I teach a course on self-confidence in public speaking called Channeling Your Inner Rock Star. It’s a fun hour filled with tricks and tips on how to pretend to be cool and confident while you’re really shaking in your boots.
One Saturday, while teaching this course, I suddenly got very worried that the sea of faces looking at me, did not like me. Or have any interest in what I was saying. Does this sound a bit ironic? Read on…
As I gazed out on the audience of attendees who came to ‘Channeling Your Inner Rock Star’ and I cautioned my listeners how to avoid reading the audience too closely, I realized that the group in front of me looked more bored than a group of supermodels at a class about humility.
I almost broke a sweat as I worried about how the women in front of me were receiving what I said. Am I being too confident about self-confidence? Not confident enough? Can they tell I’m worried that I’m not helping them enough? Am I simply feeding my desire to be adored, by doing this class? Probably.
I stopped myself. Be confident. Assume they love you, Kim.
I followed my own advice and believed that they were praising the day they saw my name on the workshop lineup. It’s what you should do in a situation like this.
My audience was a small group, given that the AVON Romance Author live-stream online chat was five feet from our door (and they had cupcakes), but I was pleased at the turnout. I’d been prepared for one or two. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. I was ready for non attendance, having been in the Bellevue Hilton bar years before, when we’d added to our group of cocktailers a gal who didn't have anyone attend her workshop. “Oh dang,” we’d said with glasses of chardonnay, “join us and you can do your workshop right here, over wine.” It was the last slot of the conference and many had hit the road early.
Not my workshop though. I had attendees! After all, it was only 11 am. These pioneers had waded through a Cherry Adair chat and Salt Caramel Chocolate confections to get to the door of the workshop that would teach them how to channel the most confident, most engaging side of oneself for self- promotion. These gals had put off other incredibly helpful classes to see if I could offer some insight to confidence. All I needed was one person in the class to need me. To need the confidence to do their own PR work.
I raged on. We covered poise, body language, speaking to the back of the room, imagining everyone in their underwear (I assured them I wasn’t doing this to them!) And it was magic.
After the class, the person who I thought was most likely to run for the door in boredom the moment I said we were done, approached me with a story to break my heart--to make this reader want to champion for her, to read everything she’s written. She’s painfully shy, cripplingly shy and got so much out of my class. And, I wondered what, in an audience of writers who worry about self-confidence, was I expecting to see? In a class about confidence, did I think the group would be a gaggle of class clowns?
The writers who attended my class, gave me confidence that day. And they gave me the knowledge that smiles and nods aren’t comfortable reactions for people who don’t want to draw attention to themselves.
There are many ways to support, to love and to champion for the women who have left the safe path to write novels. We are brave behind the keyboard.
But for those moments when we need to step out and meet the public, just remember that we totally rock. You totally rock. Just the fact that we write books, hoping to entertain and enlighten... I love us.
Singing ‘We are the champions, my friend...” Everyone hum along…
And now, in an effort to Channel my inner rock star, here is my new signature to show I’m social-media savvy...
Commercial Women's Fiction
You only journey if you dare to leave home
Kim is the author of Amazon Best Sellers, Necessary Detour (about a retired female rock star) and The Dream Jumper's Promise