The Importance of Public Speaking for Authors


Discover how authors can overcome the fear of public speaking, enhance their marketing efforts, and expand income opportunities through effective public speaking.

Very few authors make a living solely from their writing; most continue to work day jobs. However, expanding income opportunities through public speaking is a viable option. Public speaking often strikes fear into the hearts of authors. It’s daunting enough to step out from behind the desk to interact with readers and the media, but speaking in front of groups terrifies many writers. This fear is not unique to authors; it’s the number one fear for most people, with some preferring death over speaking to a group. While you may never need to address a large crowd, you’ll likely face groups of more than two people.


Overcoming the Fear and Importance of Training

The only way to overcome the fear of public speaking is to do it. Facing the fear repeatedly will gradually diminish it. The more you speak, the better you will become, and your confidence will grow. Not every writer is destined to be a professional speaker, but learning the craft is crucial. For introverted authors, training is essential. A media coach can teach poise and confidence, while organizations like Toastmasters offer critique sessions in a secure environment. Public speaking courses are available at almost every college, providing ample opportunities to train and prepare.


Public Speaking as a Marketing Tool

Public speaking can be an author’s greatest marketing tool. It offers unique promotional opportunities, supplements income, and helps sell books. In today’s competitive market, authors must employ every possible angle. Public speaking places the author in front of real human beings. The internet has led many authors to stay behind a website, but real-world contact cannot be replaced by blogs and social media. Readers want to know the person behind the book, and meeting an author in person adds a human quality missing online.


Discussing Your Book and Developing a Platform

Every author should be able to discuss their book for signings, readings, and library appearances. Book clubs and writer groups also provide platforms for promotion, influencing future sales. Magic happens when an author moves beyond their book and develops a platform around their expertise. Nonfiction writers can naturally transition to this, using their knowledge and experience. Fiction writers, through research and expertise in their genre, can also build a platform and message.


Advantages and Opportunities in Public Speaking

Authors who market themselves as speakers gain several advantages:

  • Professional speakers often receive payment.
  • Speaking engagements can supplement royalties and income from day jobs.
  • Events allow for back-of-room sales, netting additional income.
  • Authors with platforms are more appealing to the media.


The list of venues for speakers is extensive:

  • Libraries
  • Businesses
  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Colleges
  • Writer and book festivals
  • Organizations
  • Clubs
  • Conferences


These venues provide opportunities to reach a wider audience and generate greater book sales. A professional speaker’s reputation will drive future book sales, laying the groundwork for a long career.

Ultimately, while you may be trying to sell your book, you are also selling yourself. Public speaking can be a powerful tool in building your brand and expanding your reach as an author.


About Diane Wolfe

Owner of Dancing Lemur Press LLC, Speaker, & Author

Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association. She conducts seminars on book publishing, promoting, leadership, and goal-setting, and she offers book formatting and author consultation. Wolfe is the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Find her at: Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C, Spunk On A Stick, Spunk On A Stick’s Tips, and Insecure Writer’s Support Group


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