Since July 2013, I’ve been running #ukyachat on Twitter. A weekly Twitter chat, it aims to promote UKYA fiction, and to allow people to share their passion for books whilst having a good time. At first, the chats can often seem daunting, but once you get the hang of them they’re extremely fun. Here are a few of my top tips to help you make the most out of each chat:
1. Use your resources!
With each chat moving incredibly fast, it can often be hard to keep up with the conversation. One of the best ways to keep up is by using TweetDeck. It takes some playing around with, but it’s easily customisable to your needs. You can set it up so that you can see different hashtags, your mentions and your feed all in one go, and it’s my best friend when running chats.
2. Watch and learn!
It definitely takes practice and people often feel nervous at first, so I’d recommended just watching the first time. This way you get a good sense of how the chat works and the kind of people who join in.
3. Give it a good go!
Nobody is going to be perfect at participating in a chat the first time (I still get nervous, two years after making #ukyachat!), so it’s worth testing it out a few times and figuring out how comfortable you are with each aspect of joining in.
4. Practice makes perfect!
Keep trying new things, step outside of your comfort zone, and pat yourself on the back every time you get something right. As I said earlier, nobody will be perfect the first time round, or even the second! Practice definitely makes perfect!
5. Have fun!
No matter your reason for joining in, it’s important that you have fun! Enjoying yourself is the purpose of chats, and there’s no point in joining in if it seems like a chore. Smile, relax, and have fun by talking about your favourite books!