Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Public Speaking - Fun or Torture?

Rock Star Confidence...

No one is born a rock star, complete with over-the-top confidence and leather pants. An individual has to work for that. (And grow into the pants.) Ever heard that Nickelback song “We all just want to be big rock stars, live in hilltop mansions driving fancy cars”?
These days we use the term Rock Star to mean someone who’s achieved success in their field. Eg) Wow, kids, you finished homework. You are a Rock Star.
We tend to look at those who’ve achieved enormous success performing in a rock band as beyond ordinary. But remember, even Pat Benatar and Tommy Lee have baby pictures. They put their pants on one leg at a time and catch colds, just like you and me.

My Point: One must work at developing an image to fool the public into believing that you are special. It’s referred to as Smoke and Mirrors. And it’s human nature to want to believe it true, to see someone as super-talented, uber-wonderful. That’s not to say if you follow the advice I’m going to give you, you need to be so conceited your head won’t fit through the book store door. Believing in your own PR (public relations) is a slippery slope. A true Rock Star can take out the garbage when not in black leather and chains.

            Under the costumes, tattoos, makeup, piercings and hair gel, a Rock Star is simply another person in the world who has insecurities-- a human being who probably feels more comfortable in a larger-than-life personality when greeting the public. I bet Pat Benatar made lots of PB and J’s for neighborhood kids between tours and Tommy Lee played Little League before he joined Metallica.

            In my life I have known a few rock stars, celebrities, and movie actors of enormous proportions and I’m here to tell you that off stage and out of makeup, most are a bit shy--Steven Tyler, for example. I took him snorkeling in Hawaii once and he is a quiet man. Jamie Foxx, whose name is actually Eric was raised by his Grandma and is extremely humble. These people created a stage persona and you must too. If shyness is holding you back, you must dig deep to find that inner celebrity that we all have hiding somewhere behind the spleen. Once you find her she will help get through public events that would’ve otherwise leave you shaking in your boots, quivering in your Victoria’s Secrets, sweating through your sweat suits. (Note: Unless you are a sports star, I highly recommend you refrain from wearing sweat suits when trying to be a Rock Star.)

            On that note, the first step to Rock Stardom is physical presentation. Go into your closet and find yourself an outfit that says “__________”. You must insert your celebrity or pen name here and if you don’t have one I suggest you find one because this is how you will refer to yourself when it’s ‘ShowTime!’ My stage name used to be Kimberley Horn because there were too many syllables in my real name for my former talent agent. Now my pen name is Kim Hornsby. I did not deviate too far from the truth but you see where I’m going with this. Once you have a few killer outfits that make you feel special, check that the rest of you is ready for the spotlight -- hairstyle, shoes, jewelry. What makes you feel successful enough to have a Lear jet to fly to San Fran for breakfast on the pier. This is the side of you does not scrub toilets, make school lunches, clip coupons. She takes her pool boy (or husband) to South Beach on Saturday night to dance and sleeps until three the next day.
After your have the look, you must make yourself believe how wonderful you are. If you skip this step you’re in trouble. Affirmations, self talk, call it what you want, but do it just before called upon to speak in public.

            I want to introduce to you a character I love to laugh at on SNL, called Shy Ronnie. He is played by Andy Samberg and the one of the reasons he is so drop-dead funny is that we know Andy is not shy. Were Shy Ronnie a real person, it would be excruciatingly painful to watch him try to rap alongside Rhianna. When asked to speak up, his voice is so minuscule it’s painful to watch. But when his beautiful co-singer leaves the room in frustration, Shy Ronnie takes off. His shyness in front of Rhianna makes him not only unable to do his job but makes him look silly, due to lack of confidence. Remember this when you are in front of an audience – the people who have paid money or taken time out of their busy lives want to like you. When you open a book, you are hoping that the protagonist is someone to relate to. Likewise, an audience member wants to like you and will give you every possible chance to be worth their time. If they don’t like you (and you will probably never know this), it might be their own problem. Maybe they’re distracted, closed-minded, too focused on their own lives or not ready to listen.

            As you look out on the sea of faces, just remember, do not read your audience too closely. It’s the kiss of death. Just plough through, if you’re giving a key note speech, talking to a group at a book signing, whatever. Don’t assume you know what they are thinking. The expressions on their faces may not reflect their thoughts. Probably won’t if they are listening intently. Take your glasses off, look over heads but don’t read their faces.

            In recap, you must create a celebrity side to yourself complete with a pen name and an outward appearance that says ‘Someone Special is in the House’, practice self talk and remember the audience wants to like you.

Now click on Shy Ronnie and tell me you aren’t this bad!

