Friday, January 18, 2019

Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—Help Pirates!


by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

#4 In a series where I answer questions I suspect you are asking

Indie Author:
I’ve been robbed! Google told me my book is free on a site and I KNOW that’s where all of my sales are going! I would have been rich if it hadn’t been for this site stealing my intellectual property! What can I do? How do I fix it? Is all hope gone? Can I sue them? Can I call the police? Can I speak to the manager?

Deep breath.

It’s going to be okay.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Have You Entered the WRITING ZONE?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call THE WRITING ZONE.

Okay, I confess. I borrowed the intro from a television cult classic. But truthfully, have you ever read a better explanation of what it means to be a writer?

Today I’m offering some tips to help you find your way to the writing zone.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Map Out Your Blogging Calendar with These 10 Tips


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

A new year means 52 new blog posts for us who are weekly bloggers. Some writers may be more adventurous and post more often, but I’ve found I need to blog just once a week to keep up with my schedule of writing, editing, and marketing. (If you can blog more, like Edie, I am rooting you on!)

When I plan what to write for my blog, I don’t worry about the number 52. Fifty-two posts is a lot to plan at one time. I focus more on the number 3. What can I write about in the next 3 months?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Develop the Right Tools to be a Successful Writer


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As writers, we’re warned early on to avoid the trap of comparison. Each of us has a different path to success—and a different path to publication. These varying ways of living life as a writer aren’t good and bad or even better and best—they’re just different.

Today I want to encourage you to do just the opposite.

Monday, January 14, 2019

How a Writer Can Put Power into a Point: Part 2

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

Here is the link to Part 1 of How a Writer Can Put Power into a Point, it appeared on the Write Conversation Monday, December 10, 2018. Here are the main points from it: 
  • Speak in a Conversational Manner 
  • Don’t Read Your Slides
  • Keep Your Slides Simple

Now let’s go into Part 2.

Face Your Audience
Look at your audience. Imagine how you would feel if your audience had their behind to you for most of your presentation. With that in mind, don’t read from the screen with your back to the audience. 

If you need to read one or two of your slides, stand to the side of the screen. 

Remember your audience came to see you, not your slides. Face your audience to connect with them. 
  
Be Prepared
Be so well prepared that should the technological equipment fail to function, you can go on without the slides. 

I spoke at a women’s retreat where the power did go off on the second day. With my preparation of an outline and brief notes, I continued without the projector.

Stay away from the Projector’s Glare
When you speak, don’t block the screen. You don’t want the glare on your face. It does nothing to improve your looks. It ages you.  

When you don’t need your slides, turn the projector off with a media remote control if one is available. If one isn’t, turn it off yourself or have someone do it for you. 

Before your presentation, ask if the other person knows how to turn off the projector. If he/she does, that’s great. If not, give the person the opportunity to practice ahead of time.

At the end of a presentation I attended, eight women stood in front of the projector to have their picture taken. No one had turned off the projector. They had the glare on their faces for all the pictures. 

Use an Electronic Pointer   
Avoid the temptation to place your index finger on the screen to point to text on the slides. Newer models of media remote controls will have a pointer on them. Use the electronic pointer. If yours doesn’t have one, present the content without pointing. 

An author made a DVD of her presentation. Although she had excellent content, she pointed on the screen with her index finger throughout the presentation. I found it distracting. Her audience may have too. 

Furthermore, she blocked the view of the audience every time she pointed with her index finger. When the DVD showed the men and women in the audience, I could see them leaning to the right or to the left to see the screen.

Avoid Chemicals, Perfumes and Other Strong Odors
Many people suffer from allergies or asthma. As presenters, we want to do what we can to eliminate toxins that trigger allergies or asthma in our attendees. 

Everyone in our audience deserves a healthy, safe environment. 

Prior to my awareness and purchase of the Expo low odor dry erase markers, I wouldn’t use dry erase markers. I didn’t want to be responsible for someone in my audience going to the emergency room because of an allergy or asthma attack. 

Use Humor
When you speak on a heavy topic or give a lengthy presentation, break up the tension with humor. Please don’t insert a string of jokes that have nothing to do with your topic.

You can use an example from your own life or something that happens during your speaking engagement. For example, during an hour and a half presentation, I tripped over the cord on the microphone. I laughed at myself and said, “My name is not Grace.” The audience laughed with me.

We laughed harder when I tripped over the cord a second time.

You may find a cartoon online or a sign in your everyday life that enhances your presentation. Have your cell phone ready to take pictures. If your topic is self-editing, you’ll find countless billboards that will provide humor for your presentation.

To wrap up, here are the main points again:
  • Face your audience.
  • Be prepared.
  • Stay away from the projector’s glare.
  • Use an electronic pointer.
  • Avoid chemicals, perfumes and other strong odors.
  • Use humor.

Follow those guidelines along with the ones in Part 1 for a successful PowerPoint session. 

TWEETABLES
How a Writer Can Put Power into a Point: Part 2 - @YvonneOrtega1 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Following these guidelines can help any writer put together a powerful PowerPoint session - @YvonneOrtega1 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Yvonne Ortega speaks with honesty and humor as she shares her life and struggles through presentations that help women find comfort, peace, and purpose. Her background as a licensed professional counselor gives her a unique perspective into the heart of women. Her counseling experiences in jails, prisons, and outpatient services add depth and humor to her presentations, as do her years of teaching mostly high school and college Spanish. Her presentations are interactive and down-to- earth with application for the audience from God’s Word and his promises. 

Yvonne is also a speaking and writing coach and the owner of Moving from Broken to Beautiful®, LLC. She is the author of four books: Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer, Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward, Moving from Broken to Beautiful® through Forgiveness, and Moving from Broken to Beautiful® through Grief

Yvonne is a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA), the Christian Authors Network (CAN), the National Speakers Association (NSA), and Toastmasters International. 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Am I Content to Follow God—No Matter What?


Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this. Psalm 37:5


A few summers ago, a group of us drove to the beach. We took several cars and, although I’d never been to that particular beach, I agreed to drive. Things were a little crazy when we left and, after we got on the road, I realized I hadn’t gotten written directions, or even the address to plug into my phone.