I’m revising my general school visit presentation. Again. I think it will always be a work in progress. Which is probably good. That way it doesn’t get stale.
Thanks to my good friend C., I started doing school visits probably way before I needed to. I had three picture books out when I started. Two of those picture books were state ABC books…and I was hardly ever invited to schools in THOSE states (Minnesota and Wisconsin). Back then, all of my invitations were to schools right here in Iowa (schools that heard about me through C.). I didn’t have much to say about myself or my books back then, so I made up this whole interactive thing on how a book gets published. That became the highlight of my presentation.
But then I published a few more books…and I learned to use power point, so I dropped that part of my presentation and exchanged it for a total power point presentation (plus 10 minutes of Q and A). Lately (i.e. since I joined Toastmasters…and talked to my friend D. who does a power point presentation, too, but she actually spends 10 minutes in front of the kids before she launches into her power point…what a novel idea!) I’ve been thinking a 40-45 minute power point presentation might be a little much. That’s a really long time to sit quietly and stare at a screen.
I used to get such nice comments on the interactive thing when I was doing it, so I was thinking maybe I should bring that back? Maybe I should break my presentation into two parts — a 20 minute power point presentation and then a 20 minute interactive thing (still leaving 10 minutes for Q and A…or 5 minutes for Q and A and 5 minutes to get in front of the kids before I hide behind the power point).
In general, I think this is a very good idea…except the next place I’m going is Luverne, Minnesota. In Luverne, Minnesota, they probably ARE actually interested in my M is for Minnesota book. I published M is for Minnesota and W is for Wisconsin right around the same time, so whenever I visit schools in Minnesota or Wisconsin, I spend ten minutes talking about those two books (putting the emphasis on whichever book whose state I’m visiting), and showing how two publishers can take the same basic idea (ABC book) from the same author and put out two VERY different looking books. But I don’t mention those books when I visit schools in other states. Adding that section back into my presentation means I’ll have even less room for other things in my power point presentation.
Sigh….I don’t know what to do!!! What do schools REALLY want from a visiting author when they ask for a “general” presentation for the whole school? Do they want the whole time to be taken up by a power point presentation or would they prefer half power point and half something else?