Thursday, April 14, 2011

How To Read To An Audience Effectively

Jennifer Hillier, over at The Serial Killer Files, just updated her blog yesterday concerning her attendance at this year's ThrillerFest VI here in NYC. As a writer who's debut novel, Creep, will be out in July, Jen is understandably a little nervous about participating on one of the panels during the convention.

I don't blame her. I would be terrified! Although, like Jen herself stated, I would also be *thrilled* too. But, yeah, mostly terrified.

However, I think the biggest obstacle I will have to overcome first is reading my work in public. I'm sure Jen has already surmounted this particular fear. But as for me? Nope, I've never done it before. So needless to say I have a lot of misgivings on how that whole scene might play out when it's my turn. *gulp*

Luckily, another writerly friend of mine has a very cool seminar on effective public speaking which she gives at conventions whenever she can. Earlier this year, at a Superstars Writing Seminar in Utah, Mary Robinette Kowal gave a super fast rendition of this workshop to all who would stop in and listen. And what a lesson they got! Luckily, someone was kind enough to record and post it on Youtube. As a master puppeteer in her "day job"--and, of course, as a touring new writer who's debut novel just appeared last year--Mary knows a things or two about dramatic presentation and throwing one's voice around. She's really good, in fact. Check out her blog sometime and find out more about her if you'd like.

I'm going to embed parts 1 and 2 of her Effective Speaking workshop below for convenience sake. And, also, so that I have a place to find these very helpful vids in the future. Something tells me I'm going to need all the help I can get. *whimpers*


Jennifer Hillier said...

OH GOD I hope I never have to read something out loud! CREEP is full of sex and violence... I'd hate to read any part of it out loud! I'd be stumbling and stuttering my way through it.

Wait. What does that say about me that I'll write it but not say it? Hmmm.

Can't wait to meet you in July! Are you just stopping in or will you be attending the conference?

David Batista said...

I don't know yet what level of presence I'll devote to the con. I'm going because NYC, ironically, doesn't get many cons in my genre of speculative fiction. But since I've never been to a con for any genre, I figure this would be a good way to take the experience for a test spin, so to speak. The convenient location is perfect, too! I can get there from where I live in no time.

For now I'll say that I'm just flying through to say hi to some people -- and, of course, to meet and get you to sign my copy of CREEP! :) But I'll decide in a few days whether I'll make the effort to attend the full event or not.

getyourselfconnected said...

When I have to give a talk in front of a bunch of scientists and the whole point is for them to try and see things I missed, left out, or got wrong it can be really nerve racking for sure. Cool videos David, thanks.

Yvonne said...

I've never been much of a public speaker. I remember hating my Speech class in high school. It's funny that you mention reading your work to an audience. I've often wondered how on earth I would get through that, should my novel ever sale and I have a book speaking/signing engagement! I'll go to yours if you come to mine and I promise not to make faces at you while you're speaking. Maybe. Deal? ;) Seriously though, I don't know who some writers do it.

David Batista said...

Damn right that's a deal! :)

I'm terrified of reading before a group of people, but I suspect that in the end I'll do just fine. Luckily for me I'm still many years away from that day. For now, I simply need to focus on my writing craft.

Ashe Hunt said...

No problems with that! Sometimes I even like it. :-) I do it in my writing class pretty regularly this semester. Never did mind speaking in front of people. Though I've had practice since I was little. Performed on stage quite a bit: acting, singing, piano recital, and most recently poetry readings.

You Might Also Like: