May 03, 2003

Things they don't tell you

This is an answer to MM at Julie's newsgroup which I'm copying here. There are lots of things that aren't mentioned as important writing skills. Public Speaking is one -- learn how to talk and read to crowds. You'll be doing it a lot if you get published.

Writer Skill That They Don't Tell You That You Need Number 7: Introducing
yourself to concom in a way that gets you invited.

Yes, another one of those secret elf talents that you're suppose to hone but
don't realize its part of THE JOB. Practice it until you're too well known
to care. Repeat after me. "Hi, my name is x, and I have y coming out soon.
I also have this fascinating job/past time/hobby/secret elf talent. I'm
willing to tap dance on tables to make your con great. Can I help? Can I
do panels?"

The worse they can say is no. Most likely, they'll say yes. Everyone likes
to be "I knew him when..."

As I've discovered that when you ask to be invited it is as "a program
participant," not guest, as many conventions think that the only guest is
the Guest of Honor. (Unlike the con I worked on where anyone given a free
membership for being on panels was a guest.)

When you get to the convention, be nice and friendly to everyone, no matter
how rude and screwed up the convention is. These are volunteers under a lot
of stress and often scrambling to pick up pieces that someone else dropped
and getting all the blame. All convention committee people talk to other
convention committee people and being rude to one set can get you
blacklisted by the next set.

Posted by wen at May 3, 2003 02:11 PM

Where I work we recently started a Toastmaster's club. We've only been meeting a short while now but it certainly is seeming like it should help with this skill.

One of the most interesting exercises is one that anyone can do. Tabletopics, where you are given a brief scenario or topic and then have to talk for 2-3 minutes on it. One could certainly put together a set prompts based on needing to speak at a convention.

Having now been thinking about speaking I've been noticing the differences when people will be up in front of people. Not scared but stumbling as the speak, or speaking very softly. But when someone can go up and speak clearly and with confidence you get caught up in what they're saying so much faster.

Posted by: Steven M. at May 31, 2003 07:26 PM

Weird, this wasn't the entry I was on when I wrote that...

Posted by: Steven M. at May 31, 2003 07:36 PM

D'oh! Actually it is, I really should learn to take less than five hours to write a comment. :>

Posted by: Steven M. at May 31, 2003 07:52 PM