While many authors shy away from public speaking, I love it! As a former Toastmaster, I am an experienced, effective, and, dare I say, entertaining speaker on a variety of topics. Aside from performing poetry and sharing my other writing at venues from bars to schools, I have been an invited speaker at library conferences and training events, and a lecturer on literary topics at schools, libraries, writers groups, clubs, and other assorted gatherings. Over the years, I have spoken in front of audiences ranging from a few die-hards on folding chairs to halls of thousands. Here are a few of my favorite talks and topics:
- Author Talks/Poetry Reading: Naturally, I am available to read my work on my own or on a marquee with others.
- Libraries: I’ve trained librarians and library workers on advocacy, working with writers, community-building, de-escalation, customer service, and more. I have also delivered many talks on the future of libraries to the general public at chambers of commerce, civic and service organizations, Toastmasters clubs, and more. Also, every Lyft driver I’ve ever had.
- Public Speaking: Teaching every aspect of public speaking is a passion of mine. I’ve spoken on this topic from a variety of angles (how to prepare, dealing with nerves, shaping a speech, etc.), and ranging from 10 minutes to three hours. Because the subject is so deep, it’s easy to customize a presentation with any time limit and considering the needs of an audience.
- Literary topics for a general audience: I love sharing my love of literature with other people. One of my most treasured personal and professional experiences was leading the Russian Literature Reading Group at the Topanga Library. Every month for almost two years, I presented a 40 (or so)-minute lecture on a topic in Russian literature followed by a discussion on that month’s reading. Here is the syllabus for that group (.pdf) in case you’re interested (I’ll be happy to send you the poetry packets I put together, just get in touch). I’m not limited to Russian Literature; I am pleased to present on works and authors, ancient and contemporary, given enough preparation time.
- Literary topics for writers: Writing is a craft with many technical aspects unknown to the general public. I have delivered many lectures and workshops on poetry, and a few on the details of science fiction legend Philip K. Dick.
Though my presentations can be light-hearted and humorous, I take my commitment to audiences very seriously. I always arrive early to engagements and am very punctual about any time limits I’m given. Contact me and we can discuss presentations about any of the topics above (or any adjacent subject) — I am able to customize my talks as needed for your audience.