There are two kinds of author visits. There are the slide shows and there are the not-slide shows. I do the second kind.
I believe, being an ex-kid and a dad, that students will pay attention to the facts if they're having some fun. That requires a bit of spontaneity, and a lot of listening to your students. I don't can my presentations. They're always age appropriate, too -- however old your students, my kids and nieces have been there. Plus, it helps to have many books for every age reader.
I believe that every kid is already a natural storyteller and fountain of imagination. Every kid knows how to find the right voice for the job. And I constantly show students that they...are...already...writers. Now.
I also believe kids want to feel appreciated. I don't taIk down to them. I've been speaking publicly for decades, from summer camp to NPR
to giving tours. There was a short stint in improv, and a long career creating zippy advertising in New York City. That kind of experience helps keep me on topic without being boring.
You can also see it in my books for Time and National Geographic and Discovery Channel and Kaplan, for instance. Those publishers demand the facts, but they let me present my kinds of facts with a smile. I also love wordplay, and I'll help your students love it as well. Just look at the titles of my books. Learning and ideas are fun.
If you're still not convinced, give me a call and let's talk about what you'd like for your school. That'll do it.
-- Mark Shulman