Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bookfest 2013

Performing my social duty...

Two months ago, I was approached by a guy from The Star's circulation department.
He wanted me to do a promo talk about my book: "Food Trail".
It was launched in November last year and I agreed to give it a go.

The Big Kahuna doing his thing

I took some time to prepare a powerpoint slide show.
My focus was the Food Trail column on how it was mooted, implemented and published and sharing of my experience putting it together.
To me, its a simple 20-minute talk. 
That means - 1 minute per slide.
I had about 45-minutes on stage, so, split in half, that's about 30-minutes of yapping and another 15-minutes to take questions from the crowd.

Samo's first public appearance

I am not a glamour-loving, attention-seeking, publicity-crazy dude.
Most of the time, I go under the radar.
For the Bookfest 2013, I had to do some really cheesy things.
One of it was a 20-second video promo and an interview with the staff writer for Popular Bookstore's in-house magazine.
Lucky for me, I went early to the KL Convention Centre where the event was held. That gave me enough time to prepare myself mentally..

Like a lounge singer in a Vegas Casino..

Okay, the Master of Ceremony introduced me, I went on stage and it was "Showtime!".
I presented my talk and cruised through the slides.
The crowd was not amused.
Hall 5, where the English section was situated, has a stage area.
The seats were half-empty.
To me, with or without the crowd's attention: "The show must go on.."
So, there I was, rambling away, telling strangers about myself and how I put together the column, I checked my watch and I was running a bit early.
I punched through 23 slides and was 10-minutes off-cue.
After I ended the presentation, I opened the floor for questions.

It gets really interesting...

Some of the people in the audience had asked some questions about "where to eat".
Obviously, they've never read the Star and heard of "Food Trail".
Hey, that's reality, and I don't blame them.
I took the questions one-by-one and when the Master of Ceremony queued that it was "time-up", I packed my gear and got off the stage.
One of the sound guys were talking to me and said he was amazed that I eat a lot and cycle like a demon.

There was a table set beside the stage with copies of the books for sale. 
No one budged. 
I talked to the event organizer dude, the MC girl a bit, sized up the situation and thought out aloud that it was time to bail out.
No autographs, no book sales - get the hell out! 
Like a Pirate-Ninja, I melted away into the crowd.
I went back to KLCC Suria where I parked my car and paid RM13 for the parking. It was really expensive! 

A good experience...

I basically SUCK at public speaking.
Taking this opportunity to talk to the crowd was a good start.
Its different from all the workshops that I've organised. 
In a public event, I am proud to say that I held the attention of a small crowd, told them what I need to say and get the hell out!  
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