Re: Question to those who hire WW speakers or do speaking

patriarch <:

Do you know much about the choosing process? We've hired a few big names in the past who turned out to be only slightly more interesting than drying paint. Conversely, we've hired amateurs who were extremely interesting and informative.

60-90 minutes, sometimes with 1 or 2 eight hour workshops for a woodworking club

We recently hired a highly recommended expert who came and announced that he couldn't cover any part of the subject in a short time span and so spent the time essentially doing an infomercial for his school. I was pissed, he should have refused the offer if he couldn't introduce the subject. No one expects much in such a short time span, but I do expect them to at least introduce the subject. That's why I was wondering if people check references, it's something I want to do but some others feel that would be inappropriate.
--
Pee Pee Firefighter

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Lon Schleining has done a good job for us. Roy Underhill is comming this month, but he's local.
Our newsletter is at http://www.ibiblio.org/twa /. The newsletters report on programs and you can try asking for a speakers list. Travel is expensive, so we charge enough for workshops to cover most of it. Members usually put the speaker up in their homes, although there may be some speakers who don't want to visit. Workshops are conducted in some of the larger shops of members. Wilson

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Our club is http://www.diablowoodworkers.com/ We have a fellow in charge of speaker selection, but his name escapes me right now. Ping me on the easily unmunged email address, and I'll see if I can get the contacts for you.
We're a large club, and our members go lots of places. Generally, someone knows or has met the folks we have in to speak.

For our monthly meetings, we usually have 60-90 minutes on a topic, with slides, pass-around examples, and show-and-tell. Too crowded in the shop to turn on any tools during the meeting.
Recently, we have been focusing on the design creation processes. Some of the reaction to the artsy stuff has been humourous to observe. We have a lot of WWII-era folks, some of whom are a bit more 'classical' in their tastes, shall we say...

Often, our speaker will feel like he has little to say, in a prepared presentation. The questions from the audience are what usually dictates the direction the chat will take. The interactivity is what we enjoy. All of our folks are pretty well-read. The owner of the sharpening service didn't think he had enough material to go more than 10 minutes, but we had to call a stop to things, with more questions to go, almost two hours into the discussion.
The workshops the club facilitates are independent of the actual club activity. Essentially, they are an activity hosted and run by the individual teacher/craftsperson. All financial and logistic issues are their responsibility, as I understand it.
And as I said, someone has generally met, or worked with, or taken classes from these folks before. But then, in the San Francisco area, we are blessed with many wonderful people and resources. It's probably a lot easier here.
Patriarch
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