Monday, August 13, 2012

Turning the Tables

So it is official: I will be leading a workshop on social media for writers in October for the Pikes Peak Branch of the National League of American Pen Women.  Gasp!  I sent in the title and description today, which will soon show up on the website, which means I cannot flee, nor can I duck out gracefully.  ACK!

I'm a pro at attending workshops, but this will be the first I've led.  I haven't had to give any sort of speech since Speech class in college (which, by the way, was right before I got pregnant with my daughter, so we're not talking decades or anything, but six years is long enough!  It's more than halfway to a decade...)

I'm hoping I still have my handy dandy Speech textbook downstairs.  I'm pretty sure I do, as I only sold one textbook back, one which I've regretted not keeping ever since.  I can assure you that $20, or whatever pittance I received, was definitely not worth selling it back for when I could have continued using it.

While I'm utterly terrified, at this point, I'm also quite excited.  I'm already creating the workshop in my head, and I'll enjoy putting together a slideshow and handouts, but it's the talking part that will be hard.  I can assure you that my face will be bright red the entire time, because that's how I roll.  Haha!  Okay, hopefully not.  I'm actually pretty comfortable with the topic, which should help a lot.  I won't have to script anything, and can just use my notes as a guideline so I don't get off topic.  I work better off-script.

The workshop will touch on Facebook, Twitter and blogging, though I'll mention other forms of social media (LinkedIn, Pinterest, Good Reads) so people are aware of what's out there.  It's been requested as a very basic introduction, including setup of the accounts, as well as protecting oneself while putting yourself out there publicly.

Really, I talk about this sort of thing on here, so I'll just be doing it out loud, without need for spell check.  Right?  RIGHT!?

Oh, hey, and speaking of workshops, I'll be attending one presented by Brandon and Bryan of A Beer for the Shower next week via Pikes Peak Writers!  Go figure, small world, and all that jazz.  It's on blogging, which I already do, sure, but I'm betting they'll have plenty interesting and enlightening to say about it.

Any tips from you pro's out there?  What other forms of social media do you think deserve a mention?  What do you think is the A#1 most important thing newbies should know about social media?

May you find your Muse.

Image by OCAL,


  1. You'll do great! Just keep telling yourself that.
    What should newbies know first? That it's SOCIAL media, including the blogging. It doesn't do you any good if you post but don't go out and make friends with other bloggers.

  2. Look at you, leading an event at a writer's conference. That's awesome.

  3. Good luck with the workshop. Sounds like it'll be great. I'm a new follower who's a friend of Lauren over at her Eclectic blog.

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  5. Good Luck, Shannon! This is a good thing :) You'll do great.
    the first thing about social media: I'm going to toss my two cents in the hat and say, Social media is vital as the air we breath (for writers if one wants to creat awareness)It connects people across the globe together like intricate threads of web...

  6. This is a very positive step forward. A big congratulations! I think you will do great. You should have it video taped so you can at least post some excerpts.

    Yay, Shannon!

    Wrote By Rote

  7. Just remember how much practice you've had talking and you should do fine. :)

  8. I'm not a pro at giving speeches but I've given a few in my time. My suggestions would be to practice alone and in front of an "audience." If they tell you to speak louder or to slow down, do - I think being heard and understood by your audience is more important than making periodic eye contact with random folks. Also, take note the time of day in which you'll be speechifyin' - if it's first thing in the morning, don't be surprised to be speaking to a room full of zombies who've not yet properly caffeinated. If it's just before lunch, your audience may be a bit hungrier for food than for your words. ;-)
    Some Dark Romantic

  9. This sounds great! Confidence is key, so maybe do some meditations on how you know a lot and the information is solid and you are performing a valuable service :). That's what I tell myself when I'm a little nervous before a teaching gig. It's about social networking, so it's all about connecting, really. Good luck!
    Catherine Stine’s Idea City

  10. I don't envy you one bit, except for the part about attending the workshop. That part sounds like fun :)

  11. I think newbies should be aware that social media is about communication and reciprocation, not just posting exclusively about oneself--without acknowledging other people's accounts and blogs--and expect people to automatically follow.

    I think you'll do great with this. :)

  12. Awesome, good luck!

    I think the most important thing about social media (all forms) is that the purpose of it is about building relationships with other people. If you're all about pimping your wares you may as well be shouting into the wind.

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  14. Alex, thanks! I agree; that is where I see a lot of new bloggers fall through.

    Randy, it's actually a stand-alone workshop. I am not nearly cool enough to run one at a writer's conference yet! (Some day!)

    Alice, thank you and hi, welcome!

    Cecilia, beautifully put, and I agree! It gives us so much more exposure and the ability to meet so many we wouldn't without social media. Not to mention how much can be learned.

    Lee, thanks! That would be interesting. I wonder if someone might do that.

    Andrew, well there you go, that's one way to look at it!

    Mina, great advice, thanks! Luckily, it will be right after lunch, so hopefully people will be nice and alert and paying attention.

    Catherine, good point about connecting. I hadn't thought of meditating first, but that might help.

    Mshatch, yes, that part sounds fun! Much easier to be the watcher than the watched.

    Medeia, thank you! That is definitely something I need to make clear. I think a lot of people will be coming thinking they'll just post stuff and be done, so it may be a bit of a rude awakening, but hopefully one that they can embrace anyway.

    Jamie, thanks! I think you're right. You're just talking to yourself if you aren't interacting with other people.