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  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • From: Steve Szabo <stevesz@erols.com>
  • Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 20:08:15 -0700 (MST)

On Sat, 14 Feb 1998 11:34:07 -0700 (MST), Irisborer@aol.com wrote:

>I am to give a program next weekend to a bunch of not-necessarily iris folk -
>so my question to the newer folk on the iris-L is this:
>What do you find valuable in a program???
I've done my fair share of speaking engagements in the past, and I will 
attempt to answer your questions for you, though I spoke on topics other
than iris.  First, KISS--keep it simple stupid.  A lot of complex 
information and do's and don't's are not going to cut it.  Since this is
a beginner talk, start at the beginning.  Give some ideas on placement 
of iris beds, mixing with established beds, etc.  Then proceed from 
there with some planting info and care info, and then finish off with an
overview of varieties that are readily available in the area.

>Do you like lots of slides?
Yes, pictures, pretty pictures, and lots of them.  That way the 
reluctant participants (spouses dragged along, etc.) can at least enjoy 
the photos, and, maybe, even get sucked in and carried along for at 
least the duration of the talk.

Taking from the above, you can open with some slides of various iris, 
showing how nice they are, then go to show an area where they may be 
put.  If you planned ahead enough, you may even have slides of putting 
in a bed in an area, and show those, while giving toips on planting and 
care.  Then show th efinished bed in bloom, and go on to show individual
iris that are readily available.

>Do you want to know about planting and dividing irises?
Yes, at least an overview, especially about dividing as most will not 
need to know that for a year or so, if they are really just getting 

>Are you interested in sourcing?
Basically just stick with what is readily available in your area.  You 
can briefly mention other sources, but don't get bogged down with that. 
What can they find at the local nurseries.

>Do we HAVE to talk about pests and diseases?
Yes, but real quick and glossed over.  Concentrate on those that they 
are most likely to encounter in your area.

>So you actually read handouts... or do you 'circular file' them.
The handout is a good way to give people the sources you may have 
glossed over in the talk.  A recommended reading list of fairly 
inexpensive books, pamphlets, etc., could be included.  Quick, easy down
and dirty planting and care tips, and where to get help.  No more that a
couple of pages.  Those who are truly interested will read it and keep 
it as a handy reference, and be grateful to you.  Those that really 
aren't, well, those are the ones that end up in the circular file.  Keep
thepresentation of the material in the handout simple, and photocopying 
or running it off on your printer is fairly inexpensive.  (Even cheaper 
if you use the machines at work <g>.)

>Tell me what you like best when you go to a program.  
To sleep.  Just kidding.  Keep it loose.  Let people know up front that 
they can ask questions at any time.  This will give you a chance to 
really direct your program at the crowd, though you can't do much with 
the slides you have already prepared.  If they ask a question you will 
be answering shortly in your program, feel free to tell them that you 
are going to show them that in the next few minutes.  You know you have 
an interested audience if they ask questions throughout, giving you a 
chane to expand on what you are saying.  However, keep it fairly short, 
you don't want to be rushing through to the end of the program.  Plan to
speak for 30-45 minutes.  Questions should fill this out to a full hour 
easily, if people are trulyinterested.  If not, you are giving it to the
short and sweet, and they will appreciate that.  Make yourself available
after the talk.  Some may want to quiz you further one on one.

For aquariums, visit http://www.petsforum.com/was/
the Worcester Aquarium Society site.  Lots of links available.
For dogs, visit http://www.petsforum.com/ace/ to recieve
information about A.C.E. Agility Dog Club in Massachusetts.
Now in Virginia, Zone 6 or 7.

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