Speaking this weekend – Pitching 101

This Saturday, I’ll be speaking at the MORWA chapter meeting on pitching at conference. I really need to get a savvy title for my pitching talk on par with the “Selling the Hard Sell” or “Page 1, 5, 50 – Keeping Them Hooked” title.

I was asked to do this talk after doing an informal coffee talk last year for the chapter on pitching. Here was my interview:

Kim: “Hey, you’ve pitched at conference, right?”
Jeannie: “Umm, twice?”
Kim: “Can you talk about it?”
Jeannie: “Okay.”

Kim is Kimberly Killion, our chapter president, who couldn’t do the talk herself because, well, she had to be president at the same time. I’m only vice-president. My job is pretty easy. I take notes and get flowers to celebrate first sales and accomplishments. And I soothe ruffled feathers if there happen to be any. I also have signing power on the checkbook should the treasurer be out of town.

This weekend, the informal talk is morphing into a one hour formal workshop. At first I thought it was odd that I was actually doing a talk on pitching because I was shaking like mad when I first pitched. I had gone to Nationals twice before attempting to pitch and everyone always seemed so nervous and keyed up. It’s a boiler room atmosphere down in the pitch room, really.

Kind of funny, but I remember checking out a book in high school from the library titled, “How to Talk to People”, because I was morbidly shy. More funny stuff – my first job out of college was a speaking job as a technical trainer.  After a few years in technology, I switched careers to teach high school science. Every time I stood in front of class, I got that fluttery stomach feeling. So perhaps this puts me in a good place to give this sort of talk. No one knows how to fake confidence better than me. 🙂

I did have one freak out moment when I realized that Margie Lawson was our speaker last month, and she rocked the house. Talk about a hard act to follow! *cliche alert!* More irony – next month I’ll be speaking in Los Angeles at the LARA chapter meeting, following on the heels of their Bob Mayer all day workshop. I really need to get someone to help me plan these engagements better.


  1. Claudia Shelton
    May 11, 2010 @ 06:03:07

    You can do whatever you put your mind to do and be fabulous! Of course, I do agree, you need to work on following acts such as Lawson and Mayer–maybe you could be the opening act for speakers. Hey, the music industry has opening acts, why not the writing industry? Don’t worry, you’ll be great!

  2. Megan Kelly
    May 11, 2010 @ 08:45:49

    Jeannie, you were asked to expand your informal talk into a presentation because you did so well. (I should know–I asked you to do it! lol) People took notes like crazy, hung on your every word, went out afterward and bought the book you recommended (well, I did). I’ve heard being shy can be hard (rotfl–I’m even more shy than Jeannie), but you make it look easy, which is an entire workshop in itself. Just given by Pam Trader, btw, to prep us for conference. You’ll be fine and we’ll be enthralled.

  3. Jeannie Lin
    May 11, 2010 @ 11:26:02

    Claudia — an intriguing idea! Maybe we should do that with books? Short stories or excerpts tacked onto big headliners’ books?

    Megan — Thanks Megan! I’m always a basketcase before a talk, but I also like to do it. It’s a very weird thing. Hopefully this workshop is as good as the coffee talk.