Hey folks! I just want to share with you how one can have a successful author visit. I've done a few of them; most have been great; while a couple have been okay, but all in all, I love presenting my books and character Loopiethotamus to a school full of budding little world innovators!! Here goes....
1. Prayer, prayer, prayer!! Yes, I am a Christian and I love my Lord Jesus Christ. In everything, I make sure I pray and allow Him to be in control of all things! We can't control other's actions, or lack thereof, but we can sure go to Jesus in prayer and ask Him to guide our mouths, minds, hearts and spirits! Love me some Holy Spirit!!!
2. Prepare, prepare, prepare!! There is nothing like being fully prepared to get up in front of how ever many children and teachers and give your all. Before the visit, make sure you have the school contact person's email and phone number. Ask as many questions as possible of that individual so you are prepared for the day. It's also nice to request that that contact person, usually the librarian, prepare the students of your arrival. My character has a value motto which has a lot of different core values that explain who is he is. I make sure to share that with the librarian so that when I come in and discuss it with the kids, they’re not looking at me with that “deer in headlights look;” you know the one!
3. Don’t procrastinate until the last minute!! This kind of goes along with preparation, but you want to make sure you are really thinking about all that you want to do in the day so that you are ready to go! If you’re going to do a PowerPoint presentation, make sure you have looked at it more than once to verify everything in its proper order. If you are going to have activities, make sure you know exactly what you are going to be doing and that you have everything you need.
4. Rehearse the day with someone you know! It’s really cool if you have kids of your own because you can just sit them on the sofa and go over your entire presentation with them. They make for good listeners- sometimes! LOL! But, it’s nice to rehearse so you can determine any issues early on and fix them before the big day!
5. Make it fun!! There’s nothing like a boring author visit. I don’t want to see kids yawning and looking up at the ceiling counting all of the ceiling tiles. Of course, depending on the age level, there will be kids that have short attention spans. Yet, I want them to be engaged and enthusiastic. I want them eager to ask me questions and show that they are having a good experience. Wow! Those are a lot of “E” words I just used! But, seriously, I want to provide excellence to the kids and have them leaving excited for me to revisit. Wow! There I go again with those “E” words. My son’s name is Elijah, so go figure! LOL!
6. And lastly, once the day is all said and done- Look for God’s purpose in all that the day presented itself with. If you messed up, because truly, no one is perfect and we can mess up sometimes, don’t beat yourself up about it. God will bring another opportunity for you to do a better job. Look for ways to improve yourself. Try something new. But most importantly, be YOU!! Well…at least the high-spirited, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed YOU!!
Author, Ayana Sala Baugh of the children’s book series, “Loopiethotamus, the Chihuahua Who Thinks He is a Hippopotamus.”