Saturday, May 25, 2019

Self Confidence - Pretend You're a Rock Star!

Years ago, I taught my first workshop at the Emerald City Writers' Conference in Seattle on exuding self-confidence. 
Thing was, that day I didn't feel as confident as I wanted to and had to rely on my own tricks to appear confident.

Sent from a Front Row Attendee
Here's my story...

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 watched, by doing this class? 

I stopped myself. Be confident. Assume they love you, Kim.
Podiums are hard to teach from!

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 on that Saturday was a small group, given that the AVON live-stream online chat was five feet from our door (with cupcakes), but I was pleased at the turnout. I’d been prepared for one or two attendees. I had over twenty. 
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 for a drink and you can do your workshop on us.”

That poor teacher was soon laughing about no attendees. Her workshop was scheduled in the final two hours of the conference and people had left early. Not us. We were celebrating with a final toast to our amazing-ness. 

The workshop on confidence seemed slightly doomed from the start with the competition and I fretted about attendance for two days leading up to it. Then, the time arrived and people trickled in to my room. I had attendees! 
Where's my Audience?

I was a newcomer, a no-name hoping to inspire shy writers with my words of wisdom. These pioneers had waded through a Cherry Adair chat and Avon Romance publishing-loving bodies to get to the door of the workshop that would teach them how to channel the most confident, most engaging side of oneself in these new days of self- promotion as Authors. 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. And it was magic. Turns out the room can look bored but inside they're saying "Yes! This is good stuff." The resting bitch face is not necessarily a reflection on their  inner thoughts. 

That day, I talked about Rock Stars and how they put on a costume and different persona to strut the stage with confidence and how to do that. Not necessarily in leather pants and chains but metaphorically in your "power suit."

After the class, the person who I thought was most likely to run for the door in boredom, approached me with a story to break my heart--to make this reader want to champion for her, to read everything she’s written. And, I wondered what, in an audience of writers who worry about self confidence, was I expecting to see? 

Now, I teach screenwriting!

The writers who attended my class, gave me confidence that there are many ways to support, to love and to champion for the women who have left the safe path to write novels. And that we totally rock. You totally rock. Just the fact that we write books, hoping to entertain and enlighten... 

I love us.

And now I'm singing ‘We are the champions, my friend...”

KIM HORNSBY writes Suspense novels and Romance Screenplays for Hallmark. She teaches screenwriting and publishing workshops at various conferences in the Pacific Northwest and considers herself highly approachable at these functions for anyone who is socially shy.

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