Ahead of my first school visit last Tuesday, I asked authors for their tip-top advice for running the perfect event. The support was so incredible that I just had to compile it all into one place for others to access. Thank goodness for friends 🙂
1. Ask lots of questions and get the children involved.
2. Make the children feel special and listened to.
3. Get them engaged by involving their imaginations.
4. Smile a lot.
5. Leave plenty of time for questions but be prepared for some really off-beat questions in return.
6. They don’t know what you forgot to say.
7. Get there early so you have plenty of time to make sure equipment and materials are ready. Have an activity or two up your sleeve in case the children finish what you had planned early, but don’t be surprised if it goes the other way!
8. Let your passion and excitement for your book shine through. They will feed off your energy and will be attentive to what you are saying.
9. It’s basically the same as spiders. They’re more scared of you than you are of them.
10. Have fun! They want it to go well as much as you do because they are looking forward to something different and special. You and your audience are on the same side.
11. Ask for feedback following the visit.
12. Take all your props in a suitcase on wheels. It’s so much easier than carrying everything between classes and children will love helping to wheel the ‘Real Live Author’ suitcase.
13. Have a glass or bottle of water handy for dry mouth syndrome due to possible nerves or just lots of talking.
14. They’re not here to see you. They’re here for you to see THEM (Sarah McIntyre). Sarah has a fantastic post with a advice for hosts too!
15. Start with a WOW! A suitcase, a giant biscuit, a pretend phone call… and you’ll have them hooked right from the beginning.
Good luck if it’s your event soon!