When to write a book, pt 2 – Speaker’s Circuit
Even if your public speaking is simply part of your capacity in your normal corporate job, a book is an incredibly useful tool. If you’re called upon to speak in front of your own company regularly, the best way to make sure what you say is taken seriously is to have a book to stand behind – everyone knows you were told to say what you’re saying, but if you can point out the book you’ve written on what it is you do, and explain how you believe strongly in what you’re saying, it will have more clout, be more effective, and get more accomplished overall. This will sit incredibly well with your higher-ups, as they want very much for what they have you say to actually resonate with those they have you speaking to.
But many of you are in fact speaking as an expert – whether it’s on literacy, community service, or your profession itself, a book is an amazing tool. Sell it at the back of the room, hold it up as part of your credentials, refer to it and use pieces of it in your speeches. It helps your audience connect to you, understand what you’re saying, and take home a bit of that advice that they saw as so incredibly helpful…because even if they came in knowing all about the subject, everyone walks out having heard at least one idea they hadn’t before. That book is a concrete object, to hold in their hands and take home with them, to use to show others what they did and learned, or simply to have sitting on their shelf as reference for the next time they think about that speech and try to remember what it was you said that they loved so very much.
In any public speaking situation, if you’re good at what you do, a book at the back of the room is likely to sell to about half the audience. Bookmarks, pens and notepads are all wonderful tools, but if there’s a book to be bought, chances are, they’ll buy it. It’s a better seller than t-shirts (which might not fit), coffee mugs (which everyone has too many of already), or that adorable little combination envelope slitter and can opener (which the vendor told you would fly off the shelves like hotcakes, and of which you have fifteen cases left). A book is something the audience member can take home and display, set on the coffee table as a conversation starter, lend to friends, and even take notes in during the talk itself. It’s one of the most invaluable tools any public speaker can have.
Expert books, as they’re called in the industry, vary in length, but are usually no longer than 45,000 words – this makes them easy, fast writes, and simple, clean reads. Many who public speak don’t even need to bother with a traditional publisher…if you’re selling them at the back of the room, if you’re using them as a tool to sell your program, class or product, a self-published book can be more than effective.
Not to mention, of course, that a book can actually make landing those public speaking gigs easier – it’s that added bonus that can make many organizations reconsider a guest they might not have welcomed before.