How My Midwest Mountaineering Presentations Went

Yesterday I did my two presentations at Midwest Mountaineering that I mentioned in this link. It was kind of fun giving presentations in huge lecture halls at the University of Minnesota, and after the typical technical problems, I was able to discuss my slides without any problems.

I had about 60 or 70 people come to my first talk, and I absolutely killed it. It was a really fun crowd and I had they laughing pretty hard. That presentation was for my Inca Trail hike, which is a talk I’ve given multiple times and have really streamlined. The speech didn’t lead to many book sales however, but I made sure that everyone who attended received my promotional postcard that has links to this site, CyclovaXC, and Rhemalda.

In fact, a lot of people came up to me after the presentation, “thanks, that was so funny, entertaining and informative, we’re really happy that you came out!”

“Thank you, would you like to buy my book.”


Haha, it wasn’t that bad, the people were very nice.

My second presentation was on Beyond Birkie Fever and I wasn’t as happy with my performance there. First of all there were only maybe 20 people who attended. I haven’t done as many speeches just for the book. My plan was to spend about half the time talking about Birkie, and the other half talking about how doing the Birkie led me to live in Peru. My slide show consisted of about 10 Birkie photos and 30 Peru photos, and during the talk I felt like I was off topic. I still got some frequent chuckles out of the group, but it wasn’t the home run that I had with the first presentation.

Ironically, I sold more books at the end of the Birkie presentation, but I can’t help but think maybe I would have sold more if my presentation had been tighter (yes, I second guess myself a lot…you should see what I put my poor editors through when they send me finalized versions of my manuscripts and I completely re-write them).

Well, you can’t go back, all you can do is go foreword, and on the drive home I reflected on how to give a better presentation on “Beyond Birkie Fever.” All I have to do is get some more skiing relevant photos, especially a few from various spots along the trail so I can describe the race a little more.  Also, I might throw some maps in there, so people know where all these races are, as well as the logistical problem of getting there (I already have photos of the race on Birkie morning, so I can throw those in too).

Sometimes you have to give a presentation in order to see where it could be improved, it’s sort of trial by fire. I have a few more scheduled speaking engagements that involve “Birkie” so I’m glad for this opportunity.

All in all, Midwest Mountaineering was a very successful engagement. Although, next year, I think I’ll get a booth at the expo rather than speak. Generally, I prefer to give a speech rather than just sit around and hope people come up to me and ask about some books. But in the case of Midwest Mountaineering, I think I’d sell more books just by sitting there.

For those of you who haven’t already, make sure you do me a favor a pick up my books Beyond Birkie Fever and The Bone Sword over at the Rhemalda Bookshop!  If you happen to write a review somewhere, please let me know!  Also, add Birkie and Bone Sword to your cart on!

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