May 13, 2015

back from Bryan: the book tour begins

Some super kind quilters in Bryan, Texas invited me to come speak last night to the Brazos Bluebonnet Quilt Guild about the history of Japanese quilts.

The Brazos Bluebonnet guild is a lively bunch and about 70 people turned up to hear the story about how Japanese would-be quilters learned their new craft in the 1970s  and 80s from America.

I offered pre-orders last night for my new book: Japanese Contemporary Quilts and Quilters. Its due out in August.
Japanese Contemporary Quilts and Quilters. By Teresa Duryea Wong. Available in August.

I did my best to make the lecture lively, especially since this guild meets at 7 pm ... it was about 7:45 before my talk started. Once they turn down those lights... well you can't be boring or your audience will nod off. I know that certainly happens to me when things get boring.

In my day job, I coach corporate folks on how to speak to the media, government officials, investors and other audiences. One of the first rules of a great presentation is to engage your audience. Put yourself in their shoes and give a lot of thought to what they'd want to know. Then give it to them... step back, imagine that your audience knows nothing about the history of quilts in Japan, and approach the content from that perspective. What would you want to know?

Here's another easy tip: Don't read your presentation! Talk... and talk like a real person... not a robot. It amazes me how many people get up at various events and read their presentation word for word. Hey, people, if you want to read, just send me an article and I will read it myself. Your audience wants to hear you talk. They want to know who you are and what you've got to say.

And lastly, practice. Out loud! I did. In fact, I practiced... and practiced... and edited and cut and edited again... and then practiced some more.  All the while my buddy Tom was right there at my feet... he's wondering why I'm talking and no one is listening.

Well, actually, my poor husband had to listen to me (multiple times)!  Thank you dear!

And my BFF traveled with me to Bryan last night and helped me set up and provided awesome moral support. Thanks Amy G!!

It was an honor to meet some of the Brazos Bluebonnet Quilt Guild members and we had a great dinner before hand at Fish Daddy's. I should have snapped a group pic! Next time. Thanks to Linda, Maggie, Mary, Cathleen and Cynthia. Great to hang out with you.

1 comment:

  1. Fredricksburg would be about the closest to me....I'm going to be keeping an eye out and see if they allow visitors ! I would love to come listen to you !