Public Lectures in the Era of Stay-At-Home

I just gave a lecture on the presidents to the Learning in Retirement Association of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. It’s a talk—modified, as always—I’ve given before (the title of this talk is “John Kennedy’s grandma, Bill Clinton’s mother, and John Tyler’s grandchildren: Familial oddities of the Presidents of the United States”).

But it was a method of speaking that was new to me: via Zoom. I think (hope) I was as entertaining as usual, but it’s much harder when I can’t easily see my audience, can’t feel their reactions, and tailor my presentation to them. Nevertheless, it’s the way of the world today, and there were several questions at the end that showed they were interested in the topic (and that they’d been paying attention: one question was “I noticed you didn’t say anything about President Polk…”). So, overall, I’m very happy with the experience.

It also means I’m available to speak to groups farther afield (at least, in this electronic format), since there is no issue with travel time or expense. I speak most often about the presidents and presidency of the United States, but I also talk about writing and publishing. If you’re part of a group looking for speakers, do please contact me, or pass along my contact information to whoever makes the scheduling decisions.

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