At a recent talk, author Steve Snyder discussed his book, Shot Down, the story of how his father trained as a WWII B-17 bomber pilot, bailed out over Belgium, was aided by the underground and fought with the French Résistance.

What culminated in an informative PowerPoint presentation began with an email I sent to Steve to let him know that I enjoyed his book and that I was particularly interested in one of the crew members who was from our town. The program took shape by networking with the Mayor’s office, the Library Board and the Historical Society.

IMG_1858 Snyder talk 1IMG_1856 Snyder talk 2IMG_1855 Snyder talk 3

The takeaway from all of this was how connections between writers can lead to opportunities for authors as well as people in the community. It also reminded me how slide shows and other visual aids help hold the audience’s interests and provides those of us historical writers, who would rather write than lecture, prompts to help us stay on track and keep our talks moving smoothly.

This came at a good time for me because I’m working on a PowerPoint of my own to supplement my talks about the underground in WWII. So I’m soaking up what I can by attending presentations such as this, arranging photos and working up a dialog to go with the pictures that will be both informative and interesting.

One thing I’ve learned through all these years is that the only antidote to those flashbacks to oral reports in front of high your school class is preparation.

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