KIM HORNSBY is an Amazon Bestselling Author best known for The Dream Jumper Series, which is optioned for film, with over 400 reviews on Amazon at 4.5 stars.
Sign up for her newsletter to keep posted on news and freebies and contests or follow her on Amazon.


Monday, April 23, 2018

Get in the VIP Club -- Kim's Krowd!

Just back from 3 days of talking about writing and marketing, my brain is going to explode if I don't get some of this wisdom on paper.
Virtual paper works too.
If I took any one message from the Chanticleer Author Conference this last weekend it is to be accessible to my readers and cultivate those relationships. Forget about hangin' and talkin' on FB to old friends or writers. If they don't read your books, don't put them first in your business account. I say this because I have very limited time and rarely have a moment these days for things like chatting with friends, cleaning the house, dressing myself. That last one isn't true but you get my drift.
I'm busy.

As a marketing author who's struggling to build a reader base, I realized this weekend I need to zero in on my precious readers and give them more fun and rewards.

So, I'm opening a Beach on FB called Kim Hornsby Beach (named after me because it's my virtual beach) and I'm going to have fun stuff going on over there for readers of my books. I'm kind of excited about The Beach. I'll have a grand opening maybe even on my birthday--May 8th.
A beach party!
Who doesn't like those things? For anyone who has to stay out of the sun, we'll have palapa huts and umbrellas and personal umbrella handlers who are very attractive and follow you around.
When the Kim Hornsby Beach opens, we'll have a bar open with pu pu's (appetizers) but remember that 5 o'clock rule because I don't want anyone getting arrested by the cops at my piece of property.

As well as the FB Site, I'm hoping to support my books with more ads, contests and giveaways to get new readers. People love my books, if they can just discover them, I'm finding.
So, I'm stepping up my game to give my Peeps the creds they deserve. Stay tuned on my FB account, Follow me on Twitter to hear what I'm doing and if you're on Instagram, I'm over there ever day or two with photos.

Here's my links and remember, you can always email me at kimhornsby@yahoo.com

www.kimhornsby.blogspot.com If you have a blog, follow
www.kimhornsby.com – Newsletter signup

Anyone who signs up for two of the above and has bought and read a book, qualifies to be in my VIP Club -- Kim's Krowd. 
Feel free to let me know by email and I'll contact you about the fun coming up for the Krowd. 


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Not Kidnapped, Writing!

I just spent 4 1/2 days with 14 women shut up in a house.
No, we weren't kidnapped.
And we weren't there under duress. We wanted to be shut in for days on end.

I was at a writers' retreat. An annual affair I selfishly organize so I can get out of town to buckle down with my laptop to live inside my  head, only coming out for short sprints to eat, see if everyone slept well and look at the passing deer and elk out the windows.
My hubby asked if there was any drama this year and I looked at him like he had two heads.
These woman are over 30, are there to be productive and are WRITERS. Writers don't get snarky, competitive, mean, vindictive, nasty, dramatic. At least the ones I know wouldn't even think of letting those agendas into their lives.
My women writer Peeps are supportive, interesting, giving, lovely human beings who don't worry about furthering their personal agendas on a writers' retreat.
We eat healthy food, we hunker down for hours at a time at our laptops and we support each other. Someone comes out of the den to say they finished their book and we cheer. Another asks what's a good country song a dog can trot to and we put our brains to it.
This year we trickled in to the Lodge from Thursday afternoon to Friday night, one person getting waylaid on the highway when an accident temporarily closed the road. There were great stretches of time where everyone was quietly working but at meal times, we came together, emerging from the bedrooms, den, suites, office to talk, share, network, support each other's work and hear each others life stories. We talked travel, kids, politics, heartbreaks and of course writing. Our group this year all writes fiction and I did a little talk on how to adapt your work to a screenplay, something I've recently taken up doing. We discussed writing stronger, writing longer, marketing smarter and even had a 4-hour long Facebook party on the Sunday afternoon where six of us took turns asking questions and conversing with anyone who dropped in to our virtual party to win a free book.
Monday we packed, cleaned the massive kitchen, put all the furniture back where it was when we arrived, said our goodbyes and formed a convoy to support each other as we drove back to the coast through a snowy Snoqualmie Pass.
Writing can be a lonely life but this weekend, it wasn't.

I love this writers' community I'm a part of. It keep me going when I need something wonderful to grab onto.

I wouldn't be a plumber or a doctor or a real estate agent, even if I could.

I'm a writer.

KIM HORNSBY is an Amazon Bestselling Author best known for The Dream Jumper Series, which is optioned for film, with over 400 reviews on Amazon at 4.5 stars.
Sign up for her newsletter to keep posted on news and freebies and contests or follow her on Amazon.