Monday, March 28, 2016

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Kathy Carlton Willis, Writer to Speaker Elective Course & Banquet Presenter

How important are speaking skills for a writer?

Speaking is one of the top platforms for writers. Not only for back-of-the-room book sales, but also to build name awareness. Speaking allows you to test out your ideas before you write them into articles and books—you get instant feedback. Writing is such a lonely profession—speaking puts faces on your readers.

Please give us an overview of your four-part elective class, “Writer as Speaker.”

The course Writer as Speaker is derived from my book, Speaker to Speaker: The Essential Speaker’s Companion. I’ve divided the book into 4 classes. I especially recommend it for those who want to turn their occasional speaking ministry into a strategic business plan with a stronger ministry presence. The four classes include:

Working Up Your Program.

You’ll evaluate your speaking craft and work up better programs to offer event planners. We’ll discuss different presentation techniques. And you’ll learn what event planners want and brainstorm ways to create a turnkey event.

Customizing Your Niche.

During this session, I will highlight eight types of public speakers and give you tips for becoming a specialty speaker. We’ll identify ways to stand out when event planners consider their options from the sea of speakers available today.

Dealing with Speaking Challenges.

Every public speaker deals with challenges from within, and from without. I’ll touch on some speaking fears and share war stories, so we can learn ways to overcome the sticking points of this profession. I’ll reveal the Top 9 “oops” moments speakers face.

Setting Up Your Business.

Whether you’re just now setting up your speaking business or if it’s time to revamp your existing one, this session will help you order your work as a professional. We’ll cover working from home, creating a speaker contract, setting speaking fees, requesting endorsements, getting the word out, and putting together your resource table.

What about writers who consider themselves introverts? Is there a place for them in the speaking world?

My best tip for introverted writers is to make sure you’re speaking on your heartbeat topics—when audiences sense your passion they are more willing to overlook any speaking blunders. You’ll appear more confident than you really are when you’re sharing your favorite subjects.

Can you give us a sneak peak of your talk for the Saturday evening banquet?

One reason so many people feel stuck today is because they suffer from The Terrible Toos Syndrome. If you’ve ever said you’re too [fill-in-the-blank] to pursue that dream God has placed in your heart, then you possess The Terrible Toos malady. You’re afraid you might set yourself up for failure or disappointment. You leave the training wheels on your life bike rather than risk the excitement of pursuing your dreams. This keynote will encourage you to embrace a new understanding of what God’s presence in your life can do to embolden the dreams God wants you to dream.

Anything else you would like to add?

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Write to Publish. I’m eager to serve alongside the rest of the faculty and always enjoy having one-on-one time with writers. My goal is to fan the flame of God’s dream inside of you as a writer and speaker.

Read more about Kathy at

Write-to-Publish meets June 8 – 11 
in the Chicago Area

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