Public Speaking for Authors

Bletchley Park Research BooksLast year was the start of my new adventure into public speaking. I can tell you public speaking for the uninitiated is an extremely (extremely, extremely – you get my point) daunting prospect.

The first experience was at Portsmouth High School where Bletchley Park codebreaker, Margaret Rock walked the halls back in 1917. I had a great time preparing the slides, talking to the Year 7 girls of this impressive schools, which is part of the Girl’s Day School Trust. I also revisited to speak to the whole school in November 2013 with Brian Higgins from Cyber Security Challenge.

Brian Higgins, Cyber Security Challenge

Brian Higgins, Cyber Security Challenge

Bletchley Park also let me share my research on Margaret Rock at the annual Veteran’s weekend in September 2013, and in October I gave a keynote speech about Margaret at a celebration lunch for women in Cyber Security.

Kerry in the ballroom with a slideshow

Kerry at BP reunion – in the ballroom with a slideshow

These were all very enjoyable experiences, despite the nerves that left my hands sweaty and my heart pounding in my ears. I am a strong believer in recognising your fears, then putting your head down and getting on with it.

One of my tactics for pushing through the fear was to reach out to an author, entrepreneur and speaker who really inspires me. Her name is Joanna Penn of www.thecreativepenn.com. She gave me some great tips to get me started on my public speaking adventure, for which I am very grateful.


It was a nice surprise when Joanna asked me to be a beta-reader for her latest non-fiction book Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and other Introverts.  I suddenly had the perfect toolbox for starting out in pubic speaking.

The book is full of practical tips – the real nuts and bolts of turning public speaking into an asset for your business. It is based on the author’s considerable speaking experience over the last five years.

You can read this book from start to finish, but you can also dip in and out, as each chapter contains succinct tips that you’ll need at different times on your journey.

  • Part 1 covers the practicalities of speaking: types of speaking, preparation, the actual talk, and what happens afterwards.
  • Part 2 is about some of the psychological aspects of speaking: mindset, authenticity, confidence, and tackling the inevitable anxiety.
  • Part 3 discusses the business side of speaking: financials, marketing, and how to create multiple streams of income.
  • Part 4 contains interviews with three professional speakers, each from a different market, and each at different places on the introvert spectrum. These interviews are also available as videos, audio and extra image-formatted transcripts, so you can experience this information in other modes if you prefer.
  • The Appendices contain resources that will be useful in any speaker’s journey and include Joanna’s personal speaking checklist and booking form, example sales page and a series of questions for you to answer that will kickstart your public speaking.

What I especially love is that there are invaluable checklists to use. These can be found in the book and downloaded as PDFs.  I can only benefit from this book and let’s hope there will be more speaking opportunities to enhance my practical experience too. It’s nice to be mentioned in the acknowledgements too!

The key piece of advice I took from the book is that you will not give a perfect speech at every event. This helped me step back from each speaking experience and berating myself for those subtle things I would like to have been better.

Let’s hope I deliver the perfect speech for the events that matter, which is all of them!

If you’re starting out as a public speaker (introvert or not) I am sure you’ll take away many positive and useful tips from Joanna’s book. Here’s the link to click to buy your copy.

(The links contained in this page are affiliate links. If you buy I will earn a small commission but it will not affect the price you pay.)

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