by Barbara Florio Graham
As a professional speaker and teacher, I’ve given three-day workshops to Canadian federal government departments that paid me $1,000/day, international conferences where the payment was in prestige and a lovely gift, national conferences that paid a speaker’s fee plus comped registration and meals, and local groups, wheree compensation was a small honorarium and the opportunity to sell my books.
Know what? The best experiences have not been at those high-priced workshops, nor were the smoothest arrangements at international or national conferences.
Well-paid event planners don’t always do better than volunteers. And it’s often up to you to ensure that things run smoothly.
Here’s a checklist I use:
- Confirm the date and time early, and give organizers a deadline after which they can’t cancel or change your date/slot unless exceptional circumstances arise.
- Make sure you obtain full contact information, with back-up email addresses and phone numbers. Send a bio and a description of the presentation, and check to see that it’s been received.
- Request any special requirements, such as a projector and screen, flip charts, or a white board. I never rely on electronics to work properly, and don’t like PowerPoint in any case, so I always ask for two flip charts.
- Do you want a special configuration in the room (theatre style, participants at tables, a circle)? Find out if the organizers will photocopy your handouts, and prepare them early so you can send them well in advance. Do you prefer a table or a podium? I always prefer a table, as I’m more visible standing behind a table, and it allows me to move around more. But they may require that a podium with a microphone be used.
- Two weeks in advance: obtain the final conference program or the agenda if it’s a single event. Confirm cell phone numbers, room arrangements, and requested equipment; ensure they have the materials you’ve asked to be photocopied.
- The week before: are handouts ready and are you sure the person assigned to you has them? I always carry the following with me: a set of originals of my handouts; a copy of my bio; and a brief introduction I’ve prepared, in case the person introducing me doesn’t show up or isn’t prepared; flip-chart markers; and my own filled water bottle with a straw. I make sure I have a few paper towels and extra tissues. I also wear my own badge, which is especially important if they’ve misspelled your name on the one they prepared!
- Day before: set out your clothes. Wear something both visible and comfortable. Nobody looks at a speaker’s shoes (unless you’re on TV), so as long as they’re appropriate and shined, your most comfortable pair is essential. You need color near your face, so if your jacket is dark, wear a bright blouse or scarf (men need a colored shirt and fairly bright tie).
- Day of: arrive early. Find the washrooms, snag an extra chair to park your coat and bag if they haven’t provided one beside the table or podium. Then greet people, relax, and enjoy your moment in the spotlight.
Barbara Florio Graham is an author and publishing consultant. Her website, www.SimonTeakettle.com, contains a great deal of free information, as well as Simon Teakettle’s popular blog. This article first appeared in Freelance Writer’s Report.
by Barbara Florio Graham
When I was asked to do a two-hour interview on a popular news/talk radio show, I was delighted.
My publisher had hooked the host with a press release connecting the death of award-winning actor, Peter Falk, with my story about working with him well before he created the character of Columbo. The story is one of 34 first-person pieces in Prose to Go: Tales from a Private List.
Securing a spot on this show was a coup. It’s two hours in prime time on a Sunday evening, and is often broken into two separate segments. But I’d been asked to be available for the full two hours. Plenty of time to promote this book, for which I served as managing editor. Continue reading
Ten questions you should ask and ten things a publicist will expect from you
by Kathleen Kaiser, Kathleen Kaiser and Associates, Ventura, California
Now more than ever, publicity drives book sales. This key component of book marketing has grown past reviews, interviews, book signings, media kits, and events to social media campaigns that deliver readers and sales. Knowledge of Facebook ads, Google campaigns, BookBuds, book bloggers, and the many other e-marketing tools are essential skills for a 21st century publicist. Continue reading
by Katie Miller, The Vandiver Group, St. Louis
Public relations is a strategic communications process in which a certified company or individual is responsible for creating and maintaining the public image, branding, external and internal communications, and networking of a client. The public relations field is extremely diverse, so a professional can provide services that will fit the needs and goals of any project, no matter the client. From managing the image of major corporations with crisis plans and media relations, to managing the needs of smaller companies and individuals with branding and social media, there is a benefit to every business. By using the services of a PR pro, you gain a teammate who is passionate about your short-term and long-term success. Continue reading
by Tina Mosetis
A publicist can help an author get media attention, set up book signings, arrange for speaking engagements, set up business networking opportunities, and much more. Having a publicist represent you is the most professional and effective way to promote your work. The media expects authors, artists, actors, and other talent to have a publicist. When determining what publicist would be best, it is important to have a good conversation to learn about how many years of experience the publicist has and how creative he or she is in terms of seeking all the various angles to pursue to put the spotlight on your work. Continue reading
by Chris Santella
In 1989, a close friend and I had a notion for a golf book that would highlight fifty of the best public courses in America. We wrote a detailed proposal, and somehow secured a reputable agent…or so we thought. The project went nowhere, and our agent finally informed us that no one was interested in such a book. Two years later, while perusing golf books in a local bookstore, I came across a title on public golf courses. In the acknowledgements, the author thanked his agent, who happened to be our agent, for the great idea! Continue reading
by Jackie Lapin, founder of Conscious Media Relations
The nice thing about radio—as opposed to TV and print—is that producers and hosts are much less restrictive in selecting their interview subjects. The guest may promote a traditionally or self-published book (no e-books that aren’t available via print-on-demand), and it doesn’t have to be newly launched. All the show cares about is if the listener can benefit from the content.
It’s imperative when promoting your book at launch—or after—that you have a compelling pitch letter that conveys the benefits of your book to the reader. This goes for any nonfiction book (memoir, self-help, personal growth, health, history, etc.) as well as fiction, if you can make it topical. Continue reading