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Not the advice you were expecting?
The last two weeks I have shared a couple of things I have learned or observed with regard to doing public appearances. Last week, I talked about standing up and changing your physical presence to help change your mental state (Amy Cuddy’s “Fake it ’til you become it” message). This week I wanted to offer another suggestion on how you might change your outlook and project more confidence.
Public speaking for many can be a very daunting task. I’ve mentioned this before, but for writers in particular, we tend to be introverted in nature and that causes us to stand off to the side and watch things as they occur around us. We can be the great observers and use that to make powerful stories, but often we avoid the spotlight. However, marketing and getting your book out in front of readers requires having a public face and drawing attention to ourselves. We have to let people know our stories exist.
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Last week’s recommendation was for people who are doing shows and events to buy mats because hard surfaces make standing for long periods of time more difficult.
This week I want to elaborate more on the value of standing. As I mentioned last week, standing helps you to engage with your audience and puts you at eye level with those to whom you are speaking. That helps to build an immediate rapport with them, or at least does not try to place you on different social levels by remaining seated while they are forced to stand.
But there are other reasons for standing as well. There is a psychological impact for you in changing your position and posture and that in turn impacts how you are perceived. As a writer, I want to share the world I have created with anyone I can encourage to delve into it. No matter how good or bad my story, my interactions with them greatly impact the chances they will be willing to peak inside the cover.
Again, with the mat suggestion, this is not really limited to just writers, but to everyone. Changing your body language is incredibly powerful. It can make the difference between getting a job, a raise, a date, making a friend, … the list is endless. I highly recommend the TED talk I’ve linked below. It is Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are.