Well done, Stephen.
Robert Bradbury recently started a talk by holding one of the little
Waldemann's "Lord's Prayer" between two fingers while he
introduced the subject of miniature books in general.
With just a minimum of showmanship, it's relatively easy to hold an
audience with such a fascinating subject as very tiny books.
> Hi everybody, I just thought I would add my ideas about talking to
> groups. I wrote about my talks in the last MBS Newsletter, but will
> expand a little here.
> Since I gave my first talk - rather tentatively I must say - I have
> found that there has been a regular flow of requests from other
> groups to visit them.
> Firstly I tell my audience that questions are welcome at any stage
> of my talk. Then I discuss the definition of a miniature book - i.e.
> the size. I explain the different sizes, from 4" down to the
> micro mini books.
> I show examples of each one so that the audience can get some idea
> of comparative size.
> Next I explain how I became interested in miniature books - and how
> I go about collecting them, and talk about different collecting
> Next follows a brief history. I found that the Doris Welsh book 'The
> History of Miniature Books' (available from John Mayo) offers a
> suitable framework and excellent background, and refer to Bondy and
> to Spielmann and, of course, Bradbury.
> All the time I try to show examples of what I am talking about, as
> that helps people understand.
> I then go on to tell how I design and make my books, showing
> examples of books at each stage, and finally
> inviting a member of the audience to come to the front and make a
> simple single section book whilst I talk them through it and show
> the rest of the audience what is going on.
> The audience then has the opportunity to examine some of my
> The whole thing is done in as light-hearted manner as possible - I
> soon learnt to watch for signs that I was getting too dull!
> I don't know if this will be of any use, but it may be the start for
> you. You will no doubt find that once you have given one talk
> somebody will pass your name to somebody else and then you will get
> more and more invitations.
> The good thing I have found is that the kind of group I speak to
> tend to book their speakers up to a year in advance (I already have
> some for November 2004) so it is possible to moderate the regularity
> of speaking.
> Do give it a try - you'll be amazed at the interest and positive
> response from all kinds of people who, up until you talk to them,
> would think of miniature books as mere novelties.
> Let's keep the discussion going - it would be good to hear from
> somebody who has given their first talk.
> Good wishes to all my friends in MBS.
> Stephen Byrne
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