How To Sell More Books Through Speaking - Michele ChynowethJul 08, 2022
Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews Michele Chynoweth.
In this episode we hear about our guests journey with confidence, public speaking and presentation skills and how it has helped them succeed in life and in business - in other words, how to succeed through speaking.
Michele Chynoweth is the best-selling and award-winning author of The Faithful One, The Peace Maker, The Runaway Prophet, The Jealous Son, and her newest release, The Wise Man... contemporary suspense novels that re-imagine Bible stories. Michele is also a sought-after public speaker who has addressed a variety of writers’ conferences and other organizations across the country, a professional editor and book coach, college writing instructor and founder of “Your Book Done Right” Master Class and Elite Coaching. A former news reporter and marketing director, she’s a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and lives with her husband in North East, Maryland.
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Tom Bailey 00:07
Hello and welcome to succeed through speaking the place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results Hello, I am Tom Bailey. And in today's speaker stories episode we'll be getting to know Michele Chynoweth, who is a best selling and multi award winning author, as well as being a sought after speaker and the founder of your book done right masterclass and elite coaching. So, Michelle, Hello and a very warm welcome to today's episode. Hello, Tom, thank you for having thank you so much for being here. And just out of interest. I'm here in the UK whereabouts in the world are you
Michele Chynoweth 00:54
in the United States in a state called Maryland in a little town called northeast which is right over the Delaware Maryland line. I'm Isiah thank you for sharing that never been. But hopefully one day I can I can head over that night. And try to just share a little bit more about you before we do get started. So Michelle is a former news reporter and marketing director. And Her books include the faithful one, the peacemaker, the runaway Prophet, the Jellison, and her news release, which is the wise man.
Tom Bailey 01:24
So quite an incredible journey from the sounds of things, Michele, and given the topic of this podcast, I'd love to find out how important public speaking has been for you along your journey.
Michele Chynoweth 01:37
It's been super important. I tell my writing students and clients who I coach these days, that public speaking is the number one marketing tool. I actually teach a workshop called speakers sell more books and writers. And it's so true. It took many years for me to discover that but once I did, I it took off. So I originally, I've always wanted to be an author since I was 10 years old. And life happened. I went to college, graduated, got married, got a job. I was a news reporter coming out of college. So I always practiced my writing and interviewing skills. Yeah. Then I went into marketing. And I owned my own ad agency for 20 years and was a marketing director for a corporate firm. But along the way that author bug bit me again, and I wrote my first novel, which started to take off. And I started to speak to small groups, book club, women's groups, church groups at the time, who asked me to talk about my book. And I also was attending writers conferences to get better at my craft to find out how to get published, find a literary agent, those types of things. And I noticed that the speakers that presented workshops and keynotes, sold more books. Yeah. That's what I want to do. So, but I wasn't a very good public speaker. I knew I could get better. And I also had that fear of public speaking. So I went into Toastmasters International, in my local area, joined a club started practicing, entered contests. So I'm always like this jump in feet first. So I immediately went the contest route. And that helped me push my boundaries and become better. And I started to speak at small writers, conferences, bigger writers, conferences, Christian conferences, big women's conferences. And so that grew, and I became a keynote speaker. And I realized not only did it help me sell more books, but it opened up doors to become a writing instructor at my local college to become a book coach helping writers become authors themselves. And I was able to quit my day job in marketing and become a full time book coach and author, and speaker. So yeah, it's really interesting, actually, because, um, I think a lot of speakers tell me that if they've got a book, they get more speaking gigs. And then you know, a lot of authors tell me that if they speak, they get more books. I also they kind of do really work hand in hand. So any speakers listening write book and any authors listing and learn to speak I think is the kind of key message that questions mesh on the back of that is, you know, from from noticing that, I think I need to speak but I'm not very good at it, too. I'm now a keynote speaker. How long was that journey? I've been in Toastmasters since 2011. So that's been 11 years, 11 years, and I first got the notion that maybe this public speaking thing might help me So, as an author, I, my first book was originally published in 2009. And since then I have five novels. The fifth one just came out this year. And so that speaker, author, speaker, book, coach, career has grown little by little into being full time for me today. And I divide my time between writing books, helping others get their books, written, published and marketed, and speaking. So it all it does all tied hand in hand, to the national public speakers, if they have a book to sell at the back of the room, it positions them as an expert, or in their field, if they're nonfiction, or as a great writer, and the speaking positions, the author, as an expert, author, so they really do work hand in hand. Yeah, I love that. And let's go back to, I guess, your first presentation. So you've been asked by your local church group or your local women's network, like you said, to stand up and speak? How did that go? How does that fit? Did you feel nervous? Like, how was that first speaking opportunity for you? Oh, wow, you took me back. And I was very nervous, extremely nervous. In fact, somebody said, I counted about 56, ohms, I think they were exaggerating a little bit, as an arms. And I learned how to take a deep breath to be myself authentic, but to pause, how to make eye contact, how to do purposeful movement, how to incorporate all those speaking bases. But along the way, I also realized it's about telling a story to that's what my whole coaching business is all about how I help a lot of actually nonfiction authors, make their books better. People will relate to people write not concepts or topics. And so I encourage all my writers to really use description and dialogue and story to make elevate their books. And it's the same as speaking as well. Stories have to be incorporated, because that's how people relate. I love that. Yeah. So I think you mentioned that start.
