How Authors Can Become Great Speakers


A few months ago, I went to see a good friend, Sarah Noll Wilson, showcase her new book “Don’t Feed the Elephants! Overcoming The Art of Avoidance To Build Powerful Partnerships” at a local bookstore here in Des Moines. A professional speaker herself (and one of my coaching clients!), it was not a surprise that Sarah spoke eloquently with trademark humor, sharp wit, and deep insights. 

I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of the book, have known Sarah for many years, and have seen her on keynote stages. Thus, it was unsurprising that her stage presence matched her book’s personality and brand. 

However, this is not always the case. Many authors can write impactful books and crumble on stage. This lack of stage presence creates an incongruency in the audience’s eyes; we believe what we see before we believe what we hear. 

Thus, authors must own the stage and represent their message with power, confidence, and joy! One of the best ways to do this is to develop a signature keynote talk. If you are an author, likely, you have already been asked to speak about your expertise. Here are the three steps on how authors can become great speakers:

Identify Your Communication Intelligence

We all have our unique fears and desires regarding public speaking. Identifying your communication intelligence is key to recognizing your inefficiencies as you communicate from the stage and, more importantly, why you want to share your message through public speaking. In my 25 years of coaching speakers, I have found that the iEQ9 Enneagram Assessment is the best method to identify your communication intelligence. Once you have a firm understanding of this, you can best customize your keynote to match YOUR personality instead of trying to match other speakers’ styles for success. 

Simplify Your Message

Simplifying your message is a struggle for all authors and all speakers. We care passionately about our message but can’t possibly communicate everything we know about our topic in 45-60 minutes. Nor do we want to! Authors can condense their message and view it much more as a movie trailer than the full text. Giving a general overview excites and motivates audiences to buy and read your book!

Give Your Audience An Experience

We have all experienced speakers, training, or meetings where the content could have just as quickly been delivered in a PDF document. Audiences desire an experience. Not only do they want to learn from your content, but they also want to know what it feels like to apply your lessons to their everyday life. 

How can you, as an author, create an experience? How can you deliver a preview of your content, so that audience members are so hungry for what’s next that they have no choice but to purchase your book? 

All of these steps are simple, but none of them are easy. So, if you are an author looking to expand your message to the stage, click this form. You will get a complimentary iEQ9 Assessment and a one-hour coaching call with me. We can discuss your communication intelligence, how to simplify your message, and how to create an experience that your audiences will never forget. 

You can also view the Youtube Version of this article by clicking here.

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