepare sections of readings that are 10 minutes long.

If you are presenting a topic you might want to teach them everything you know about the topic, however, try not to bombard them with too much information.  Presenting too much information at a time, your audience will struggle to keep up and they’ll also forget everything pretty quickly.

Only talk about the most important things your audience needs to know. Break it down as much as you can, mentioning only the key points. 

If you are reading from your book find sections that grab a readers attention and convey your message.

It's A Lot Harder for an Author to Be A Panster When Public Speaking

As a panster you may want to wing it and not even write a speech, select a section to read or you decide you don't need to rehearse.

A good, memorable presentation follows a good structure.

If you don’t focus on how the speech/reading is structured, it could end up being all over the place. This is will kill engagement and leave your audience more confused than anything else.

Spend time preparing your presentation, selecting the right section to read making sure it follows the right structure.

How can you deliver all of the information/read from your book and ensure it flows perfectly?

A good structure makes a more powerful, memorable and engaging presentation.

Rehearsing your speech is crucial. This allows you to familiarize yourself with how it’s structured, how it flows and most importantly, what you’re going present.

It also gives you the opportunity to try out different presentation methods and props. Changing your tone of voice, understanding where to inject humor and testing how you say things will help you to perfect your speech/reading.

If you don’t rehearse it, you’re not going to deliver the presentation effectively and this is going to have a major impact on engagement.  

Don't Read Directly From Your Script/Book

While it’s a good idea to take your script with you on stage, it’s really important not to continuously read from it. You should only use it as a prompt.

If you're reading a section of your book, print it out in a font that's readable from arms length and lay it out so it's easy to refer to.

If your busy reading that means you are too busy to engage with your audience. Looking down and reading directly from your script or book instead of making eye contact with your audience is a sure-fire way to lose engagement. 

Also if you are reading your tone won't be engaging either. 

When you know the script/reading, you will be more confident and engaging, capturing your audiences attention much easier than if you were focusing on what you’re reading.

Ideally, you’ll want to learn as much of the script/reading as possible.

Authors Need to Add a Clear Call to Action to Their Reading

Finally, a big mistake you can make is failing to provide a clear call to action. You could have given the best presentation you’ve ever given, but if you haven’t told the audience what to do next, you’ve failed.

So, be sure to let them know what the next steps are. Is it to sign up to a particular cause? Or maybe they should be picking up a leaflet on the way out? Whatever it is they need to do, let them know!

There are so many mistakes you can make which can kill engagement in your presentation. The above is just some of the most common mistakes you can make. Be sure to follow the advice provided in order to avoid them and ensure your speech is memorable for all of the right reasons.

Speaking Opportunities for Authors

Speaking is way to reach bigger audiences and sell more books.

 Here is a list of places you can speak at as an author:

  • Libraries
  • Businesses
  • Churches
  • Clubs
  • Conferences
  • Colleges
  • Schools
  • Writer and book festivals
  • Organizations

Once established as a professional speaker, your reputation, brand and platform will bring more opportunities and increase not only current book sales but future book sales as well. Becoming an author/speaker is groundwork for a long career and author business.

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