This is a guest post by Daniela McVicker. Daniela is a contributor to Essayguard. She has a master’s degree in English Literature and is truly passionate about learning foreign languages and teaching. Daniela works with the students to help them reveal their writing talent and find their one true calling.
7 Tips to Write a Killer Book Presentation
Sometimes, a book you have written draws enough attention that you are asked to speak about it to an audience. You may be asked to present as a subject expert, talk about your material at a conference or convention, present at a book fair, or give a quick presentation as part of a book signing.
As they say, more people are afraid of public speaking than of death. Which means that most people would prefer being in a casket than giving the obituary.
And now, you’re going to be in front of an audience discussing your written work. For many writers, this is a daunting task, to put it mildly.
Still, with a bit of planning your presentation can be impactful and successful. In fact, as you prepare to make your presentation, you may find that your writing skills are quite useful. You can leverage those skills by following these seven tips to write a killer book presentation.
1. Use Your Storytelling Skills
The people attending your presentation want to know the story behind your book. What motivated you to write it? What was the inspiration behind the characters? Is the book inspired by real-life events? Is there a specific message you are trying to send? How do you go about writing?
That’s a lot of great information to share, but if you give your audience a laundry list of factoids about your book and writing, you’ll likely bore them to tears. Instead, use your writing skills to tell the story of the book. Weave in the most important details in a way that keeps your audience engaged.
Oh, and if you have an upcoming book that’s related to your current one? Weave a bit of a teaser for your new book into your presentation.
2. Add Visuals
Every good presentation has visuals. First, you’ll add an interesting element to your presentation. Visuals make your presentation more engaging. You’ll keep the interest of the visual learners in your audience, and better illustrate the points you are making.
3. Learn About Your Audience
Before you prepare your presentation, consider your audience. First, who are they? What is their demographic? Why are they coming to see you? Is there a particular message you are expected to communicate with them? Are there any questions that you should plan on answering in your presentation? What is it that you want them to take away from the event?
Remember that no presentation should be an exercise in self-indulgence. Your goal should be to meet your audience’s needs by giving them the presentation they are interested in listening to.
4. Write a Presentation That Matches Your Personality
Here’s a bit of a conundrum. You want to cater to your audience, as mentioned above. On the other hand, you also want to be genuine. Your content should interest your audience, but you shouldn’t have to put on a mask to do that.
As a writer, you have your own unique personality. You have a unique voice. Remember, you are presenting yourself. There’s no need to put on a fake persona to do your presentation. This is true, even if your presentation style seems to contradict with the personality of your book.
Instead, consider carefully your personality and demeanor. Then, write a presentation where your true self is an asset to that presentation rather than a distractor. Believe it or not, many seasoned writers find this a challenge. You may need the assistance of a professional editor and proofreader to help you present your true voice. Before you select a professional to help you, though, take a look at online editing services reviews so you make the right choice.
If your personality is a bit on the introverted side, delivering a presentation may feel intimidating. However, it may be easier than you realize. There’s something comfortable about immersing yourself into something you know better than anybody else. You have mastered your own written work. Nobody can interpret it or tell the story behind it as you can. Those facts alone may be enough to help you feel comfortable giving a presentation.
5. Use Action Words
You already know that small changes in your writing can change its impact significantly. For example, it’s more impactful to use a strong verb than an adverb. That’s why the sentence, “He ran out the door very quickly” is not half as effective as, “He bolted out the door.” It’s also why words like victorious, enraged, devastated, embittered, and bubbly help readers visualize your story better than happy, sad, or angry.
The same concept applies to your presentation. Choose verbs over adverbs almost every time you can. Rethink your adjectives. When possible, choose words that most closely describe the moment. Avoid adjectives that can be applied generically to a wide range of situations. For example, the word “happy” could be used to describe somebody who found out that can green beans are on sale. It can also be used to describe somebody who just witnessed the birth of their first child. In the second example, however, the word happy is just insipid.
Finally, use the present tense whenever possible as you write your presentation. When you describe what happens in your book, you want your audience to be in the moment. One rule of thumb to follow is that, if it happened in the present tense in the book, it should happen in the present tense in your presentation.
6. Get Inspiration From Great Presenters And Authors
You won’t be the first author to stand in front of a group for a presentation or question-and-answer session. Many people have done this before. That’s a good thing because you have a wealth of examples to draw from for inspiration. One of the best ways to prepare for your presentation is to watch similar presentations from other authors. The goal isn’t to copy what you see. Instead, it’s to look for elements that make each presentation more engaging and allow the presenter to make an emotional connection with the audience.
Here, the key is choosing the right authors to emulate. As you look for author presentations for inspiration, focus on authors who write in the same genre as you, appeal to a similar demographic, and have a personal style similar to yours.
Once you find presentations to review, take notes. Pay attention to body language, use of words, and tone of voice. Make a note of the most memorable things the author says, and where the audience appears to be most interested.
Finally, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be as polished and perfect as the presenters you see. Many of them have years of experience in presenting their books in a variety of formats across a variety of media channels. It will take time and practice for you to get to that level. In the meantime, the folks coming to see you are already interested in your book and in what you have to say.
7. Be Prepared For Questions
Most book presentations are going to contain some sort of audience participation. Keep this in mind when you write your presentation. How are you going to approach this?
One option is to make a list of questions you believe the audience is likely to have for you. If you think you’re going to be nervous, it could be helpful for you to plan your answers ahead of time.
If your idea of interacting with the audience isn’t so intimidating for you, there are some things you can do to increase that interaction. First, consider leaving a few things out of your presentation. Chances are, at least one curious member of your audience will bring up the point and ask about it. You can then use this as a jumping point to cover that ground.
You can also use a question and answer session as a bit of an intermission. Rather than putting off all audience questions until the end, ask for questions in the middle of your presentation. It could break things up nicely.
Finally, you can turn the tables a bit. Ask your audience questions. What is their favorite plot point? How does the book relate to their lives? Who is their favorite character?
It is quite an honor to be asked to give a presentation about your book. This is a great way to let your current readership get to know more about you and your process. You may also be able to increase your reading audience.
At the same time, this can absolutely be a daunting process. Fortunately, you can help yourself immensely with a bit of planning and preparation.
The tips above will help you write a presentation that is engaging and allows you to be yourself. Follow the suggestions above, and your audience will enjoy your presentation thoroughly!