Friday, April 28, 2006

Week of Wet: T.G.I.F. For You, Anyway

I can't believe I almost forgot this one, Bellas:

I'm on my way to the Washington (DC) Romance Writer's Retreat at Harper's Ferry. They've given me the tremendous honor of inviting me to be their guest, and asking me to speak all about Romance: B(u)y the Book. The best part? I'm telling them all about youz. The surreal part? I'm on the program just before a pretty popular romance writer. Perhaps you've heard of her. Nora Roberts?

I'm perfectly calm. Feelin no pressure. at. all. None. Really.

So, wish me buona fortuna, "into the mouths of the wolves," whatever. The title of my presentation? "Free Reads and Snaxy Men -- The Romance: B(u)y the Book Story!"

How do you psych yourself up, and keep yourself cool, before a big event?

Party, job presentation, maybe a new playgroup with the ubermoms from one town over. What's your secret?

Encore! I'll tell you all about it Monday.

Encore due! Blog Alert: Emma Holly guestblogs Tuesday May 2 to celebrate the release of the yummy/sexy "All U Can Eat."


Anonymous said...

I've done presentations before and I still freak out when facing a large audience. I normally rehearse what I want to say until I feel confident. But then if you're very passionate about the message you want to convey, there'll probably be no room left for anxiety or pressure, I suppose. Not really a big secret, huh? :)

Stacy~ said...

Um, hyperventilate? Not very helpful, I know, but that seems to be what I do. Hate public speaking. I have to do it next week for a group of about 65 people, and I'm so not looking forward to it, but it's part of my job. Not that I would recommend it, but it's a very effective weight-loss program because when I am nervous, I can't eat.

I guess take a lot of deep breaths and remember that they are there to see you and want to hear what you have to say - that part is true. And you are supporting an industry you are very passionate about, so that should make it easier - talking about something you love seems to make the nerves go away and you just get so engrossed in the subject you don't even think about it. Sending tons of positive vibes your way! Can't wait to hear all about it.

Anonymous said...


i too hate doing presentations. i have done any in about a year. i did so many for a while i kinda got use to doing them. but now i would be so nervous. if you do them alot it really does get easier. good luck. btw love the picture of gerry.


amy kennedy said...

Ct and Stacy--you've got it. If it's something you care deeply about it makes it easier.

As a kid I was in dance and then as a teenager in a lot of school plays--I would always get nervous, almost to the point of tossing my cookies--but I loved the spot light too much, and got past it to that surreal point of not seeing the audience and actually being the character.

A little different when you're giving a presentation. But since you are passionate about the subject and about us AND you've got the cool power point slides, the cutest haircut and you're you--you'll be gorgeously fabulous.

We will all be sending you 'confident vibes' this weekend.

Break a leg.

Julie in Ohio said...

Avoid, Avoid, Avoid.

If that doesn't work, Southern Comfort and a splash of 7-up.

Just take 15 minutes to yourself where there is no noise and breath deeply and empty your mind.
I've heard this works but honestly I avoid public speaking like the plague. Then again I am not as articulate as you are. I know you'll do great.
*sending calm vibes your way*

Anonymous said...

In my day job I teach human anatomy, so I'm used to speaking in front of a large group. Oddly, I never feel nervous when I have to do this, but put me in a one-on-one social situation and I start to sweat. Chalk it up to my secret insecurities, LOL!

Michelle, enjoy your presentation. I have every confidence that you will rock!

Playground Monitor said...

Ha! Julie already shared the secret. Only I'd have said Johnny Walker and club soda.

Actually, practice, practice, practice gets me through. And I wholeheartedly agree about that passionate part.

Have fun and knock their socks off!


Kristi Cook said...

Just like everyone's already said, if it's something you feel really passionate about, it's amazing how much easier it is! It's also easier when your audience is sympathetic to your 'cause'--and for sure, you're going to have a captive audience of like-minded women! So, when you're up there, just think of the audience as 'friends'--or potential friends--which they are, and it'll be a piece of cake. Authors are SO grateful for people who help promote the genre, people just like YOU! Think of that. And make sure you meet my good friend Sally MacKenzie--she's going to be there, and she's a hoot!

Julie in Ohio said...

Hey, Marilyn, I'm flexible. I could go along with some Captain Morgan or even a shot of Jack.
It's all good and produces the same relaxed effect.

Kelley Nyrae said...

I am terrible at public speaking! I have been ever since my school days. Good luck! You'll be great.

Manda Collins said...

I just pretend like it's no big deal. Deep down I know it is, but if I pretend long enough my brain starts to think it really isn't a big deal and I can do the presentation without feeling like I'm going to throw up. And I work very hard not to let feelings of fear bubble up to the surface. Cause once I let myself feel the fear it's hard not to keep feeling it. Does that make any sense?

Michelle, you're gonna WOW them, I know! Especially if you've included some distracting snaxy visual aids...hehe.

Monica Burns said...

Woman, you are gonna be JUST FINE! You're articulate, gracious and extremely intelligent, and I KNOW you've written something that's gonna knock their socks off.

I rather enjoy public speaking, and it's only the first 60 seconds or so that send me loopy, but then I settle in for the long haul.

Just focus on the message, and learn Churchill's mantra.

"...Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time—a tremendous whack."

