Sweaty Palms and A Conference Ready Pitch!
Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference is this month! If you’re like me, you’re feeling happy, scared, excited, nervous, and the whole other rainbow of emotions that comes with a big trip. As you know, I will be presenting my very first Romantic Suspense series at conference this year.
Although this is not my first time pitching at a conference, this will be the first time in over three years, and it’s totally not like riding a bike. I have been practicing my pitch for weeks now. I know my one sheet like I might have to complete an essay exam on it, and I can say my pitch in my sleep, but what will happen when I’m sitting across from an agent or editor?
You can tell yourself all day long that they are just normal people with jobs just like you, but that doesn’t change the mindset that they can potentially open new doors for your writing career and that puts them on a higher level than you.
Everyone gives the same advice for pitching, “Just be yourself.” Ha! Like that’s easy enough. Butterflies take flight in my stomach every time I think about sitting across from one of my dream agents.
So in reality, how can I possibly overcome these emotions that may hurt my chances of impressing an agent or editor?
Step One: Practice your pitch with another person. Just saying your pitch to yourself in front of the mirror is not enough. You need to find a friend or relative who will listen to your pitch and ask relevant questions that will probably be brought up during your fifteen-minute appointment. You may even want to record yourself pitching so that you can see what the agent or editor is seeing.
Step Two: Take a deep breath before your appointment. Meditation can do wonders for controlling that nervous energy. Even breathing can slow your heart rate as well as relax you.
Step Three: Don’t try and hide that you’re nervous. Agents and editors understand you’re nervous. They’ve been doing this for a while now. I’m not saying you should go in there and burst into tears, but don’t try to hide your feelings either because that will only make you look fake.
Step Four: Be confident in yourself. You’re at a job interview. If you’re like me, you’ve been on quite a few of these. You know your material, and you know how to present it. Trust yourself to do what you’ve been practicing.
Your first appointment will be the hardest, but after that, you’ll really know what to expect, and you’ll be better prepared for the next one…and the one after that.
I hope this post helps you in some small way for preparing your pitch. You can do this. You’re a powerful writer with a story we all want to read.