Friday, January 21, 2011

DIANA COSBY--Shy And an Introvert=Me

Please help me welcome best-selling author Diana Cosby to the blog. Watch for her interview in the April 1, issue of Woman's Day magazine.

I have a surprising admission, I'm an introvert and incredibly shy. Most people who read this and have met me will be shocked. I am retired from the Navy as a meteorologist/oceanographer, give workshops for from a handful of people to a hundred or more, so how in the world could I possibly be shy? A better question is how do I function at book signings or, gulp, those workshops with a sea of people who might ask a question?


While I was active duty, I did a tour as an instructor where my job 'demanded' that I talk in front of people daily. The forced exposure allowed me a chunk of comfort against the mountain of unease. But, the secret that allowed me to start giving workshops once I began writing was my passion for the craft. You'll find if you choose to speak about things that matter to you, you become so wrapped up in your enthusiasm for the topic, most of the fear fades, or at least is smothered until you finish. :) And, the more you speak, the better you become at interacting with others, which helps you relax. You may even come to the point where you 'look forward' to talking at events.


A trick I use when I'm around people at a book signing or at a speaking engagement is this--I have fun! I am far from comedic rest assured, but if you can make people smile, then they relax, which allows you be more at ease. A huge benefit is when people enjoy themselves, they tend to listen more. Think about what you find fun and what makes you smile, and incorporate that into your public speaking engagement.

Another way to help you calm at book signings is to remember that most of your interaction with readers will be less than five minutes. So, greet prospective buyers with a smile and look for common ground. Are they holding a crafting book? Do you enjoy crafts? Are you familiar with the book? Talk to them about it, share your enjoyment for the topic and see if you share similar hobbies.

Last, it's all about mindset, telling yourself you will have fun. And if you mess up? Laugh at yourself! We're human, we do that. I assure you, when I stumble during speaking, I'm the first to chuckle at myself. Your audience appreciates that you're human, honest and real.

My sincere best to all of you shy introverts out there, 'cause yes, I'm one of you!

Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
www.dianacosby.com
Since its release, Diana’s third in MacGruder Brother's series His Conquest has remained an Amazon best-seller for over eleven weeks! Amazon.comBarnes & NobleBooksamillion.com

"Cosby gives you it all - passion, danger, lush history and a touch of magic. Excellent reading." - NYT Bestselling Author -- Hannah Howell, IF HE'S WILD, Zebra, June 2010.

22 comments:

  1. Hey Diana--welcome to my blog. Thanks so much for coming. Sorry for the wonky formatting. I don't know what's wrong with Blogger this week.

    :)Becky

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  2. Hi Rebecca, my sincere thanks for having me. It's a pleasure to be here, an I hope my admission that I'm a shy introvert will help others believe they can achieve anything they want if they set clear goals and persevere. Take care and have a fabulous weekend! ^5

    Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
    www.dianacosby.com

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  3. Hi Rebecca and Diana!
    It's great to find this blog on shy introverts. Of which I am definitely one. But Diana, it's hard for me to believe you are. I'm amazed at how you handle your shyness. :-) Good advice for any introvert.
    *Hugs*
    Jeanmarie

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  4. Hi Diana,
    I think you're modest and humbled by your success, which you justly deserve. All this couldn't happen to a nicer person. I on the other hand, love being around people, talking and doing all kinds of crazy stuff. People usually tell me to 'shut up', or wish I were shy and introvert. :)
    Great success!

    Geri Foster

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  5. Jeanmarie Hamilton said...
    Hi Rebecca and Diana!

    ~Hi Jeanmarie, thank you so much for dropping by. :)

    It's great to find this blog on shy introverts. Of which I am definitely one. But Diana, it's hard for me to believe you are. I'm amazed at how you handle your shyness. :-)

    ~It's all about what we tell ourselves and practice. Baby steps in getting out there, of finding what works for the individual. When I'm interaction with people, I try to keep topics to things I'm interested in/passionate about. It makes a world of difference.

    ~Good advice for any introvert.

    ~:) If anything helps that's what it's all about. Way to go on your latest sale! I'm sooo proud and excited for you! *Hugs*
    Love you!

    Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
    www.dianacosby.com

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  6. I'm somewhere between and introvert and extrovert. Years of teaching enabled me to give presentations without being too nervous. I would say I'm retiring, though. In groups, I tend to listen instead of competing for talking time. Unless I really have something to say. :)

    Good to see you here, Diana! I'm waving at Becky, too!

