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23 Aug 2019

The Making of this Money Talks Presenter (Part 2: Delivery)

World's Fair of Money | coinsbygary

The first thing my wife and I did upon our arrival in Chicago for the ANA's World's Fair of Money was to find the room that in a mere 24 hours I'd give my Money Talks presentation. Room #6 was a 30-foot by 41-foot conference room with a large and elaborate chandelier in the center. Against the length of the room near the wall were two long tables separated by a podium. About fifteen feet to the right of the podium (presenter's left) was a large movie screen. In front of the podium there were roughly 75 chairs arranged in rows with a center aisle. We were both generally impressed with the room and if I thought about it I might have been a little overwhelmed. However, with lots to see and do at the World's Fair of Money it never occurred to me.

I did not sleep well that night. My wife and I went down for breakfast about 6:30 and chilled out in our room watching TV until 10:30 when we checked out of the hotel. We arrived at the convention hall with enough time to view the presentation that preceded mine but decided to roam the bourse floor instead. By that time the bus my club chartered arrived and I ran into several of my fellow coin club members on the bourse floor.

When I arrived at the room for set-up, I was greeted by ANA representative Sam Gelberd. Sam loaded my PowerPoint slides onto his computer and helped me with the presentation case I used to display the medals I brought with me. Later this proved to be a very good idea because many of the attendees gathered around the case after my talk to look at the medals. I spent about ten minutes before the next presenter took the podium answering questions and talking about the medals in the case. It's always good times when you talk shop with people interested in the same things you are.

Setup went relatively fast leaving me anxious to get the show on the road. While I was waiting a man walked up to me with a scarce medal designed by Laura Gardin Fraser and said, "I bet you don't have this one in your collection." I replied, "I don't, do you want to sell it?" To that he emphatically said, "No". Oh well, I guess I'll have to wait until that one comes up for sale.

Unlike my quick response to the guy with the medal I was somewhat taken aback when ANA blogger World_Coin_Nut introduced himself to me. Don't get me wrong, I was pleasantly surprised but for a short moment I was left speechless by his unexpected introduction. Looking over the audience I estimated that about 35-45 people were in attendance. Of those, I saw three other familiar faces, a friend from Houston, Texas and two other members from my local coin club.

Not knowing how I was to be introduced, I prepared a statement to introduce myself. My introduction was essentially scuttled when a member of the Chicago Coin Club introduced me. His introduction made me feel a little uncomfortable as he rattled off all my NGC awards and a few other stories from my YN days. I guess I had it coming because he only gleaned from NGC's Collectors Society website what I had written about myself.

Thinking about it, what really made me uncomfortable was that he was boasting over my accomplishments. If I were to boast, I would only boast about the coins and medals I collect and the people associated with them. That and to share the knowledge I acquired through my research is why I was there to begin with. Any award I get only recognizes my passion for a topic.

I was relieved when the Chicago Coin Club guy was finished with the introduction and I took the podium. The first thing I did after taking the podium was to turn the page from my scripted introduction to the first slide in my notes. As I starting the presentation, I felt a little off-balance but after the first couple of sentences into it I became comfortable and in my element.

One of the things I learned by speaking and acting on stage is something called "stage presence". It's exhilarating to me when I can feed off the energy from the audience. I tell you there is no other feeling like it in the world. My best performances have occurred when the audience is into it and I have their undivided attention.

Speaking is a bit different though as I look for subtle expressions in the faces of those in the audience. As often as possible I tried to establish eye contact with the audience to keep them engaged. This is why I had to spend so much time practicing the delivery because I wanted to lift my eyes to the audience and return to the script without losing my place. Using numerous quotes in my talk required that I had to read to the audience directly from the script. If there is something adults really abhor it's being read to. A few of the slides had no script and broke up the monotony which allowed me to speak directly to the audience.

When I lifted my eyes to the audience it seemed like the only people looking at me were World_Coin_Nut and my coin club friends who were always smiling. Maybe this was because they were towards the front that I noticed. However, each time I looked towards the people in the back they were always looking at the screen. When I mentioned in Part 1 that making the coins and medals large on the slides was significant this is what I was talking about. Now I could focus more on the script and no one would know the difference.

For whatever the reason I had problems with the laser pointer and the slide advance buttons. Light self-effacing humor relayed to the audience that fumbling around with the laser pointer was no big deal. The thing had a crummy design anyway.

As I advanced to the last slide of my talk, I saw one of the ANA or Chicago Coin Club representatives hold up a sign notifying me that I had 15 minutes left. Scripted and on time, life is good! Thus ended a very rewarding experience that I would love to do again sometime. Gary

Comments

Mokester

Level 5

I think the key to a good presentation is knowing the speaker has a strong grasp of the subject matter. It is surprising how many presenters do not appear to really know their subject and rely on the slides to carry them through. If there is a hiccup or variance or even an audience question, the speaker just kind of collapses (not literally but in their level of apparent confidence). I can tell that you would not have any such problem and in fact would do great even if the script was magically blown away by a rogue indoor storm. I wish they would record these and show them on the ANA site, I hope you make it to PGH next summer but I am sure those Icelanders probably would also love a presentation about the inimitable Laura Gardin Fraser.

coinsbygary

Level 5

Excellent point. Had I made placed more of the focus on the coins and medals I'd need no script. Since I decided to make the main focus a person and use numerous quotes to tell Laura Gardin Fraser's story much of the talk of necessity was scripted. One thing in preparation that I should have done but didn't was to make a video and watch myself. It might have changed things. At any rate I am happy with how things went and all the comments I received about it were positive. Still, it was a lot of fun to talk unscripted about the medals I brought after the presentation.

Mike B

Level 6

Gary I don't think in all your years of collecting you ever got stuck. What you did at the convention was something just perfect. Tell Sam it's about time he helped someone. Haha. It's on my bucket list to meet my good friends at a show. That's why I love reading about them. I feel like in was there. I have been trying to get permission to fly from my doctor but so far he won't give it. I have been to shows sports. I bought a sports store for my wife. We met the top players in every sport. Went to shows all over. Private signings by the athletes and meeting my friends there. I would be honored to meet all of you. Especially Sam so I can buy him a cup of coffee. Your blog did so much for me I think you.

"SUN"

Level 5

I think it great that you gave a presentation. Education is very important to the hobby.

sounds like a fantastic talk! Your blog made me feel like I was there, which was really helpful in understanding the situations and events. Thanks...

Longstrider

Level 6

You are a natural Gary. How could you not be. Your passion is so obvious it has to come through. Only one guy after you before Q. David Bowers. Wow!! I wouldn't want to be after him. He is probably think that about you now. Great job and a great job describing it to us.. I wish I was there. Movie??? I am going to keep asking. Someone must have recorded it.. Please... Thanks...

Mokester

Level 5

LOL, I think David is a little rambling anymore, too many stories, too little time.

Kepi

Level 6

Sounds like you did great! I know I'd be frozen in front of an audience to give a lecture. Thanks for sharing, really enjoyed reading your blog!

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