A friend from my day job as an instructional technology coach at a middle school, Susan Brown, asked me if I would visit her Beta Sigma Phi women’s sorority as a guest speaker. Enthusiastically, I agreed. I’ve lived in Great Bend, Kansas six months now with From My Mother being about two months from publication. Getting the chance to meet people in the community and tell them my story was a prime opportunity I wanted to embrace.
Beta Sigma Phi would be a group of friendly women. Susan told me there would be about 12 members in attendance. I knew one from church, Susan from work, and still I was nervous. I tried to dress the part of an author with my cat eye glasses. “Fake it ’til you make it” has repeated in my head many times trying to gain the confidence to market my book and share my story. I repeated the mantra I used when I would pitch, serve a volleyball or shoot a free throw to stay calm: “Passion, fire, courage, desire.” That may be one of the biggest advantages my athletic career gave me: I can calm my nervous jitters with a saying I’ve used over a 1000 times in pressure situations. I needed it.
I prayed the entire car trip there, asking that From My Mother finds the audience who needs it and that I serve as a good vessel to the story and the higher calling. I’m glad the women met me with such friendly faces!
Knowing these local women could be vital in helping me spread word of mouth of my story in Great Bend, I politely asked if I could record the event and share it on social media. This also let me a get a video to study and make improvements with as a speaker. I already know I should fist pump a little less during my book talks…
I tried to connect with the ladies by telling them about my job, why we moved to Great Bend, and some background about my family. I had printed articles of the Quest Magazine chapter excerpt ready for the group, which I used as a live reading.
After the talk I fielded questions and even got to sign their articles! I may have asked the ladies if I could, but I autographed those suckers good! It was fun, and I felt confident and support with these amazing women. I told them about a local fundraising event my dad, my husband and me are hosting for for the Muscular Dystrophy Association to raise funds for the MDA Muscle Walk, a day at Gambino’s Pizza where partial proceeds will be donated to the MDA and our fundraising team will clear tables from 5-8pm to talk and receive donated tips on March 18th. If you’d like to donate visit: http://www2.mda.org/site/TR/Walk/General?px=3828311&pg=personal&fr_id=21922
I spoke to free for the group, and would again, because I know personal connections and word of mouth are how we are going to successfully raise money for the MDA and how the story of From My Mother will spread. I’d call my first book talk a roaring success! I had a great time and appreciate the opportunity!
If you are in the local area and ever need a guest speaker, I’d speak to your group for free too! I’d love the chance to share my family’s story with you.