    Nancy Haddock
    www.nancyhaddock.com

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  7. Geri said...
    Hi Diana,
    I think you're modest and humbled by your success, which you justly deserve. All this couldn't happen to a nicer person.

    ~*Hugs* Geri, thank you for your kind words as belief in me. It's all truly amazing and humbling. I explain that the credit of each success is not mine alone, but everyone along the way who took time out of their busy lives to help me on this path, and those who support and believe in my dream still. Again, it's truly humbling.

    I on the other hand, love being around people, talking and doing all kinds of crazy stuff. People usually tell me to 'shut up', or wish I were shy and introvert. :)

    ~I honestly don't know how you do it. I'm getting my feet wet in the entertaining venue, only with family. It's a total panic attack for each event. No, I haven't had many, maybe three in the past 1 1/2 years. LOL I'm like, what do I say? How is everyone going to be entertained and have a good time? Help! *G* Thank goodness I can cook and bake! :)

    Great success!

    ~My sincere best wishes to you as well.
    Sincerely,

    Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
    www.dianacosby.com

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  8. Nancy said...
    I'm somewhere between and introvert and extrovert. Years of teaching enabled me to give presentations without being too nervous.

    ~I think you have the key, Nancy, practice. The more you interact with people, the more you find ways to 'survive' the event. *G* My deep dark secret when in crowds is that I can do hand writing analysis. Once that gets around, I'm 'busy' in my comfort zone the rest of the evening. *G*

    I would say I'm retiring, though. In groups, I tend to listen instead of competing for talking time. Unless I really have something to say. :)

    ~I believe that's called wisdom. :)

    Good to see you here, Diana! I'm waving at Becky, too!

    ~Always fabulous to see you as well, Nancy. I'm psyched about release of Always The Vampire, I need my Cesca fix! ^5 Wishing you continued success!
    *Hugs*

    Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
    www.dianacosby.com

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  9. Hi Diana,

    I grew up with two older sisters who were dynamic and outgoing. I was not. I was always the little sister so it was okay. I didn't even date in high school because my sisters threatened all of the upper classmen and I never hung out with anyone in my grade. It wasn't until I went away to college that I actually had to make my own friends! Now, twenty years later, going into a room full of people I'm supposed to network with is still a pretty daunting task. Most people who know me think I'm extroverted. They have no idea.

    The best advice I can give anyone who feels the same quaking in their boots at the thought of chatting with a stranger is to paste on a really big smile, keep your chin up, and look everyone in the eye. If you follow those three steps, they'll think your up to something...Ha!

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  10. Deborah Villegas said...
    Hi Diana,

    ~Hi Deborah, thank you so much for stopping by to say hi. :)

    I grew up with two older sisters who were dynamic and outgoing. I was not. I was always the little sister so it was okay. I didn't even date in high school because my sisters threatened all of the upper classmen and I never hung out with anyone in my grade.

    ~Oh my gosh, they threatened them. Wow.

    It wasn't until I went away to college that I actually had to make my own friends! Now, twenty years later, going into a room full of people I'm supposed to network with is still a pretty daunting task. Most people who know me think I'm extroverted. They have no idea.

    ~Exactly. It's all about tactics and technique. The key is finding what works for you. :)

    The best advice I can give anyone who feels the same quaking in their boots at the thought of chatting with a stranger is to paste on a really big smile, keep your chin up, and look everyone in the eye. If you follow those three steps, they'll think your up to something...Ha!

    ~*Smile* Very true. Take care and may your New Year be the best yet!
    Sincerely,

    Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
    www.dianacosby.com

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  11. Diana, you conceal your shyness well when you are in a crowd. I'm shy.

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  12. Nothing wrong with being a shy introvert - I'm one too. I can manage large groups for short bursts of time, then I need downtime that's completely alone to recharge.

    Congrats on your continued stay on best seller lists! I'm a proud Mama!

    Maggie

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  13. Caroline Clemmons said...
    Diana, you conceal your shyness well when you are in a crowd. I'm shy.

    ~Caroline, you come across as warm and open whenever I see you at the writer meetings. I never realized you're shy. Proud of you! ^5 I'm taking notes. :) I'm so excited for your latest release, and I'm wishing you continued success! *Hugs*
    Love you!

    Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
    www.dianacosby.com

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  14. Maggie Toussaint said...
    Nothing wrong with being a shy introvert - I'm one too. I can manage large groups for short bursts of time, then I need downtime that's completely alone to recharge.

    ~Maggie, if anyone else had told me you're shy, I never would have believed it. I've seen you at conferences. You're in there laughing and smiling. You're shy? Wow. I'm stunned. Excellent job of diving in and overcoming your fears. Once again you inspire me! ^5

    Congrats on your continued stay on best seller lists! I'm a proud Mama!

