Tristan Bancks is one of Australia’s favourite children’s and teen authors. His books include the My Life series, Mac Slater book 1 (Australia and US) and Two Wolves (On the Run in the US), a crime-mystery novel for middle-graders.
In 2015, Two Wolves won Honour Book in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. It also won the YABBA and KOALA Children’s Choice Awards. His most recent book is My Life & Other Exploding Chickens, a fourth book of weird-funny-gross, semi-autobiographical short stories.
Before embarking on writing, Tristan enjoyed a successful career in acting and filmmaking – a handy skill when it comes to presenting to an audience. His regular posts on Youtube are testament to Tristan’s talent and enthusiasm in engaging with his audience.
I first met Tristan in 2014 when Your Bookshop accompanied him on a 2-day visit to Western Sydney schools. Since then, YB has been the bookseller at various events where Tristan has been a presenter. Impressed by Tristan’s genuine interest in the kids, and their reaction to him, I decided to ask Tristan his tips tips on presenting to a kid audience.
Here are Tristan’s 3 tips.
Three Tips on Presenting to a Kid Audience.Make it PersonalTell stories from your own life and how they relate to the book you’re speaking about. What’s your personal connection to the story? Did you write it in an interesting way? Did you get to meet or speak to fascinating people when researching your subject?Share stories of your personal journey.
Make it Authentic
Kids know right away when someone is talking down to them or being inauthentic. They get that all the time from adults. So dig down into what truly fascinated you when writing the story. Share your genuine enthusiasm for it and that tends to get other people excited, too.Make it Funny!The fastest way to break down barriers between you and a child audience is to make it funny. Kids love it when adults are self-deprecating, too. Share a time when everything went wrong for you and, looking back, it seems humorous. Any funny stories from childhood that show that you understand what it feels like to be young?