I will let others discuss content. I want to address presentation. I’ve seen clinics where the only information the presenter had was the typed notes: few photos, even fewer maps or other documentation to show, and no models at all. A handout or webpage could have sufficed to share the information. And I’ve been to clinics where the presenter sat by the projector, head down and read from index cards, giving us every last known detail of the car in the photo in a muffled soft spoken barely audible monotone voice. Good info but failed on presentation and lost most of the audience in the process.
Learn how to speak, diction, pronunciation, etc. Slow down and say each work distinctly. Many don’t know how to use a microphone or refuse to use when one is available. These often are the folks who most need to use a microphone. Many speakers let their voice trail off at the end of the sentence (noticed this with one presenter this year at Collinsville). Sometimes so soft you don’t hear the final words. Others want to speak to the screen or to their laptop. Turn and face the audience, keep your head up so your voice projects out not into your lap, notes or table. If you must see the screen to know what to talk about, turn your laptop so you can see it’s screen as you face the crowd. Remember you audience is often men who are middle aged or older, ie folks with some hearing loss. I don’t know how many times I have walked out after a clinic and some of the older guys are grumbling they could not hear or understand what was said.
Get and learn how to use a remote clicker and the laser pointer. This takes practice, and yes even the pros mess up once in a while. But learn what each button does. IF you use your own, carry spare batteries.
Learn how to use PowerPoint or have a friend assist you. Learn also how to save your file with embedded text, colors, etc. if you will be putting it on a flashdrive or DVD to use in another computer. Pat had real problems on Saturday because his presentation did not have the look he expected. Text needs to be large enough to read from the back pew (opps I meant back row). I tend not use smaller than 36. Small text only works if everyone is close to the screen and the screen is larger than 5’.
Adjust the projector so it uses the entire screen, when it comes to presentations larger is always better. Make sure the projector and your images are in focus and centered on the screen. If possible lift the screen so those in the back pew can see above the big heads in front.
Animation, in the speaker, is always good. Bill Schaumburg and Clark Propst are both excellent and entertaining presenters because of their animations, ie body movement, eye contact, and connecting with the audience.
As one who always has too many images to show, I understand completely the need to limit the subject matter. Plan for a stopping point, even if you have more photos to show. Offer to show those photos only if there are no questions and you still have time (why I like the last clinic slot of the day).
If you are comfortable with this, include a slide with contact information, ie email address, website, phone number, so folks can contact you afterwards for follow up questions. I have also let them know when photos are copyright and I cannot share them, as you will get requests for copies of a photo or of the entire presentation. Remember the presentation is your intellectual property, and you are under no obligation to give copies unless you want to. And respect the copyright laws, esp with using images from libraries and research facilities.
The question of what makes a good clinic was brought up off list. I think it’s a valid question. What do you guys like?
A good clinic to me has lots of photos with very little (if any) typing. Never could understand why someone would go to the trouble of typing lots of slides in PowerPoint and not read them, or give the audience time to...Maybe because reading them would be like a bedtime story and put the audience to sleep? : ))
I’ve always be frustrated by freight car clinics where the presenter spends copious amounts of time describing minute details on turn off the last century cars then has to hurry or omit the transition era cars because he ran short on time.
Mason City Iowa