This is How to Talk about Your Book by guest @PaulGeigerSpeak

I’m pleased to welcome Paul Geiger, professional speech coach, voice artist and performer, and now author of Better Business Speech: Techniques and Shortcuts for Public Speaking at Work, to the blog today to discuss top ways to talk about your book, whether in real life, interviews, conferences — and some general public speaking tips we can all use. Paul also appeared as a guest on my recent #BookMarketingChat, so you can also find the summary of that on our Facebook Page.


Writers exist in our heads, which is why we love to write. Some of us are introverts, some extroverts — some a combo. When it comes to talking about our books, that’s a minefield. Public speaking is a true fear (it falls under SAD — social anxiety disorder) for many people and to be successful, requires real skills: not only presentation skills but also thinking on the fly, focus, and preparation.

Research into performance anxiety in music has shown that there are four state changes that fear can cause. You may experience all or some of these in varying degrees:

Emotion – Feeling nervous, stressed, worried, or panicked.
Thought – Forgetting your words or losing concentration.
Behavior – Trembling, fidgeting, moving in an awkward way.
Physiology – Upset breathing, increased heartbeat or an upset stomach.

By understanding that these are basic symptoms of those who fear public speaking, you can distance yourself from them. Next time you’re asked to speak and your stomach starts to rumble, rest assured that it’s entirely normal and a common experience. (No it’s not just you!). (Source: Ginger Public Speaking)

Here is a breakdown via Q&A of my time with Paul, and I also link to several articles and blog posts where he mentions specific skills.

Dealing With Nerves

Q1 – How do I slow down my speech when I’m nervous?
A1 – You have to prepare mentally and physically; most speakers leave out the physical part out.

Q2 – What is the physical part?
A2 – Recognize that your breathing fuels your voice. As your breath flows, so do your ideas. Breathe deeply to avoid stressing out and clamming up.

Q3 – Won’t my breathing make me sound more nervous than I already am?
A3 – No, the perception will be that you are truly considering your words. Breathing adds gravitas and authenticity.

[clickToTweet tweet=”5 #PublicSpeaking Tips to Exude Executive Presence by @PaulGeigerSpeak via @ceoworld  ” quote=”5 #PublicSpeaking Tips to Exude Executive Presence by @PaulGeigerSpeak via @ceoworld  ” theme=”style4″]

Talking About Your Book

Q4 – How do I avoid getting tongue-tied when talking about my book?
A4 – Your mind and your mouth will always work at two different speeds. Speaking slowly gives you time to align your thoughts.

Q5 – How can I hope to speak as well as I write?
A5 – The key is to distill all the words you are compelled to write into brief statements. I call them “bumper stickers”. These are the stories that define you.

Q6 – How do I come up with my bumper stickers?
A6 – You discover them by trusting your perspective and sharing your experiences. Don’t talk about your awards, talk about what it felt like to receive them.

Q7 – How do I keep from rambling?
A7 – Work on the button to each of your stories. The button completes the thought.

Q8 – What are some good buttons to use?
A8 – They can be simple: “And that’s why I wrote the book.” or, “Most people say it’s an easy read and very informative.”

[clickToTweet tweet=”Better Business Speech: Interview w @PaulGeigerSpeak via @HuffPost on bumper stickers & more ” quote=”Better Business Speech: Interview w @PaulGeigerSpeak via @HuffPost on bumper stickers & more ” theme=”style5″]

Interviews and Presentations

Q9 – What if the interviewer doesn’t realize I’m done answering a question?
A9 – Slow down near the end of the sentence and “stick… the… landing”. This signals to the interviewer that you have completed your thought.

Q10 – How do I avoid sounding like I’m bragging, or boring?
A10a – Talk about your motivations and your experiences.
A10b – Explain your need to write the book
A10c – Describe the biggest obstacle to writing the book
A10d – Who do you believe will love the book?

Q11 – Are there any additional tips for a phone interview?
A11 – Gesturing has a positive effect on your delivery even when your audience can only hear you. You can even walk around for extra forward momentum.

Q12 – Are there any tips for a Skype interview?
A12a – Always wear solid colors when Skyping. Stripes and patterns can cause a strobing effect that is very distracting.
A12b – Never look too far away from the camera. An inch looks like a mile on camera.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Here’s What To Look For In A Good Speaker by @PaulGeigerSpeak #PublicSpeaking ” quote=”Here’s What To Look For In A Good Speaker by @PaulGeigerSpeak #PublicSpeaking ” theme=”style2″]



Paul Geiger, author Connect with Paul on TwitterFacebookLinkedInor Google+ or his website at Purchase his book on Amazon.Better Business Speech by Paul Geiger





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  1. on November 5, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Hi Rachel – Good stuff here. Promo isn’t something most introvert writers enjoy but it goes with the territory. Thought you’d like this quote.

    “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that seem right? That means to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” ~Jerry Seinfeld

    • Rachel Thompson on November 5, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      Hi Garry! Thanks for that quote. I almost used it for this article LOL. It’s a great one. x

  2. […] of marketing is knowing how to talk about your book eloquently. Paul Geiger explains how to talk about your book, and Judith Briles has 3 questions to help you talk about your […]

  3. Tarang Sinha on May 15, 2018 at 5:59 am

    Thank you for this article. Very helpful.

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