Saturday 16 April 2016

Top Tips on Terrific Talks

We have now looked at the things you need to do before giving your talk, and some of the ways you can structure and deliver your talk. Let's wrap it up with a few basic tips to make sure everything runs smoothly on the day.

1. Make sure you have liaised with the event organiser. I usually email a week before to check they have got the stuff I need sorted. I then email/call 2 days before to say how much I am looking forward to meeting them and doing the event. I tell them when I will be arriving, and check parking arrangements.

2. On the day, arrive in plenty of time. Do not assume the organisers will have people to unload/help you set up. Be as independent as you can. Smile and thank a lot.

3. A few essentials: Wet wipes/hand sanitizer (stuff gets dusty; you will be signing books later). Water. Float for books. Notebook for sales/useful contacts. Two signing pens that work. Business cards.

4. Make sure you thank the organiser, his/her helpers, and the audience for turning up. I usually do this straight after I've been introduced, in case I forget.

5. When giving your talk, SIGNPOST clearly. 'Now let's move on to the second part: how I write.' 'Finally, let's look at some of my research tools.'

6. NEVER go over time. It's discourteous.

7. Send the organisers a little handwritten note a couple of days after the event thanking them for hosting you and saying how much you are looking forward to doing another event in the future.

I hope these blogs have helped. I gather from the comments that many people have found the tips useful. I have sat through some pretty dreadful talks, given by top authors, and have learned shedloads. The main thing is: enjoy yourself! Your audience are there for you. They want to find out about you and your books. And on your success, other writers may be invited!


  1. All useful stuff, Carol. And wouldn't it be great if more people made a point of saying thank you"

  2. Was told by one organiser that I was the ONLY person who'd EVER sent a thank you note. Eep!

  3. Awesome stuff, Merci Madame (not hand written, but you could imagine it were. Stationery with cat(s).)

  4. Keeping to time is definitely an important thing to do. It can eat into other people's time otherwise.

  5. More useful tips for the future - thanks, Carol.

  6. This is so useful for me too, Carole. I've spent years giving presentations for my organisations, but a book talk/signing is something else, so you've given me some really valuable tips. Thank you!!


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