Presentation Tips: Tips on Public Readings Cont..

Posted in Author, How To, Presentations, Publicity Tips, Tips, writing at 12:26 am by Sylvia Ramsey

Presentation Tips

Tips on Public Readings Cont….


One more thing to create:  One thing you should do is to write a very, short introduction before you begin reading the selection. Include the title of your work, a little about yourself. (Not too much, just a little.) To allow the audience a chance to get ready to hear the performance, the introduction should set the mood, the setting, any characters that maybe in the selection so the audience is prepared for what you are about to present.  Either the introduction should be memorized, or you should know it well enough to be able to present it extemporaneously.  The introduction is, “you”, the author/reader sharing with the audience, and not the performance of the selection.  You may want to let them know that there will be an open question and answer session after your presentation.  If you have scheduled a book signing, you may want to let them know that you will be delighted to answer any questions at time also. 



Now it is Time to Practice, Practice,  Practice!

·         Learn to hold your binder/book in one hand so that you have the other to gesture, and to allow you to use the fingertips of the other hand to mark your place on the manuscript.  This will also help you to maintain better eye contact. 



·         Try to make the page transitions as smooth as possible.  It is always advisable to turn the page before you get to the bottom of the page you almost ready to finish.  If you do not, and if you have several pages in your manuscript, it can become quite a distraction for the audience as well as take away from your presentation.



·         Begin by practicing on your own, timing yourself each time.  Once you are comfortable with your presentation, recruit an audience…friends, family… to listen to your presentation.  It is important that your audience will give you honest feedback.  Pay attention to them as you present your selection, watch their facial expressions and body language, and that will reveal a lot.  If you can, use a tape recorder and or make a video to self-critique how you sound and look.  Many times this will help more than what someone else tells you about your performance.



·         The big event has arrived and you are feeling nervous.  The best way this can be conquered is to be thoroughly prepared.  That you have practiced several times.  Think of the nervous energy as a source of adrenalin that you need to put into your performance to make it not just good, but great.

Just remember, your selection can take on new life depending on how you interpret its meaning, nuances, and vocal patterns.


Tips for the Book Signing tomorrow…


How To…Public Reading Tips – Presentations

Posted in Author, How To, Presentations, Publicity Tips, Tips, writing at 1:34 pm by Sylvia Ramsey

Presentation Tips

Tips on Public Readings Cont….


Preparation:  Read your selection aloud, and think about the meaning of the words you have written. Pay attention to each sentence and think about what images/feelings you are trying to convey. Underline the key word(s) in each sentence and think about ways to emphasize the word(s) when reading the passage. Imagery words should sound like the image they are describing.  If you were reading a sad passage, you would not want to have a jovial light sound in your voice.  If you are expressing anger, think about how much anger the character in the selection is feeling.  The rate, pitch and volume should reflect these things. 


Vocal contrast and body language is important: Think about varying your volume, rate, tone, and gestures at different points of the reading. Avoid monotone delivery.  Facial expressions, eye contact that is appropriate for the portion of the script you are presenting, gestures and body language should all reflect the emotions and the tone of the selection.  Knowing when, where and how to do these things will all help to make your delivery believable.  Make sure, before you begin that you can be heard by everyone in the audience.  Speak slowly enough that the audience can follow you.  Practice enunciation so that you say the words clearly and distinctly.  Gestures should not be overdone, but should be natural to the presenter.  Practice enough so that they flow, and are a part of you and the selection, not stilted and mechanical.


The places you mark in your script will help you practice and have a polished delivery. Do not forget marking pauses in your selection. These do not need to come at the end of a sentence, but rather at the end of a complete thought.  The length of pauses varies depending on their purpose.  You can compare their length to beats in music.  At the end of a complete thought, a slight pause is best (one beat), for a comma or semi-colon a little longer (one to two beats), and at the end of a sentence or for a dramatic pause in the selection about a three beat seems to be appropriate.


