coinsbygary's Blog

21 Aug 2019

The Making of this Money Talks Presenter (Part 1: Preparation)

World's Fair of Money | coinsbygary

The making of this Money Talks presenter starts with little or no fear of public speaking. Sometimes I think I was born on a stage or behind a pulpit. I’ve performed Christian themed pantomime dramas before thousands of people (not all at one time) and on occasion stood in for my pastor at church. Accordingly, if I’m passionate about a topic I can speak on it and there’s no denying that I’m passionate about Laura Gardin Fraser.

Now I generally have an impressionable disposition and sometimes all I need is a suggestion to throw myself headlong into a project. This came when the president of my local coin club asked for volunteers to give a presentation at a club meeting. This is all the encouragement I needed and so began the “Coins and Medals of Laura Gardin Fraser: A Lifetime of Numismatic Artistry and Excellence”.

When I write I like to tell a story and interject facts and figures only when they are absolutely necessary to tell the story. When I chose the title for my presentation, I wanted the coins and medals to tell Laura Gardin Fraser’s life story. This gave me the opportunity to use numerous direct quotes in the presentation, many from Laura herself. Then I selected certain coins and medals from my collection to tell her story.

Over the next two months I put together a first draft of both the verbal and visual portion of my presentation. In writing the verbal portion of the presentation I cut and pasted most of the information from my online NGC custom set onto a single word document. Having already researched most of the coins and medals in my collection, I saw no need to reinvent the wheel. The problem I now faced is what to include and what to leave out.

As things started to move along, I began to think about doing a Money Talks presentation. With that in mind, I planned my talk to last 30 minutes with 15 minutes for questions and answers and 15 minutes for set-up. The key to deciding what stays and what goes simply boiled down to staying on focus. All too often I digress and have to reign myself in. Some information no matter how cool I think it is had to be left out. The first draft of the verbal document had 6,163 words.

Setting up a powerpoint presentation proved to be much easier and a lot more fun. Since I love photography, I already have high quality photos of all the coins and medals in my collection. Interjecting other pictures at appropriate places added variety to the presentation. In the process of preparing the presentation I determined to make the slide titles short and the coins and medals large enough to fill the entire slide. Simply stated, the visual part of the presentation focused on the coins and medals and the verbal part on the person of Laura Gardin Fraser. This design strategy later proved to be significant. The first draft of the powerpoint presentation featured 29 slides.

With both parts of the presentation in hand, I showed it at the May meeting of my local coin club. The presentation went well with the exception of it being too long. Shortly thereafter I sent a Money Talks application to the ANA. On May 20 my Money Talks application was accepted. Now it seemed like a good time to take a short break and I didn’t look at the presentation again until after the Fourth of July.

Having a 55-inch TV with HDMI ports helped tremendously with editing and practicing the presentation. All I had to do was plug my laptop into the TV and read the presentation while advancing the slides. To time my delivery I used my cell phone. Editing down the presentation was tough and more than once I had to remind myself to stay focused but I finally pared the presentation down to 4,018 words and 25 slides.

After that I was left with minor tweaks and adjustments to the notes as they surfaced while practicing my delivery. Then there were the small things I added to the presentation notes to help me keep my place. First, I highlighted the place where I needed to advance the slide. Next, in order to not lose my place, I didn’t split one slide between two pages of the notes. Consequently, I only turned a page when I advanced a slide. Finally, I highlighted the beginning and end quotes in the notes.

A couple of weeks before the Worlds Fair of Money I got an e-mail from a friend informing me that he would not be attending. Now I consider this friend as my mentor in all things “Fraser” so I sent him a copy of the presentation to enjoy in lieu of him not being able to attend. What I got in return was his evaluation of the presentation. I was relieved to find that my facts weren’t all goofed up and that he actually liked it. Then I got more than I expected when he offered a few minor edits to make the presentation better. I agreed with his evaluation and incorporated all his edits into the final draft. Thus, the moral of the story is to have another set of knowledgeable eyes review your presentation for content before you give the final talk. Now all that was left for me to do was to practice, practice, and practice! This had the effect of driving my wife nuts but I wanted to be prepared for anything and everything I might encounter.

My daughter stopped by our house while traversing cross-country from New York to her new job in Seattle on the day before we left for Chicago. Appropriately, my final practice session was before her and her fiancé. They loved it. I felt relaxed and ready. Next stop Chicago!

Next up part two, “The Making of this Money Talks Presenter (Part 2: Delivery)




Level 6

This is a great blog Gary. Exactly what I was hoping for. I hope we will be able to actually see the presentation at some point. Waiting for part two.. Thanks..


Level 6

I think I would enjoy one of your programs. Sounds like ou really have a passion for it.


Level 7

What a great idea. I bet OFF is going to need you all the way with this project it sounds great. I'm a singer can't dance any more but I would love to help. Your the top.

It's Mokie

Level 6

I see an extensive article in the Numismatist in your Future, I also see a Numismatic Rockstar that I must get a selfie with at some future date. (:

very nice! looking forward to part two


Level 4

That's great! Sounds interesting!

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