One of my favorite teachers of all time was my elementary music teacher from Watertown, Wisconsin. Mrs. Anderson taught me how to sing harmony when I was in third grade. She encouraged me to join the after-school choir.
When I sang in her room, I believed I was a star. When I sang in her room, I believed I could sing anything. When I sang in her room, I believed nothing was too difficult.
She had a contagious excitement for vocal music that inspired me to respond with equal enthusiasm.
We want that same kind of response to our story when we pitch at a conference.
How to Have Contagious Excitement While Pitching Your Novel:
*Remind yourself and a friend why readers will love your story. What makes your story uniquely interesting to readers?
*Practice your pitch till you are comfortable. Notice I say comfortable, not robotic. Be aware that after saying it too many times, you will sound more robotic than exciting.
*Put your pitch on a note card and bring it with you just incase you freeze up. When you plan for the worst, it rarely happens. (Put your name/genre/title/word count at the top also. Hopefully you won’t forget your own name, but sometimes writers forget to introduce themselves when they are nervous.)
*Write two questions you would like to ask the person if there is time. You probably won’t have the time for this, but it is best to be prepared.
*Maintain eye contact and smile. This sounds so simple, but in actuality it can be difficult. You don’t want to stare, but maintaining eye contact gives the impression of confidence. Smiling adds to likability.
*Speak loud and clear. Be careful not to rush through your pitch so fast that the listener doesn’t really know what you are saying.
*Connect with things that matter to them. Follow conversation threads that made them perk up. Whether they are talking about an aspect of the market or a client. When you connect with things they care about there is a greater likelihood of them remembering the interview as a pleasant one.
*Send A Follow-Up Thank You Card. It is important that you show an editor or agent that you appreciate their time. Sending a thank you follow-up even without a request for your manuscript shows that you can respect a ‘no’ as much as a ‘yes’.
What tricks do you use to help you have a contagious excitement when you pitch your novel?