“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
~ Winston Churchill
I love sharing my personal stories and images and inspiring people from all walks of life on stages big and small.
Since my adventure memoir was released in May 2016 I have unintentionally set myself on a path to a career in public speaking. I’ve hauled my Mac laptop, laser pointer and lucky water bottle from the left coast to the right coast, up to beautiful British Columbia, and through a smattering of communities along the Inside Passage as far north as Skagway, Alaska. I’ve spoken at libraries, bookstores, adventure stores, bars, community halls, universities, ferry terminals, schools, conference centers, visitor centers, bike shops, kayaks shops, and on cruise ships. One notable highlight of my speaking career was an event at the Explorers Club in New York City, where I met renowned oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer Sylvia Earle!
My audiences have ranged from 5 people (two of whom had shown up by mistake) to 650 people. I’ve spoken in rooms not much bigger than a large closet and on the massive stages of 4,000-passenger cruise liners where my images towered over me, astoundingly bigger than life.
Along the way I’ve tweaked and polished my slideshow presentations, studied Ted Talks, and internalized my narration until it flows like the currents of the Inside Passage. My efforts have not only shaped me to become a better speaker, but have helped me to become a better listener.
My heart still races and my palms sweat profusely just before taking the stage. But my on-stage anxiety is profoundly offset by the power of engagement. My heart melted when a young man shared that he is a brain cancer survivor and how my takeaway message of living life to the fullest resonated with him like none other. I’m especially endeared when I witness young people clutching—not their cell phones—but my books, waiting in line for an autograph. I’ve learned so much from all this wonderful engagement, and most importantly, I’ve learned that public speaking is not only about me being on stage. It’s about giving people a reason to care. That I am there to learn from my audience as much as they are there to learn from me. If I speak from my heart and share deeply from my soul, my stories will resonate with many people.
The hugs, the author-reader photos, the smattering of emails and messages I receive after an event — it’s all so mind-boggling and keeps me refining my craft and reaching out to new and exciting venues.
To learn about my past, present, and future speaking engagements, click here.
Are you a new author trying to break into the book tour scene? I’m happy to share everything I’ve learned on my book tour journey. Contact me!