Archive for November 25th, 2014

Maintaining your cool under holiday pressure

In preparation for the upcoming Holiday Author Event, I recently hosted a training, Book Signing Success Secrets. There were 4 parts to the training:calm under pressure

  1. Before the Event
  2. At the Event
  3. The Display
  4. After the Event

I was fortunate to be able to bring in two experts to offer invaluable input into the success metric:

Connie Kadansky is an international sales coach and trainer whose underlying message comes back to one thing: the importance of having a success mindset.

Barbara Chatzkel, the Body Language Pro, shared information about the kind of body language authors want to exhibit in a book-signing scenario to indicate interest and attract people to them, as opposed to inadvertently pushing them away.

Connie often writes and speaks on the power of optimism as a sales tool: optimistic people meet more people, make more sales, and generally have more success in all areas of their lives. And optimism is a mindset.

I recently came across a LinkedIn article by Dr. Travis Bradberry titled, “How Successful People Stay Calm,” and found that it coincides precisely with Connie’s thinking and teachings on optimism. I encourage you to read the whole article, but here are the 10 behaviors Bradberry notes that successful people use to remain calm under pressure:

  • The appreciate what they have.
  • They avoid asking “What if…?”
  • They stay positive.
  • They disconnect.
  • They limit their caffeine intake.
  • They sleep.
  • They squash negative self-talk.
  • They reframe their perspectives.
  • They breathe.
  • They have and rely on support systems.

I had an opportunity to practice some of these the other day. For last weekend’s training session, I set up a display table with all of my books, products, and accoutrements. Knowing I’d be attending another event where I would be using the same materials this weekend, I left the multitude of boxes in the trunk, figuring I’d just make it easier on myself. Then, the car I was driving went into the shop on Tuesday. Was certainly supposed to be fixed by Thursday, Friday at the latest. Of course, it hit me at 6 p.m. Friday night that since we clearly weren’t going to get the car back that day, I’d need to stop by the garage on the way to my event and gather my things out of the trunk. Perfect plan, until my husband texted: “Sorry. The garage is closed on the weekend.”

Crap, crap, crap!

I was pretty aggravated for a couple of minutes, until I realized that there wasn’t much I could doplan b about the situation, and staying frustrated would get me nowhere. I needed a Plan B. What’s quite humorous about this whole situation is that my Plan B involved the saddest, most pathetic looking little portion of a display table (I didn’t have materials enough to warrant even half a table) at this weekend’s conference. One person grabbed a business card, but that was pretty much the extent of the activity my display generated.

Of course, then, there’s serendipity – as my sad little pathetic display table happened to be immediately adjacent to the lavish display of one Maxwell Alexander Drake. If you’re a fantasy/sci-fi fan, you may have heard of him. If you’ve ever attended Comic-Con, Gen-Con, Origins, Xanadu, Combat-Con, the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference, the San Diego Book Festival, or the Tucson Festival of Books, you may have seen him, heard him present, or had the opportunity to rub shoulders with the man. He has a pretty impressive résumé. And since I now had no reason to babysit my table, I was able to attend one of Drake’s lectures, as well as lunch with him and discuss many writing-related topics (which I’ll touch on in more detail in an upcoming post). Had I been busy with my typical table display, I might very likely have missed out on these intriguing conversations.

I’m not saying I’ve got stress management all figured out. But for as long as I can remember, optimism has been my default, and I tend to stay fairly positive – and calm – even in stressful situations.

Between the book signings and professional events that may be coming up in the next few weeks, and all the chaos of the holidays, it may do us all well to remember Bradberry’s list of behaviors and model them to the best of our ability.

Here’s to calm seas ahead!



We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.


PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 50+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book Logo w backgroundlovers’ event. Several first-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 200 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at HolidayAuthorEvent.com.





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