Public speaking for writers can often come with fear and dread. Well in my case anyway. I love writing but public speaking terrifies me. Even reading my work aloud is a chore. When I started with my writing group back in March I couldn’t even read out loud to the other women in the group and I would often ask one of the other ladies to read what I had written.
I’ve come a long way since then. I now read my pieces to the group each week and last night I had my first public performance.
First Wednesday’s in Farrelly’s Oldcastle Co. Meath
First Wednesday’s is a collective of writers, playwrights, artists, and actors, who gather in Farrelly’s pub in Oldcastle, Co. Meath on the first Wednesday of every month. The founder, Freda Donoghue, came to speak with our writers’ group in April this year about her award-winning play. A couple of weeks ago she sent an email inviting our group to take part in First Wednesdays.
We were all delighted and it was a great honour to receive the recognition. I decided that I would read 4 poems but have them interspersed between everyone else’s pieces. That way I would only have to speak for a couple of minutes each time.
So last night arrived and I have, to be honest, my nerves were really playing up. I went so far as to have a couple of vodkas before leaving the house just to try and give myself some Dutch courage. It worked and I stood in front of the audience and read my work. The first poem I read was called “Cherry Blossoms” and it was amazing to hear the silence in the room. The audience were amazing. They sat and listened to everything that was being read, and the round of applause that followed my poem really blew me away. To the right is a picture of me reading on of my poems.
The rest of the writers in my group read short stories and once again the audience were great. My second time to read was two poems but by then I had settled and my nerves were under control. By the time I read my last piece my confidence had soared and I really enjoyed sharing my work.
It really was a great experience and it has helped my confidence immensely. I will say this to anyone who writes and is invited to read their work, go for it. While it may be nerve wracking, once you start reading the crowd disappears and you become so immersed in the reading you forget all about them.
What I learned From My Public Speaking Experience
My take away from today’s blog post. Be bold, be brave, and get out there and share your voice with the world. No one can read your stories the way you can. They mean something to you. You know how your poems or stories are meant to be read. You can share the emotion and the power behind your words like no one else. Sure public speaking for writers is scary and you will find yourself wanting to avoid it at any cost, but believe me, when you hear the silence in the room and see the look of rapture and awe on the faces of the people listening to your work, it makes it all worthwhile.
Take a chance on yourself. Put your work out there, because when you become famous, you’ll have to speak in public anyway.
Until next time,