Monday, February 8, 2010

Taking the Stage

Though I've been a musician, singer/songwriting for more years than I care to mention. Public speaking gives me the willies. I can't hide behind a guitar or bass or share "WE ROCK" grins with band members.

We're talking. Just me. Talking.

I've been gearing up for a few author visits and workshop presentations and I gotta admit, I'm nervous. Last year I did a few visits to the local high school and the public library's teen reading club. But those were home-town venues. I knew the librarians, hell, I knew half the kids. But the gigs I have coming up are all over Alberta and there will be no familiar faces.

As an elementary school library technician, my usual interactions with classes involves going over their overdue books - aka - holding a cup of coffee in one hand and reading from the "list of doom" in the other. It's very casual. There's storytime where I read from picture books, sure, but most of my interactions involve hunting through the stacks for that missing copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Not a lot of typical public speaking involved.

I needed more experience speaking in front of kids for longer periods and keeping their attention. So what's a newbie author/elementary school library technician to do? Why, go from class to class in her school and talk about writing of course! I sent an email out to the teaching staff offering myself as a resource to present a short spiel on any writing related topic: character development, plot, hooking readers, editing, you name it.

I've had a blast presenting to the kids, discovering what they were currently writing and fostering the love of the written word. As a bonus, I've also logged in some extra "stage" time. Thanks to my school for being so supportive! The lesson from this? Take whatever steps you need to, to feel comfortable with the various roles an author has to play. If you're having fun - so will everyone else.

On that note (sorry, lame segue) the Class of 2k10 has a lot of fun planned for February - SWAG giveaways! All ya gots ta do is comment on our blog - giving a shout out to those you love, or who have inspired you in some way. Contest ends midnight February 14. Open to US/CANADA residents only. Must be at least 13 years old to enter. Winner announced February 15.
Check it out: The Feel The Love Giveaway


Tami Klockau said...

Great post, Tracy (and adorable pics).

I am not a huge fan of public speaking myself. I'm one of those people who usually blushes when having to stand up in front of a huge group to talk. Even if I try not to, as soon as words come out of my mouth, I can feel the heat rising to my head. LOL, good times.

Congrats on the success at your school! WOOT!

Tracy Belsher said...

Ah...yes, the flush. I usually get one ear that goes beet red...and my ears are big enough - no need to draw additional