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Friday, September 16, 2011

Successful Program for Dunes Audubon

Last night I gave a brand new program, "The North Country Trail in Michigan" to the Sable Dunes Audubon. This program is the first in a series that will focus on a particular state of the NCT. They wanted a program of 30 minutes. I wasn't sure, until I gave it in front of an audience, if I had produced the right length, but it was just fine. Then they asked me questions for another 30 minutes after that!

I added video to this program. Some of the slides are the same as from my longer program about the whole trail, but I want each program to be fairly unique, so that people won't think that if they've seen one they've seen them all. I had a video of my friends and I singing "The Happy Wanderer" from my final hike in August of last year. I took the sound track from that and added video clips of nature scenes that I've shot along the trail over the last couple of years, since I went digital. I want to tweak it a little more, but it isn't too bad for a first effort.

Using such a familiar song had just the opposite effect from what I expected. I thought it would be trite and people might be bored. I guess most people don't go around singing that all the time, because they were delighted, and some even sang along. Now that is audience participation!

They want me back next year to talk about local trails. That's not quite as good as a solid booking, but pretty close. I'm trying hard to work on the idea that you shouldn't leave a program without having a booking for another one, somewhere.

I had a pile of my brochures, about the programs I offer, and several of those were picked up.

There were about 35 people there, which they said was a really good turnout. I also sold one book. That's not too bad for a non-trail group, where I know that several of the members already have a copy.

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