• Maggie Meahl

The Writer’s Life: My first presentation at the local library

*Originally posted June 11th 2019*



The engaging flyer that Rebecca Shea, Events Coordinator at Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, did to publicize my presentation.


By now, as part of my life as a writer, I have attended many lectures, presentations, author talks, book festivals, and a writer conference or two. I have benefitted from all of them, the good and the bad. They all revealed something to me (as an attendee)–and I just want to take the time right now to give a high-five to the brave men and women willing to stand up and present their perspective on writing and/or their subject matter.


Last week, I presented a lecture entitled: Faith Trumbull Huntington: An 18th Century Life. The lecture is based on my research for a lengthly article I have written for Connecticut History Review which is due to be published this year (2019).




Me presenting to the patrons at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, June 2019.

Suprisingly, I thought I did pretty well and had some good feedback from my 15+ guests. A writer friend of mine, Sarah, was kind enough to take a few photos of the event.


Here are a few tips I have for doing your own presentation, on an historical subject, at your local library:

  • Call or email the events person at your local library far in advance (as their schedules fill up).

  • Use images from your slideshow in your email pitch.

  • Keep your presentation to around 35-45 minutes.

  • This translates to roughly 20 slides.

  • Do not OVERCROWD your slide with too many words and keep the font as large and simple as possible. 36-48 pt. size in a basic font like Times New Roman.

  • Try to have an image with each slide to keep viewer attention

  • Schedule a practice session with the equipment you will use BEFORE the day of the presentation. Also, make sure you have your presentation on a thumb drive AND in a cloud somewhere (like Dropbox).

  • Finally, practice your presentation once a day in the run up to the presentation.



Needless to say, doing presentations can be an important part of marketing yourself as a writer and author.

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