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Festival Presenters

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  • Festival Presenters

    Has anyone here ever presented at a festival before? I'm going to be giving three lectures at the Harvest Home Gathering, and I'm nervous because I'm a first-timer.

    I met one of the organizers at a meetup, and he knew my NLP trainer, and the beer was really good, and I was making lots of new friends and having a good time, and so I let myself get talked into submitting 3 proposals, which to both my delight and horror were accepted!

    ACK! This is going to be my first public speaking experience since high school, with the dubious exception of really awful poetry at coffee house open mics.

    Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast!

  • #2
    I never have done any large scale public speaking, but wanted to wish you the best of luck! It sounds like fun! What are you presenting on?
    Ivy Artemisia
    Twilight Spiral Coven [Site | Facebook]
    Hearth and Hedgerow [Site | Etsy Shop]


    • #3
      Ok, since making this post I've had proposals accepted at another festival, too. To avoif redundancy and extra typing, my workshops for both festivals are summarized in this thread:

      Thanks so much for the well-wishes. I actually feel comfortable that I'll be speaking at Starwood first, because I've been going to that festival a long time, and it's familiar.

      Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast!


      • #4
        I've done a few presentations at our local Pagan Pride (which gets 20-30 items most years) and about 6 professional presentations to parents/tech folks so far.

        Stuff that's important:

        1) Know your time limit. I plan my presentation to be about 3/4 of the time, with the rest for questions/overflow/etc. Adjust as needed: you may get/want more discussion in some topics than others.

        2) Learn some ways to refocus conversation if people get you off topic. (most books about presentation or teaching, especially teaching adults, talk about these: find ones that fit your personal style.)

        Also, set some ground rules. For example, I sometimes start with "I've got some specific things I want to make sure we get to today: please hold your questions until the end" or "I'm fine with some questions during the discussion, but if we start getting onto a tangent, I'd like to hold that for the end of the session" or whatever.

        Some people will ignore it, but most won't, and you get general buy-in on keeping things on track, usually.

        3) People learn in different ways: usually having at least an audio thing (you talking) and a visual thing (either a visual aid or handouts) helps a lot.

        If you plan to talk about websites, book titles, names, etc, a handout will mean people don't have to scramble to write things down/ask about spelling/etc. (Bring a reasonable number based on what likely attendance will be, and have an extra sheet where people can write their name/email for an electronic copy when you get home if you run out of copies.)

        4) Practice with a willing victim/volunteer first.

        If you can find a small group of people who are interested in your topics first, that's ideal. (Multiple people will give you different kinds of feedback.) They don't need incredibly knowledgeable about it, though - you're hoping for "Slow down when you talk about this part" or "This explanation was confusing" or everyone saying "you spent more time on this thing than I needed" or whatever. It'll also give you a chance to see your timing in action and adjust accordingly.

        Good luck! I adore teaching, in both ongoing settings and this kind of presentation, and I think the more people who do it, the better.