I have been asked several times by members to give them any tips when demonstrating to an audience such as Art groups and seminars. Understandably this is a frightening thought in particular those who are not used to public speaking. There are no magic pills that I can suggest that will ease the anxiety this event will create within you but I can give you help to get you through this trauma with the minimum of stress.
Sell the Benefits
First of all let me say that instead of trying to sell yourself at these events sell the pastel pencils instead, throw all the emphasis on them by explaining the many benefits this medium has. This will get you into the swing of it and take some of the nerves away. The audience will be thinking about what you have just said and not focused so much on you. I would also suggest that you take several of your pastel pencil works with you and explain how you achieved the different effects with the pencils. This will further relax you and you might even find that you are beginning to enjoy yourself.
Choose Something Easy
As far as demonstrating in concerned have a piece of work already started and place this on an easel or other suitable stand then as you demonstrate explain what you are doing and the pencil you are using. I would suggest that you should choose something easy that you have done before, this again will relax you. Invite questions almost as soon as you start, you might find that the audience are so interested that the questions will fill in the time so that will reduce the time you are demonstrating.
One thing I would suggest that you do is to continue talking try not to leave to many gaps in your narrative otherwise you might find that the audience will start talking among themselves, this can be off-putting.
If it helps mention my name and explain that I am you teacher and you are still learning, this will indicate to them that you are not a professional artist therefore their expectations will be lower.
Although demonstrating to an audience is a frightening experience I can tell you that if you can overcome these fears then you will almost certainly enjoy the experience.
Have you given a demonstration? Tell us your experiences in the comments below.