Last month, I gave my first public talk and it went very well. The talk, presented at the Anderson Public Library, was entitled "String Theory for Everyone." Local high schools, as well as Anderson University, promoted the event, and many physics students in both places were offered extra credit for attending. Afterwards I was swarmed with fans wanting pictures with me ... mostly so they had proof for their teachers that they'd showed up.
Still, it was a good learning experience. Among other things, it showed me the places where I need to streamline my PowerPoint presentation before my next talk, on March 12 to the Central Indiana Mensa group.
As a follow-up, though, I asked for a testimonial letter from the library's information services librarian, who helped plan and coordinate the event. As I try to get more and more of these talks lined up, it of course helps to have these sorts of things. So, here's the fine (though somewhat bureaucratically sanitized) letter that I finally received:
The mission of the Anderson Public Library is to inform, connect, engage, and empower its customers. Since quality library programming meets many of the library's goals, APL strives to present its customers with the best possible programs. Your "String Theory for Everyone" presentation included all of the elements the library looks for in a quality program. You dealt with the complicated subject matter in an informative way while patiently allowing our customers to engage you with questions. Furthermore, your commitment to professionalism and excellent communication allowed the library to easily facilitate this program for our customers. On behalf of the Anderson Public Library, I would like to thank you for your efforts toward making this program a success!
This is a very nice addition to my speaking portfolio. I hope to get engagements in the future on a wide range of topics, some of which I already have planned. If any readers of this blog would like to solicit my speaking services for your organization, just contact me directly.
Note: I have many friends who are educators, so before I get frustrated e-mails from my elementary school grammar teacher, I'd like to state that I am aware that the title of this blog post is grammatically incorrect. It was done intentionally for entertainment effect. Grammarian, calm thyself.