Author Talk

Happy Friday blog friends! I can not believe we are already heading in to the month of February. For those of you who made New Year resolutions, I hope you are all finding great success.

In honor of Fearless Friday, I have invited my good friend and fellow editor-in-arms, Shelly Tegen, to guest blog today. Shelly is a phenomenal writing coach and she is here to share some tips with us on Public Speaking 101.

So without further ado, the following is a post from Shelly Tegen:

On Sunday, my husband and I went to listen to an author speak about her book and the concepts behind it. A brief synopsis of the book let us know the topic was of interest, and we drove to the event with great enthusiasm. Sitting in a room with a captive audience of 30+ other interested souls, we found ourselves struggling to follow the author’s monotone reading of her written speech.


The lady behind me yawned repeatedly, my husband used metaphorical tooth picks to keep his eyes open. I did my very best to pay attention. At the end of the speech came a Q&A session. I felt the host begin to panic as the crickets prepared to chirp. Finally, someone asked a question and the audience began a discussion aimed more towards engaging each other than the author.

I left the event wondering if the author sold very many books. While she seemed knowledgeable, I also wondered if her writing lacked the same passion as her speech.

We don’t all have the gift of being comfortable speaking in front of groups of people, however, as promoters of our hard work, we owe it to ourselves to learn some basic public speaking skills.

1) Writing out your speech is fine. Reading it to a group isn’t. Memorize your speech to the best of your ability and then make notecards with key points to help you stay on track.

2) Vary your tone of voice. Let your passion for your work shine through. I recommend practicing in front of others and getting their honest feedback, or recording yourself and listening to it objectively.

3) Every few seconds, make and hold eye contact with a different person in the audience.

4) Smile. It lightens the tone in your voice, as well as brightens your face.

5) Have fun!! People came out to hear you. You are that special and so is your work!

Shelly Tegen is a Development/Content Editor, who works closely with authors on areas such as language, story flow, character development, consistency, plot and pace. She works with both fiction and nonfiction authors across a variety of genres, with clients such as Barnes & Noble Best Seller Jessica Therrien. Outside of the book world, she edits newsletters, sale and marketing materials, websites, college papers…any written words she can get my hands on! To learn more about her work, you can contact Shelly at or look her up on LinkedIn.

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5 Responses to Author Talk

  1. Hi Shelly,
    Those are great tips for speaking. I hate to have a presenter read to me. I like to have an outline where I’m not tempted to read the words.

  2. cyelkoth5637 says:

    What a fun post! I’d never thought about how a reading could make the author look worse. It’s something to keep in mind. Thanks to both you and Shelly!

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