I'm so sad my conference is nearly over. Another week would kill me since I can't possibly keep up with this pace, but I would die happy. Today was our last workshop with Meg Wolitzer and we had a goodbye lunch (complete with booze and a sing-along) on a classmate's bayfront deck. And it was a perfect day for it.
Tomorrow we are all reading our work in front of everyone at the conference--including Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Award winners, and a Nobel laureate. No pressure.
So today I attended a lecture called Presenting Your Work. Here are some tips:
Advice Mom Might Give
--Drink plenty of water before you go on. Makes a huge difference.
--Rest (I'm hoping I can do that tonight with help from my little friend Cabernet.)
About that Tricky Microphone
It's awful when someone doesn't know how to speak into a mic. DON'T SPEAK DIRECTLY INTO IT. Point it at your adam's apple and speak OVER the mic. Much better. And if you have to adjust it, hold on to the mic holder, not the mic itself.
What Is It I'm Reading Again?
--Know your material.
--Use at least 14 pt. type.
When You Get Up There
--Square off your stance
--Take a clear breath away from the mic. It settles yourself and your audience.
--Pause and make eye contact before you start your piece.
--Play to your ideal audience. Don't doubt yourself before you go on. Think about those who support you and love your work.
--Pacing: speak slowly. Give them time to absorb the words.
--Receive their applause. Don't rush off the stage.
That last one will come in handy. I'm sure I'll have to hang out on stage for many, many shouts of Encore! More, please!