    ~*Hugs* My sincere thanks, it's overwhelming and humbling. My wish is every writer experience such an amazing life moment. My sincere thanks for stopping by, you're a wonderful writer, a good friend and a continual source of inspiration I'm truly blessed to know you.
    Love you!

    Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
    www.dianacosby.com

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  15. I used to be an introvert but time and life experiences eventually broke me of that!

    Congrats on your continuing presence of the bestseller list. What an accomplishment!

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  16. Diana Quincy said...

    Hi Diana, I used to be an introvert but time and life experiences eventually broke me of that!

    ~Life has an inventive way of shoving you into your discomfort zone. :) Glad to see you turned lemons to lemonade. ^5

    Congrats on your continuing presence of the bestseller list. What an accomplishment!

    ~My sincere thanks, it's all so amazing as humbling. To have so many people believe in you, support you, wow, incredible. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. Please take care, enjoy your weekend, and may the New Year be your best yet!
    Sincerely,

    Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
    www.dianacosby.com

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  17. Hi Rebecca,
    My sincere thanks for having me on Once Written, Twice Shy, and another huge thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hi. I appreciate your sharing your stories of overcoming your shyness on what works for you. Always follow your heart, cherish your dreams and believe that yes, they can come true. I wish each of you the very best!
    God bless,

    Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
    www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive-Alexander MacGruder/ His Woman-Duncan MacGruder/ His Conquest-Seathan MacGruder
    His Destiny - Oct 2011

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  18. Hi Diana,

    Great post and timely as well. I was just discussing the upcoming RWA conference this year with some writer friends. I'll probably attend, but the idea of being surrounded by a ton of strangers I need to meet and network with is overwhelming. I was painfully shy growing up and took a course on social interaction with a friend who was in sales about 15yrs ago. That's where I learned the tactic of smiling and making eye contact, sounds simple, but so helpful. Wish I knew how to analyze handwriting :).

    After years in the military, where my job requires me to brief with eloquence and confidence, I've had enough practice to do it extremely well. I find that my heart still feels like it's going to explode as I do it, but at least I've gotten better at hiding it.

    Thanks for the tips on how to get through a book signing! Hope to see you at the RWA conference.

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  19. Isis said...
    Hi Diana,

    Great post and timely as well.

    ~Hi Isis, thank you so much for stopping by.

    I was just discussing the upcoming RWA conference this year with some writer friends. I'll probably attend, but the idea of being surrounded by a ton of strangers I need to meet and network with is overwhelming. I was painfully shy growing up and took a course on social interaction with a friend who was in sales about 15yrs ago. That's where I learned the tactic of smiling and making eye contact, sounds simple, but so helpful.

    ~Excellent. Facing ones fear is usually the fastest way to take steps in overcoming it.

    Wish I knew how to analyze handwriting :).

    ~:)

    After years in the military, where my job requires me to brief with eloquence and confidence, I've had enough practice to do it extremely well. I find that my heart still feels like it's going to explode as I do it, but at least I've gotten better at hiding it.

    ~I totally understand. After doing a ton of weather briefs to crews, teaching in military schools, you'd think you'd overcome the shyness or nerves. Nope. I've learned to focus on my passion, my desire to help others.

    Thanks for the tips on how to get through a book signing! Hope to see you at the RWA conference.

    ~ If anything helps, that's what it's all about. I hope you have a blast at the conference. I'm up in the air at this time. Life stuff. Please take care and it's always a pleasure to see you, *Hugs*. RomVets rocks! ^5 May your New Year be the best yet!


    Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
    www.dianacosby.com

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  20. *Posted upon request for Mary Forbes:
    Hey Diana! I’m shy when speaking at workshops, etc, too. Different story, however, when I’m teaching. I can talk to kids of any age without a problem, lol. Great post as always!
    Love ya!

    Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
    www.dianacosby.com

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  21. *Posted upon request for Mary Forbes:
    Hey Diana! I’m shy when speaking at workshops, etc, too. Different story, however, when I’m teaching. I can talk to kids of any age without a problem, lol.

    ~Interesting. Maybe because you don't feel judged by the children? Knowing you, I bet you still do fabulous!

    Great post as always! Love ya!

    ~My sincere thanks for stopping by. Always great to see you, love your stories and I value your friendship so much. Love you! *Hugs*

    Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
    www.dianacosby.com

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  22. Diana, thanks again for coming by. I hope you consider coming back again.

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