When reading poetry, read it for meaning not the form in which it is written.  If it has a heavy rhyme/rhythm scheme, be careful that your delivery does not get so caught up in it that the audience will lose out on the message.  We tend to lower our pitch at the end of a line…when we do we are giving is a vocal period; a verbal close to a sentence.  If there is no period and the sentence is carried into the next line, keep the vocal pitch up, and place a pause where appropriate.


Energy Level:  Increase your energy level when speaking—this will boost your volume, make you appear to be more confident, and hold your audience’s interest for a longer period of time.  I can always gauge how much I have put into a reading by how tired I am after a performance.  Remember this is a performance, you want to bring your work alive!



More Reading Tips to Come…..

Public Readings – Help Sell Your Book – Tips

Posted in Author, Presentations, Publicity Tips, writing at 12:22 am by Sylvia Ramsey

Today, Preparing the Selection You are Going to Read.

“Standing and delivering” is a powerful way to present your work. However, it is perfectly fine to read, and to develop a personal style. The most important reason for reading your excerpts from your book is that performing is an affirmation. You are the author, take the plunge and go public—you will be surprised at how rewarding it can be.  In addition, presenting your work to the public orally, it will help the sales of your book if you learn to present it correctly. 

There is nothing like a reading performance that kindles something between the writer and the audience.  It is a special moment when the author is able to bring their work alive for the audience in such a way that they see or think of the work differently.  You will want to read the selection you have chosen in such a way that the audience will get a true feel for the meaning of the piece. There are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for this kind of presentation.

Check for time limit.  You need to know how much time you have been given at this event.  Make sure edit your selection sufficiently to meet the time limit.   You will want to allow some of your time for a short introduction to get the audience ready to listen to the selection itself. 


Editing your work will not be easy because you feel that all of your writing is worthwhile, but you will have a stronger presentation if you limit yourself to the minimum time limit. Try to find the most important part and the section of the writing that might resonate with that particular audience. In addition, select a section that lends to being read aloud.  This means that there will many imagery words in that section.  It is also a good idea to select a section that you are comfortable reading aloud.


Know the selection. Knowing your material is the first step to preparing for the reading.  Once you have edited the content and are sure that you meet the time limits, read over the piece several times.


Manuscript Preparation. If you can, type your cutting from the selection in a large font and double space.  (I like to enlarge the font to at least an sixteen or eighteen point font that way when I need to glance at the selection, I do not have to lower my head and lose eye contact with the audience. I number the pages so they are in order and will not get out of place.  I put my selection in a 3-ring binder that usually is black or grey.)  It is best to become so familiar with your selection that it is almost memorized so that when you can maintain the maximum amount of eye contact your audience, and you are able to find your place again when you look back at your manuscript.

(I also like to put my manuscript in sheet protectors because it makes turning the pages easier and it keeps the manuscript clean for more readings.)


Mark up your manuscript. Add notations—“slow down,” “pause,” “look up,” underline

key words,etc.—to give yourself reminders about delivery. Having trouble with a word? Include a note about pronunciation. You can even include notations about time, indicating

where you should be at each minute marker.


Tomorrow:  Delivery Tips


Hello world! Welcome to An Underground Jewell

Posted in Author, Presentations, Publicity Tips, Uncategorized, writing at 1:08 pm by Sylvia Ramsey

This is my first post for my new web site. It won’t be just a blog about my book, An Underground Jewell, or about my book, Pulse Points of a Woman’s World. It will have posts on a variety of things. I will talk include information on creating bookstore sell sheets, posters and other promotion how-tos’. There will be times that I will share my thoughts on current happenings, some of which maybe controversial. I will provide information on how to present readings, presentations, using power point effectively, and on some of my pet projects. Hopefully, the readers who find my blog will, at least occasionally, be able to take something with them that is useful.

Welcome to my world,
Sylvia Ramsey