Public Speaking at SCBWI

I attended the SCBWI (Society of Children Writer's & Illustrators) fall conference held this weekend in Charlotte, NC.  I was one of the featured speakers on Friday, the opening night of the conference.  My talk was on public speaking tips for writers.

I'd been told to expect 20, maybe 30 people.  It was the first day and people were still arriving, getting settled in, having critiques, etc.  But just to be safe, I made 45 copies of my handout.  I always come prepared. 

Or so I thought.  I handed out my last copy and they kept coming!  I'm guessing we ended up with close to 60 people in the room.  Next time - more handouts!

I gave my talk and as anyone who does public speaking knows, you always have that "I could have done more," moment after it's over.  I even address this in my talk.  Every speaker forgets a certain point or two and is kicking themselves afterward.  What I remind my audience though, is that the people you're speaking to don't know that you've forgotten anything.  So I did forget to do one of my favorite interactive audience exercises, but am letting it go.  What's done is done.

I received fantastic feedback from the group all weekend, which brightened my mood.  Dena_speaking.jpgThey were such a fun group to speak to anyway - the best groups ask questions and interact and this group was right on target.  My friend and fellow road tripster Maggie took a picture of me while speaking.  


Here's another pic of the me and the three women I drove down to Charlotte with - we nicknamed ourselves "The Charlatans." 4amigos.jpg

Bruce Coville, the author of over 90 children's books was a guest speaker and was amazing - just one of those everyday hilarious Jim Carey like people.  Please forgive the brevity of this e-mail.  My brain is on information overload.  I allowed myself the luxury of concentrating on nothing but the conference this weekend and, as a result, came home to a LOT of work.  Which of course I'll dig into--first thing tomorrow ! =)