You are a woman of many talents: writer, model, radio show host, and entrepreneur…to name a few. Tell us how writing got included in the mix.
Tell us about your book, THE NAKED AUTHOR.
Tell us about your book, I’M TALL YOU'ER NOT, SO THAT MAKES US EVEN.
You have a wealth of experience as a public speaker and performer. Tell us about the importance of a writer acquiring good people and public-speaking skills.
As writers/authors, we are considered experts. Authorities. Being capable of delivering information about our books/characters/topics with intrigue, knowledge and confidence is an art. The objective is to learn ways to connect with people emotionally through presentations. The goal is to motivate them to act, which is to buy the book or to schedule you as a speaker for their next event. Your enthusiasm and passion on the topic should be contagious, so much so that at a break or after your presentation, you sell out of the supply of books you brought to sell at the event.
Both my acting and broadcasting experience has helped me develop techniques which utilize my personality and expertise to draw the audience in and help me relate to them. I become someone who understand them. Someone who’s experienced some of the same things.
There are many ways to achieve a level of professionalism as a speaker/presenter. First develop a list of topics to which you are well versed in and write out your presentations on paper. If your topic is more technical or industry specific, Power Point may serve you better, but be careful do not read your slides to the audience. Use it as a visual support.
Practice your material until you know it so well that once on stage, you only need minimal notes. Practice in front of audiences. Start out small and get feedback from friends and associates. Then when you feel more confident, move to venues that will allow you to present your valuable information. When you feel that you have mastered the skill, move on to securing paid presentations and speaking engagements. At this point, you can join speakers bureaus and organizations to promote yourself as the expert you’ve become.
You’ve published books, magazine articles, and in newspaper in the U.S. and internationally. Do you mind sharing with us 2 or 3 tips other writers might find of interest?
1. Doubt often clouds our abilities and we let fear delay our successes. Whatever blessings are out there for us have our names on them. No one else can have your blessings. Some may have ones that look and feel like yours, but each blessing is personalized and waiting for us to open up to receive it. When we are jealous of another’s success or beat the drum of I’ll never get an agent/publisher, that negativity is what is keeps us from the thing we most want. Stay positive, keep working towards your goal and see your successes. A wise man once said, “If you don't keep walking you will never get where you’re going.”
2. There are a host of opportunities out there to write and sell articles. Success comes when you take what you know and love, develop articles and informative essays that connect with readers. Do your research. When targeting publications, submit to those to which you understand their readers and the types of material the publication buys.
3.Whether your submission offers value of an emotional connection or is informative offering tips on reducing stress, time savers for busy families or how to save money, it is your job to figure out how to best market your talent by knowing how it will help others. By honestly and generously providing something of use, you will develop followers in both readers and in paid article submissions.
What do you find is the most challenging thing about writing?
I decided to start a company to publish my books and market games that help us communicate better. I agree that “ignorance is not bliss.” In all my publications and products, I try to add fun and information to help anyone who may need a little guidance in getting messages across.
My challenges, however, come in the form of (1) the idea that I can do everything. I can’t. But I’ve learned that for talents I lack, I can hire a professional. For instance, I have an eye for concept and design, but web site development is not my forte. I realize now that my time is more valuable when spent on things that I do well.
(2) My friends tease me about being anal retentive. I feel the need to make lists for things and I spend a good amount of time organizing. Yes, it helps keep me focused, but I have to make sure I don’t organize and re-organize myself and end up wasting an entire day. Setting time deadlines and blocking out time spent on work have saved me. Plugging in my calendar alerts to remind me of what I am supposed to be doing at any given time keeps me on track.
Share with us your website and blog addresses, Facebook page, and other online presences.
Web address: http://www.tomkatproductions.com/
Friend me at Facebook: Kat Smith
Follow me on Twitter: GoddessKat