Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Tale of Two Talks

I presented to two audiences in the past week: one on a very historic occasion and the second to an unusual audience.

Last Thursday was the "world premiere" of my new Forts of Nebraska presentation at the W. Dale Clark Library in downtown Omaha. The historic occasion was the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth - he's my favorite president and I really wanted to do something in my hometown to mark the date.

I wasn't sure what attendance would be like for a downtown museum in the middle of the week over the noon hour in a part of the library that's regularly closed to the public. It turned out to be about a dozen attendees, but I knew quite a few of the attendees and it was great to see them again. Plus sales were pretty good and I was able to donate to the Friends of the Omaha Public Library!

Last night was my second speaking event of the week. I got an email on Sunday from Mark Bulger asking if I could present to his group since their scheduled speaker couldn't make it. This was for the Omaha Association of the Blind! Since I do a Power Point presentation, I asked Mark if he wanted me to bring the whole set-up; absolutely, he said, since they had sighted members and I may need the images to prompt me in my speaking (I do).

A great tip he gave me was to describe the images on the screen as if you were doing so for someone over the phone. And that's what I did, or tried to remember to do, anyway. The only thing really different was the layout of the room - it was kind of long and narrow with my screen set up toward the middle of a long wall. Not really providing the best view of the screen, but as most of the room wasn't sighted, it really wasn't necessary. The OAB provided refreshments at the end of their meeting, and I had the chance to talk further about the forts with a few of their members, one of whom is providing me with more information about Fort Omaha that I didn't have. A very enjoyable evening!

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