where the writers are
More Hints for Public Speaking: Workshops

Yesterday, I gave a presentation to my local RWA chapter. This was a craft workshop, and there are different considerations when doing an informal chat, which is what I talked about last week.

For a workshop, you're going to need more preparation, of course. Here are a few more hints for a successful presentation.

1. Even if it's one you've given until you think you could do it in your sleep, REVIEW THE MATERIAL in advance. You don't want to have to stop to read your notes.

2. Work from notes, NOT a printout of your workshop. You'll put everyone to sleep, because "reading" isn't "talking." You don't want to sound like a boring professor.

3. Have handouts. People will be more attentive if they know they don't have to struggle to write down everything you're saying.

4. Touch base with the organizer to make sure any equipment you required will be available.

5. Arrive early to set up. Make sure everything works. Be prepared with plans B and C if everything doesn't work. Can you give your talk if there's no powerpoint projector, or if your computer won't communicate with it? While technology can make your talk lively and give your audience something to focus on other than you, it can break down, or not work the way you expected.

6. Try to be interactive with your audience. Ask for their ideas if your topic permits. You're probably not talking about something where you're the only person in the room who's had experience along those lines. (Hint: I offer chocolate to anyone who participates in any fashion. Ask a volunteer to hand it out.)