Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Speak to Promote

You've published a book and want to promote it. Or you haven't published anything yet but plan to develop a platform. Have you thought about becoming a speaker?

If you are used to talking to groups, start by deciding what topics you will offer. Then consider joining one or more speakers' bureaus.

Indiana Writers' Consortium offers one as a free membership benefit. It isn't an interactive speakers' bureau that matches speakers with venues, but IWC does list your information on the website for the world to see.

How do you get included? If you aren't an IWC member, the first step is to join. You can do that through the website at Then simply send a picture and speaking information to Although IWC does not require a particular format, you can check the current entries to see what kind of information they include.

So what if you want to be a speaker but are too nervous to follow through? Check out speech classes at local colleges/universities and park districts. Or join a speaking club from an organization such as Toastmasters International.

Belonging to a Toastmasters' club gives you the opportunity to speak in a non-threatening environment while learning how to prepare and present speeches. Members range in experience from other beginners to people who command significant fees for speaking engagements. They'll all help you gain confidence and become a polished speaker.

New Toastmasters members receive a beginning manual that covers everything from organizing a speech to vocal variety, gestures, and using visual aids. After completing the first manual, members proceed to advanced manuals focused on particular types of speaking, such as Humorously Speaking, Interpretive Reading, and Communicating on Television.

To find a nearly Toastmasters' club, go to and use the meeting finder on the left-hand side of the home page. Guests are welcome, so you can attend a meeting or two before deciding to join.

If you want to speak to promote, you have options. Use them.

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