I was terrified about reading in public when I first started. Yes, terrified! As in sweaty hands, red face, big knot in my stomach — well, maybe that’s too much information. But if you’re going to get your work out there, you have to be willing to read it. So I made the decision to read my stories whenever asked, and I actively sought out opportunities to read in public.

I learned two things: 1) Reading my work was much easier than giving a speech, so it was a good way to start, and 2) Lots of practice really does make it easier. Now — 50 or so readings later — people regularly compliment me on what a good job I do at presenting my work.

You might want to join Toastmasters or work with a presentation coach. (I worked with coach Betsy Graziani Fasbinder in Marin County, California, before my memoir launched; she’s fantastic.)

If you aren’t ready to hire a media coach, here’s the next best thing: Read Leah Ingram’s article on Contently with 10 Essential Media Training Tips for Writers.

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