The gift of gab certainly is not a new expression. Its definition is the facility of speaking eloquently or profusely. Oxford Dictionary 1998. Humanity has utilized this gift since the creation of the universe. Adam and Eve used it to try to get out of their punishment for eating of the forbidden tree. Fagin used it to describe Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist. Men and women continuously use it when trying to impress each other. Preachers use it when trying to convey a biblical message. Presidential candidates use it to gain our votes and it is no different when an author is trying to convey a message or tell a story. The gift of gab has always proven to be effective and shows no sign of dying.
Even though a story is in writing format, it is still a form of gab. We spend so much time honing our craft and our skills so that we are able to put our best foot forward. Why stop there? It is also important for an author to hone in on their speaking skills. After all, when a reader or potential reader asks you to tell them a little about your work, you want to be able engage your audience, whether you are speaking to one person or one thousand. You should be able to relay your message to in an articulate manner. Not being able to do so may deter a potential buyer from purchasing your work.
Successful speaking skills can be an asset to any career and that rings true for writers. Being a great speaker can lead you further into your writing career than you had ever imagined even allowing you to be a motivational speaker of sorts. Everyone loves to hear a good inspiring story to get him or her going, or to give him or her that little push they needed. They are going to hear it from someone, so why not you?
There are many ways you improve your speaking skills and many ways to display them. Learning and utilizing some of these suggestions cannot only make you a better speaker but a better writer. In addition, you may even be able to add speaker to your resume.
Practice makes perfect, so never give up an opportunity to do so. Write a short speech or pitch and read it to yourself in a front of a mirror until you are relaxed and comfortable. Once you have reached a level of comfort, record yourself. Take your practice sessions one step further by reciting your speech in front of a spouse or your children or other family and friends. Listen to other speeches, great and small. A speaker who does not listen to speeches that are not his or her own is like an author who does not read.
One suggested organization for honing your speaking skills is Toastmasters. Everyone has heard of Toastmasters in one capacity or another. Some may not know it but you may have several Toastmasters clubs in your own backyard. Toastmasters International (www.toastmasters.org) is an international non-profit organization that provides its members with the tools and forums to become better speakers and better leaders. Mention Toastmaster to just about anyone and you are sure to get a positive response. Attending a Toastmasters meeting is simple. If you are not sure where Toastmasters might meet in your neighborhood, simply go to their website and input your zip code. You will find several meeting locations to choose from. To attend Toastmasters as a visitor is free to you. Should you choose to join, there is a minimal annual fee – money well spent. Most Toastmaster meetings are structured and they last approximately one hour. To find out more about Toastmasters, please visit their website.
Conducting community workshops on your writing craft can also give you an opportunity to utilize your gift of gab. Start by contacting your local school district, recreational centers, or public libraries and verbalize your interest in conducting a workshop or seminar for their organization. By providing this service, not only do you gain speaking experience, but you gain teaching experience and depending on the entity, income. Check your local community colleges as they may be looking for ideas and persons to complete their creative writing courses or other curriculum.
Many organizations hold annual events such as conferences, which may give an author a chance to be a featured speaker. Entrepreneurial conferences, literary conferences, and festivals and women’s conferences are great sources and provide great opportunities for speaking. Do your research and contact the appropriate person, again, verbalizing your desire to be a speaker at their event. Because these events are annual, events the planning stages are usually completed well in advance so it might be essential to contact the appropriate person well in advance.
At the least, excellent speaking skills will open many doors for a writer giving you more opportunities to grow your brand, give you more exposure and experience. The possibilities are endless. Remember never limit yourself. You are your brand and you should use every available opportunity to expose it.