Some years ago, I sat on a committee that oversaw extra activities for the company’s employees. My special activity was the Toastmasters meetings. I didn’t join in the meeting itself, but mainly attended a few times, making myself available for questions or complaints from the members.
I found so much of what they did fascinating. At each meeting, two or three members would stand up and give a speech about anything. It could be about the best method of mowing their grass to the last time they went deer hunting. After the speech the others members would give critiques, such as whether the speaker used “ahs” or stared down at a sheet of paper or read from notes or slouched, etc. Of course, they also mentioned positives like speaking clearly and at the right tone, smiling (unless it’s a sad or negative subject) and using moderate hands movements.
You know me and lists. Something to keep in mind.
1) Be prepared and know the subject. Practice your speech.
2) Show enthusiasm for what you’re talking about. Smile. You will be surprised how it will relax you. The crowd will be attentive as they want to know what has gotten you so excited.
3) Stand up straight. Not scared stiff, but more of "I’m so proud to be standing in front of you."
4) Don’t play with your notes. The audience will watch your hands instead of your face. That’s not good.
5) Pretend you’re talking with a roomful of friends. They want to hear what you have to say so they can learn something.
You’re asking, why am I telling you all this? I believe as writers, there may come a time someone will ask you to stand up and talk about your book or your special way to plot or whatever strength you possess. You better be prepared. I recommend either joining the Toastmasters or purchasing a book about the subject.
To promote your books, you want to present yourself in the best light. If a speaker rambles on, tells you nothing and varies from high to low tones with lots of ahs, would you wonder about her writing? I would.
Just warning you...LOL!
Side note about practicing your speech: My lunch buddies at work have heard a few of my speeches and they probably know more about writing now than they ever dreamed of.