Thursday, March 1, 2007

You Can Write, But Can You Speak?

You can write a great book but if you can’t talk about it in public, it will fail. There will come a time when communicating over email just ain’t gonna cut it.

Your book just made the New York Times Best Seller list. The Today Show has scheduled you for an interview. So far so good, huh? Just as the interviewer asks you that first question your tongue twists into knots and all that comes out of your mouth is something akin to the voice of Peanuts Cartoon Character Charlie Brown’s mother. 0ow—wau---ooo--uuhh—uhhhh—hmmm, shazzaam.

Just recently Neil Chethik, author of VoiceMale: What Men Really Think About Their Marriages, attributed his membership in Toastmasters to his success on the talk show circuit. “Unless I learned to speak in public, I would have never had a successful career as an author” he says.

I belong to a local chapter of Toastmasters and March 5, I am scheduled to give my “icebreaker” speech. This is a speech that will tell my fellow toastmasters a little bit about me. I say, what they don’t know won’t hurt them, but the idea is to learn to speak with confidence. Speaking is like writing, to get good at it you need to practice, practice, practice.

I am not a spokesperson for Toasmasters, but I think it would behoove anyone who has a tendency to clam up or get sweaty palms when talking to a group, to check out a local Toastmaster group. All meetings last only one hour and anytime you are around a group of people, this is a perfect time to get ideas for your writing projects and make contacts.

Write it down,