Tom Bailey 07:28
You said a lot of firms at the beginning of your speaking career. And we do that, because we want it we feel like we should fill this empty space, you know, the course filler words for a reason. But like you said, as soon as you realize that you could just pause instead. And sometimes pausing actually helps the audience follow along because they don't feel like it's being rushed through as well, they get a second to reflect on what you've just said. That's a really good first skill. But then, like you said, then is you then learn hand gestures and eye contact, then it storytelling that its use of humor? There's so many different things that you'll learn along that journey. But I think the the key for me is, don't feel like you have to learn it all. straightaway. You know, you can learn bits by bits. Can you as it as I speak?
Michele Chynoweth 08:14
Yes. And that's a good point. You learn by doing? Yes. There's the World Champion of Public Speaking Darren Lacroix. I heard him speak once. And he said that, he says stage time, stage time, stage time. So the more you speak, the better you get. And it's all about practice makes perfect. That is true. With everything, and especially speaking. So the more you speak, the better you get. And so that's how I really developed as a speaker, in just putting myself out there and taking advantage of every opportunity I could and learning all of those basics, and then building on those but you're right, you can't hit the stage and expect to be a good speaker. That's not going to happen. Just like you can't write a bolt for the first time and publish it and hope it's going to be great. A lot of people think either one can happen, and that's why we have folks like us out there to to help others.
Tom Bailey 09:17
Yeah, exactly. And that's one of the big benefits of this, this podcast and find out about the stories of speakers is, you know, both people starting out in your journey. Don't compare yourself to keynote speakers, because chances are they've been doing this for 11 years. And it's okay that you're not quite there yet. And yeah, it's a really good story that you shared with us there as well. And so we've talked about the beginning of your journey, feeling nervous counting 56 arms in your presentations. What about this ends of your journey then? So you now call yourself a sought after speaker which you are a keynote speaker? What would you say are the key things that you've learned now that you'd wished you'd known back then?
Michele Chynoweth 10:02
One of the things that really made a difference in my growing as an author and speaker is connecting with the audience. So originally, I guess I thought it was about me and everybody's looking at me and hearing my words, and what do I have to say. But after I spoke a few times, and realize it's not about me that first of all, who helps you overcome your nervousness but second eye, for example, I was speaking about my first book, The faithful one, which is a modern day reimagining of the book of Job. And I was in a really dark place, I had my ad agency, I was losing my marriage, my business through a recession. My kids were becoming teenagers, I felt like I was losing them. I was losing my house at the time it was, I was in a really dark place. And I heard a still small voice call me, right, what became this modern retelling of the book of Job and I fought it for a while it took me eight years to publish. But I did come through and God brought me through all of that. And I like to look back and say now and then remarried living my dream of being an author, speaker. Have a great day, have a blended family of five adult kids and in good health and living my dream. So in writing that, though, and then speaking about that. People, I remember a woman coming up to me and grabbing my hand and saying, you know, after reading that book, I feel like I have hope and faith again, and I going to go back to church. And I was like, wow, then my second book, the peacemaker, is based on David and Abigail, Abigail becomes David's second wife before, before she does, she's married to a not so nice, narcissistic, in my book, abusive alcoholic, and she struggles with that, and she eventually becomes mixed peace between the two before the campaigns get really ugly. And she and she has to risk her life and take a lot of courage to do that. And a friend of mine recommended I write that one, because I was identifying with the character was Abigail in the Bible, going through this divorce. And anyway, after I spoke to a small group, a woman came up to me also took my hand and said, Can I call you I feel like I'm married to the same guy I used to be married to in Utah. And it was then that I realized it wasn't about being rich and famous. It wasn't about speaking to the millions, it was about making a difference in a few folks lives. And as I realized that I started to Little by little, realize it's about the audience and message that you have to say to them, and what they need to hear what they crave to hear. And so I started to tailor my messages again, around that signature story of mind around the what they wanted to hear. And if you meet the needs of let's just say, conference directors that have an audience that needs to hear your message. That's when you connect, and it's not about you. So that was like, If I had known that back, then I may be speaking to the millions instead of the hundreds or so. But that's okay. Right where I need to be.
