Gaining Confidence in Public Speaking: Pro Tips for Giving Great Presentations

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Event Details


In-Person | Half-Day Workshop | Wednesday, August 7; 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm 

Applications will be accepted for one of a limited number of seats in this workshop until August 5.

Apply here


If you don’t give presentations very often, you might find the task intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Communications maven Kathy Dempsey has given roughly 200 talks over her career, both face-to-face and online. In-person audiences have ranged from 10 people seated in a semi-circle to conference rooms with hundreds of attendees. She’ll share her pro tips on avoiding butterflies, speaking effectively, and keeping people’s attention.

Listeners will learn:

  • Why preparation means everything
  • What to know about your audience ahead of time
  • How to start the presentation on a good note
  • How to make the microphone your friend
  • Tips for speaking slowly and clearly
  • The power of eye contact
  • How to connect to crowds when you’re presenting online
  • Things you should avoid doing

Whether you’re about to give your 1st or your 21st presentation, in a small boardroom or a big ballroom, you’ll find some tips here that will make it less nerve-wracking for you and more enjoyable for your audience.

Presenter Bio: Kathy Dempsey wrote the popular how-to book The Accidental Library Marketer and founded her own marketing consultancy, Libraries Are Essential. Her work is dedicated to helping librarians and information professionals promote their value and expertise in order to gain respect and funding. Kathy has been the Editor of Marketing Library Services newsletter for 30 years. In 2015, she founded the Library Marketing and Communications Conference, and chaired the show’s first 3 years. She's a longtime member of the New Jersey Library Association, and recently finished serving a 3-year term on the Executive Board of LibraryLinkNJ, a statewide co-op. This writer, editor, and marketing maven likes to sprinkle her presentations with humor to make marketing concepts more interesting and accessible. She continues to fight the stereotypes that librarians are boring and that "marketing" is a dirty word.

Note: This workshop is targeted toward all library workers.

[Interested in external communications training from Kathy Dempsey? Apply for External Communications Training and Practice separately.]


If you have questions about this event contact CALL ( DO NOT contact the hosting library for event information.



California State Library

914 Capitol Mall, Room 500

Sacramento, CA 95814

Transportation Information

Parking: There is metered street parking around the building if it is available and a convenient parking garage at 10th and L behind the Starbucks.

Public Transit: Information on fares and schedules for buses and light rail can be found here.

Reimbursement: Travel reimbursement is available for anyone traveling more than 50 miles one way.  If you are requesting reimbursement please indicate your predicted travel costs and mode (i.e. driving, public transport) on your application.