Have You Ever Thought About Writing a Book?
“The writer is an explorer. Every step is an advance into a new land.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882), American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist, and poet
With computers, the Internet, and artificial intelligence, it may be hard to think people still read books. But they do.
In 2020 during the COVID Pandemic, I was home for months, which allowed me to write my book Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Speaking. This book has helped me to become recognized as an expert in the field of public speaking. So, if you write a book on your speaking subject, you will also be considered an expert. That’s a good thing.
You may think writing a book is a monumental task taking years. It could be this unless you repurpose the material you have already written on the subject. If you do this, the effort becomes organizing your content, adding an introduction, and final words. I know this to be true because this is how I wrote my book.
Now that you know writing your book can be done let’s explore three benefits of writing your book:
Organizes Your Thinking
I am a top-down person. I like to organize what I want to say in my blogs from the top down before I start writing. You may also be a top-down person or a bottoms-up person writing seemingly disparate parts of a whole and fitting them together.
There are many different ways to write a book. However, the one common task in writing a book, whether you are a top-down or bottom-up person, is organizing your chapter formats the same. If you do not do this, your book will have some chapters with two pages and some with ten pages, and people will not read it.
The content I used for Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Speaking was a set of weekly blogs I wrote from Jun 2019 to May 2020. Fortunately, I formatted these blogs and subsequent blogs since then in the following fashion:
Introduction including an opening quote and outline of what is to follow
Three main points concerning the subject of which I am writing
Summary of the main points
Three Calls to Action
Memorable quote to motivate the reader.
That’s it. Because I wrote and still write all my blogs this way, there was minimal reformatting of the chapters in my book, which saved a lot of time.
So, a book forces you to organize your thinking.
A book also makes you an instant expert in the eyes of your audience, which adds to your credibility.
It Provides You with Instant Credibility
I have a friend who, many years ago, was competing with a much more experienced speaker to speak at a conference. However, my friend had written a book on the same subject, which the more experienced speaker did not. So, guess who was chosen to speak at the conference? You guessed it. My friend was selected because he “wrote the book.”
Saying you “wrote the book” on your subject gives you instant credibility with whomever you are trying to convince to have you speak at their meeting, seminar, or conference.
Now, your credibility will last to the extent you are true to what you say in your book. Be very careful not to contradict what you say in your book. If your book has been out for a while, chances are there is someone in your audience who has read your book.
Even though you have written your book, you need to read it occasionally to stay familiar with what you said in the book. You don’t want ever to hear this from an audience member, “ . . . but you said in your book . . .”
dYou know your credibility with your audience is crucial to them accepting your presentation message and acting on it after your presentation.
I don’t want to get morbid here, but as much as we think we will live forever, we won’t. So as you get older, you will invariably start thinking about what advice you will leave this world to make a difference.
Provides Your Thinking into Posterity
Stephen Covey of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People fame tells us humans have four basic needs: to live, to love, to learn, and to leave a legacy.
We all have this last need to leave a legacy.
It is nice to know when you are no longer in this world, your words are forever available to anyone through the book you have written.
This need stems from our yearning to leave this world a better place than when we entered it. I don’t want to get too philosophical, but we all want to believe we were put on this earth for a reason. It is your lifelong job to discover this and then get to work on fulfilling that job.
Although not the only way, for us speakers writing a book fulfills at least a part of leaving a legacy.
Your philosophy, teaching, and opinions about your particular area of expertise are all right there, down in black and white in your book. No one can take that away from you or anyone else that can benefit from your advice.
For some speakers, it takes more than one book to record our entire legacy, and that’s OK. After writing my first book, I know there is another one coming. That’s healthy and will make the world an even better place.
Someone once how do you eat an elephant? Whether eating an elephant or writing a book, the answer is the same – one “bite” at a time.
Now you know some of the benefits of writing the book inside you: it organizes your thinking, adds to your credibility, and forever records your advice for posterity.
Have you ever thought about writing a book? No? Think again!
Call to Action
Use organizing your book as a way to clarify your speaking services and why your prospects should become clients
Write a book to become an “instant” expert in your field
Leave the legacy of your advice through your written book
“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream by night.” – Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849), American writer, poet, editor, and literary critic
Frank DiBartolomeo is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association. He was awarded Toastmasters International’s highest individual award, Distinguished Toastmaster because of his outstanding work in public speaking and leadership.
Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.speakleadandsucceed.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals by improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Reach Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org and (703) 509-4424.
Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!
“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”
Available now at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com