You're gonna knock 'em right into your great blog.

Oh and thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderful picture today. I always have to bite my tongue ahead of time before I open your blog just to ensure I don't do a "boss alert!" LOL

Vivi Anna said...

Yeah, Michelle! Go for it woman! You'll do fantastic!

Before I big event, I usually get sick to my stomach..but once that's over with, I'm good to go...LOL

Usually, I just get loud and crack a joke or two. That gets everyone laughing including me, then I feel great.

Vivi Anna said...

And looking a hot pics of Gerard Butler helps....

Well, at least, it doesn't hurt!

Rach said...

Hey, Michelle, I don't know if you'll be checking in before you present, but I know you'll wow 'em! Break a leg, we're all pullin'for you!!

amy kennedy said...

I hope you're breaking legs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle. I just met you today at the WRW Retreat. I sat in front of you as we listened to Nora! I'm loving the picture you posted here. Ahhhh, Gerry! My blog is an obsession about the man. It doesn't get any better than him!

I loved your talk and hope that one day I'll be reviewed in your column!

Anonymous said...

At the risk of stealing Michelle's thunder (or pre-empting her post), I'm going to let you all in on a not so big secret: she did GREAT! Poised, upbeat, and yes, funny, she was a fabulous addition to our Washington Romance Writers workshop lineup. Hey, she got me to blog and frankly, folks, this is a first for me. Michelle, consider this as your invite to come back "In the Company of Writers..." anytime. We loved having you. In a time when so many people in this industry are going on (and on) about the "bad news" e.g., shrinking distribution, the supposed demise of the historical romance market yada yada, your voice was the proverbial breath of fresh air.

Hope Tarr

Monica Burns said...

HA! See Michelle! We told you'd do great! And Hope's post just proves it!

WHOO HOO!! WTG woman! Now you need to share your speech with us!!*grin*


Stacy~ said...

Yay Michelle, but I don't think any of us are surprised. If you are 1/2 as interesting and entertaining as you are here, then you rocked! Can't wait to hear all the details. And pictures. You got pictures, right?

Rach said...

WTG Michelle!! I knew you would be AWESOME!! You keep us well entertained, so I'm positive you kept the masses entertained as well =).

BTW, think "snaxy"'s gonna catch on?? *grin*

Diane Gaston said...

By now you are home, Michelle.
I was there to hear Michelle and now a whole new world has opened up to me!! Romancing: The Blog and Romance B(u)y the Book. What a wonderful resource for lovers of Romance. Better late than never for me to discover this.
It was nice to see some old friends here, especially Gerard Butler!
Diane Gaston Perkins
aka Romance Author Tart!

Diane Gaston said...

eek! I ought to at least get the name right
(slinking away red-faced)
Michelle, by the way, was informative and very very entertaining!

amy kennedy said...

We knew you could. I am thrilled for you Michelle and happy to see/read new voices.

Diane, Hope, and Leslie I know we'll be hearing from you again--Michelle always gets us going here.

Rachd--how could they not like *snaxy* everybody likes snaxy.

Anonymous said...

Snaxy has already caught on! I grabbed it (with Michelle's permission) to use on my blog for my mouth-watering Gerry Butler obsession:
Great term!!!

~ Leslie

Julie in Ohio said...

WTG, Michelle!!
I can't wait to hear your take on the presentation as the speaker's version is usually different from the listeners. Yet if we can believe half of what Hope says, then it was fanominal(sp?).

BTW, I am still staring at poor Raol. It's his eyes. It has to be. I'm a sucker for a pair of great eyes. *sigh*

Kristi Cook said...

Waving to Diane and Leslie-good to see some familiar 'faces'! Sounds like the retreat was GREAT, and so glad you found Michelle's fabulous blog!

Diane Gaston said...

Hi, Kristina!!!
Hi, Leslie!!! WHY did we not chat at the Retreat??????? I could have shown you my Phantom of the Opera watch and we could have obsessed together about Gerry!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristine and Diane! Diane, I learned that Terri Brisbin is a TART (we gushed about Gerry for a long while) and she told me that Kate Duffy really digs him too! We need our own GB fan club at WRW! LOL! I hope I get to see your watch some other time!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I'm so glad you hopped on board. I know the rest of the Bellas are gonna love chatting with you. But you gotta clue us in on everything: TARTS? This sounds almost as promising as UATW. :)

Hmmm...Kensington editor extroardinaire Kate Duffy digs on Gerard Butler? Well, now we know who her hero placeholder is when she's editing those great Brava books.

Diane Gaston said...

Members of, the officially unofficial fan site for Gerry has about 10,000 members. The ladies are Tarts and the men are Tartans (I think- I'm still new at this)
You should go there. It has everything Gerry. These are the fans who organized the GB convention in Glasgow in February. My friend Patty ( organized a side tour to the sites of Dear Frankie and to Edinborough. Gerry's mother and brother-in-law attended and they raffled off a mask and gloves from POTO, and a (ahem) costume from the 2007 movie "300". But I who am a latecomer to this obsession missed the whole darn thing!!!

Next year we have to at least have a Tart Table at the Retreat to eat lunch together. Or at the bar....Who know there were so many of us??

Diane aka Romance Author Tart (which has to be the least creative name in the universe)