Monday, February 13, 2012

A Winning Workshop Experience

This weekend I had the distinct pleasure of being the guest speaker at the CTRWA chapter monthly meeting. When Jennifer Fusco, the CTRWA Chapter President, asked if I could be a guest speaker, my answer was a big YES!  I've been a professional public speaker and speaker trainer for over ten years, so it's a natural fit.

Just one problem...I was stumped about what topic to speak on.

I'm a relatively new author on the scene and I wouldn't dream of telling anyone how to write their book or coach them on characterization. I'm just not comfortable with that.  However, through my company Taney Speaker Training I run full-day workshops on public speaking all the time. Why not offer a workshop for authors on communication skills and public speaking that is specifically designed for authors?

In my experience, most authors are introverted and love the solitude that comes with being a writer. They can create fantastical worlds and characters you'll never forget...but ask them to pitch an agent, editor or bookseller and they are suddenly at a loss for words.

So I took the highlights from my public speaking & communication skills workshop and geared it toward writers. I'm happy to report that the workshop went well and the feedback has been extremely positive. Phew! Good thing....because I'm delivering the same workshop at RT 2012 in April! 

If you're interested in setting a up a workshop like this for you group or company, visit my website

Me with the CTRWA gang!

The CTRWA group was just wonderful! They were engaged, asked great questions and many of them were willing to get up in front of the group and work on some of the skills we touched on.

This is a shot of me and the CTRWA President Jennifer Fusco!

While I was there, Jen was kind enough to give me a copy of the latest book in her Market or Die series, Integrated Marketing Plan Advice for Writers. I read it in under two hours but then I went and got a highlighter and a pen so I could back and take notes.

If you are a writer, self-pubbed or traditional, you must get this book! The entire MOD series is a must-have for every author. She takes marketing, which can be a daunting task for many authors, and makes it easy! I's like marketing for dummies...but she doesn't make you feel like a dummy. When you read this book, it's like you have your own personal marketing professional (which she is by the way for her day job) walking you through the process.

My favorite part was the Mad-Libs type exercise when she shows you how to create a positioning statement for your books.  I know. You may be thinking...What the hell is that?  However, Jen explains it all clearly and simply.

If you're an author and attending RWA Nationals in Anaheim this year, then you must attend Jen's workshop--Integrated Marketing Advice for Writers!  Can't go to the conference? Don't sweat it because you can pick up a copy of her book and when you read it, you'll feel like you have her right next to you walking you through the process.

You can get your copy here on Jen's Market or Die blog.


Gail Chianese said...

It was a fantastic workshop. I'm very, shy -speaking in public, no I wouldn't rather be the guy in the coffin, but it's close, so very close. Thanks to Sara, I feel I'm better prepared for the next time I have to stand up in front of our group and at Fiction Fest in May!

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us! If you're going to RT people, you need to make time to see Sara!!!!

Jamie Pope said...

We loved your workshop! It was probably the best one I've been to since I've been a member of CTRWA. We would love to see you again,

Rhonda Lane said...

Thanks, Sarah, for your workshop. I'll be putting your techniques to good use at my first reading on March 11. Maybe I won't even have to tap the xanax first? :)

Sara Humphreys said...

@Gail--Thanks so much! If you feel more prepared and comfortable as a result of the workshop, then I'm thrilled. I hope the RT folks will sign up.

Sara Humphreys said...

@Jamie-Woot! That's absolutely fantastic to hear. :)I'd love to come back anytime!

Sara Humphreys said...

@Rhonda--No xanax for you! You can do it...just look 'em in the eye and smile.

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