This past weekend I gave two presentations at the Douglas County Libraries Author Extravaganza writers conference. Nearly 200 local writers and presenters were in attendance. I made new friends, learned fascinating craft and market information, drank fabulous orange zest green tea. All in all, a good day.

Even better, I was asked to present on two of my favorite topics, both of which have one thing in common: They’re key to an author’s ability to grow her platform (a.k.a. sell books).

Platform, schmlatform. Everyone is tired of hearing about platform. So let me say it another way: If you want to grow your audience and get your message out to a larger number of people, then both of these strategies are critical to your efforts. (NOTE: If you’re passionate about your message, you SHOULD want this. If you’re not passionate about your message, you shouldn’t write the book in the first place):

One, learn how to leverage the internet to maximize your influence.

Two, captivate your audience as well on stage as you do on paper.

These were the subjects of both of my presentations. For whatever reason, writers typically prefer to hide behind their computer screen, tapping away, rather than dive into the dark unknown of internet marketing or public speaking. However, I was privileged to speak to a room full of writers who were hungry to stretch themselves (And to those new friends, welcome!).

As much as you might disdain this new age of technology overkill, it’s a reality. Accept it, and then decide how best to use it to your advantage. And as much as you loathe public speaking even more than internet overload, an author who can captivate a live audience is like gold. It’s worth your time to become the best speaker you can be.

If you lead a writers group, or if either of these presentations would be a benefit to your group or organization, shoot me an email. It would be my honor to share the secrets with you.