Tom Bailey 13:38
Yeah, it's a huge point. And I think it's important to think about as well, because whether you're writing a book, or whether you're standing on stage speaking, it's a vehicle to impact people's lives. And it's that ripple effect is if one person in that audience, you change their life, think about the impact they can have in reach, sharing that message. So the bite by thinking is almost removed. The fear of public speaking is so insignificant, I might feel a bit embarrassed, versus I could impact hundreds of 1000s people's lives, your insecurities become insignificant compared to what impact you could have. So it's almost like, you've just got to push through them. You've got to, you've got to push yourself past that. Because if you don't, you're not going to be helping all these people that you could be happening through speaking or through writing your book.
Michele Chynoweth 14:28
Right? You have to they identify just like they did on books, same as speaking and good writers usually make good speakers and vice versa eventually, because we share from our heart and our pain. That's how people connect with us. They want to be able to relate they can relate to sometimes your your flaws, your weaknesses, your vulnerability, your pain, your story, and yes, I it took me a while to learn that lesson, and now often need to remind myself Yeah, you know, it's it's about the people reading the book. It's about the readers and it's about the audience.
Tom Bailey 15:07
Yeah, exactly. And so trying to just quickly talk about the business side of speaking as well. So we've talked about the transition from afraid of speaking to figuring out how to do speaking, but at the top, and it's figuring out, how do I go from speaking to getting paid from doing speaking? Like, how do I generate revenue? So you could sell more books, you could get paid to be a keynote speakers? What's your kind of take on that transition from speaking to practice? Versus I'm actually gonna make a business out of this?
Michele Chynoweth 15:36
That's a great question. So I did start out speaking for free and small groups. And occasionally, I still do, but I built up to getting paid as I spoke to these writers conferences, so they usually pay an honorarium, some more than others. And then I started speaking to bigger groups, I spoke to the Gospel Rescue Mission in Delaware, and they paid me to speak and then I spoke to a big Women's Conference, they also pay me to speak usually get more as a keynote noted twice, and, you know, they pay your expenses and you know, you can make 1000s of dollars so it's all your you know, it's the field you speak within writers conferences don't pay a whole lot but they do. So here's another point they do have provide a pipeline for my book coaching business so I'm feeds the other. So I will speak often for you know, a few $100 at writers conferences. However, the workshops I present people want to know more they want to take my classes. So I have a an eight week your book done right? Your book done right, that calm you can find more information there. But it's an eight week course where I, it's online. And it's a masterclass on how to write, publish, and market your book, and personal coaching and editing services in between so that you actually get your book done. Yeah. And that course developed for my speaking, actually, I was teaching at the local college and COVID hit. And yes, my college class went online, the local people that were taking it, because it had to, and that developed, people started to find me. And here we are connecting worldwide, right. And I've had people in my classes from all over the world. And so one thing led to another out opened doors for me that I didn't even see. So one thing led to another, and that's how it built up. So there are various things that ways you can get paid through coaching through programs through classes you offer, and the speaking can lead to those other things as well.
Tom Bailey 18:01
Yeah, yeah. Fantastic. And just just quickly touch on the the global pandemic, we, we thought it was going to wipe out all the speakers and you know, they'd have no incomes and they'd have to sell their houses. But actually what happened was big transitions for a lot of speakers to virtual delivery to create an online courses to launch in new businesses. So it's been actually quite a transformation for a lot of speakers in a good way. I think.
Michele Chynoweth 18:27
For me, definitely. And for us.
Tom Bailey 18:30
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. We're here we are speaking from across the pond. What's the ocean across the ocean? Fantastic. So last last question. For me. By the way, this has been amazing. I've just got so much value out of this personally, and I know my listeners have as well. And you've mentioned one website, but what's the best place for people to connect with you online? What What's that website or social platform? How can people connect
Michele Chynoweth 18:57
with you? So I can be reached at Michelle Chanel with that calm? It's Michelle with one LCH? Why no web th.com that has all of my has information about my books. So I do have a fifth book. Can I do a quick, of course a wise man and it's contemporary novel based on Solomon. So I have five novels. They're each individual. They each reimagine the story in the Bible, but in a totally modern day, edgy, action packed way. So there's suspense with a little romance when the thriller ones a murder mystery based on Cain and Abel. And then this one is a drama about a Supreme Court justice who decides very ripped from the headlines case that might overturn Roe v Wade, so it had good time. They can find my books about me about my speaking and get samples of that. All of that and my coaching services as well on that website, and I'm one also Social media, so connect with me there as well. And my books are on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
Tom Bailey 20:06
Fantastic. Thank you so much. What I'll do as well is I'll post all of the links to all of those things in the show notes so people can just click on them, they can find out more about you and buy your books as well.
Michele Chynoweth 20:15
And take my course if you want to write a book.
Tom Bailey 20:19
I'm gonna I'm gonna join you a week or so I'm gonna write a book. Why not? Awesome. Absolutely. Well, thank you so much again for your time today. I really appreciate it and for coming along and sharing your story with our audience.