This Saturday night, I will be giving a chat about what I love to do most, travel and write. The talk will be at VIVA Gallery, 13261 Moorpark Street, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 for the California Writers Coalition at 6:45, I hope to help budding travel enthusiasts how to write about travel better and answer questions and concerns about the field of travel writing. I also hope to see some familiar faces to calm my frazzled nerves while I am doing this.

I am fairly comfortable public speaking, but there are always a few butterflies. Public speaking can be nerve-wracking no matter how prepared I might be. There are always so many things that are simply out of my control including the following: I might not feel well, no one will show up and I will be standing there alone, unresponsive crowd, crying babies, brain freeze, stuttering, unexpected questions and unexpected gas bubbles.

While there is an endless list of potential problems, There are something I do have control over no matter what the circumstance. Here is my mini list that I try to keep in mind — the three “H”s.

1. Be helpful
Public speaking is a job and a service for me. People will show up, even when I assume I will stand there alone. When they do, I have to make it worth their while and give them something of value. I will hold nothing back and try to give every member of the audience something useful about travel, writing, or travel writing (whatever the topic may be) that they have never heard before, whether they pursue the field or not.

2. Be honest
I want to have all the answers, even when I do not. I never want to pass off a maybe for a definitely. Or simply make something up because I am afraid of not having the answer for everything.

3. Be humble
While I have accomplished a lot in the world of travel, there is much to do. More importantly, I feel like I have just started promoting travel as a cultural and learning experience. I also want to be approachable and be available for future relationships.

If this mini-list is not enough, I also rely upon Read Better Now Damn It! 5 Tips to a Better Literary Reading. If you have your own pearls for public speaking, please leave them in the comments section. Public speaking has long been one of the big fears for most people. We can use all the help we can get. Hope to see you there.

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