Speaking Electronically

I gave another lecture today, again on the Presidents. It’s similar to the talk I gave a few weeks ago (though I’ve modified and updated it; as I always do, to keep it current, and because I always want to say something else). I think it went well; most of the people watching had very complimentary things to say about it. But it’s still an awkward feeling for me: I spent an hour sitting here talking to my computer. I very much miss—and am so looking forward to—doing these things in person, with an audience in the same room, so I can judge their reactions, expanding on pieces that interest them, and eliding sections when their attention drifts. On the computer, with everyone simply a muted black box on the side of my screen, while large on the screen are my slides, I have no way to judge the audience, no ability to feed off their enthusiasm, no ability to interact with them. Sure, I take questions at the end, but I’ve gotten so used to the free-form version, taking questions as I go, that it’s just not comfortable doing it this way.

On the other hand, the electronic-only communication forced on us by the pandemic means that I am speaking to more groups farther away; groups that couldn’t afford to have me travel to them, and groups too small for me to ever consider traveling to them at my own expense. So it is expanding my audience. But still, I am eagerly anticipating returning to doing this stuff live, in-person.

However, I am available, and even with the minor discomfort, the reviews I’ve seen of my recent talks tell me that I’m doing a good job. So if your group is looking for a speaker, I’m available. My two main topics are the US Presidency, and writing and publishing. Reach out; maybe we can connect.

Writer’s tip jar (speaker’s tip jar) is always available, and donations are gratefully accepted, at paypal.me/ianrandalstrock .

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