Hire me as a Speaker!
Since 2011 I have given various presentations about my project in both English and German. The public audiences ranged from 15 to 125 in locations in California, Florida, Washington and Austria. These presentations are typically 60 – 90 min long, with sections on the initial idea, preparation and logistics, followed by photos and movies on typically two cycling and two climbing modules, followed by Q&A with the audience. Feedback from those audiences has allowed me to fine-tune my materials.
You can hire me as a speaker to give an inspirational presentation. Typical audiences include corporations, chambers, charities, churches, schools and universities. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What the audience is saying
Here is an excerpt from a follow-up email by the REI outreach coordinator for the California presentations:
“Hi Thomas: My belated thanks for all you did to put on a fantastic show at each of our stores! Will and Martin were wowed by your program. The customer evals from SF are exceptional. I’m still waiting for those from Mountain View, and have no doubt they are similar. When they arrive I’ll make copies and send them your way: “very informational and inspiring”, “fascinating stories, lively presentation”, and “stunning adventure!” are a few of the many superlatives. ” P.B.
Here is what friends said about the Synopsis video:
“That’s great – really enjoyed it. … My ride in [to work] will be far greatly improved after that inspirational video!” J.W.
“This is an awesome collage! Sitting in front of my computer, watching this movie, with the sun shining outside, I know I have to start another adventure.” S.D.
“The movie certainly portrays this feeling of vivid enthusiasm. And what a great choice of music. … it appears that you have a very good consistency for always choosing the perfect song for each of your videos.” A.L.
“That was a great way to encapsulate your experience! What an incredible adventure you had.” M.F.
“LOVED this video, and the music that accompanied it really lingers in my mind. … it was just wonderful and the video of you at the end was the perfect finale!” J.Z.
“That was really awesome …! Well done!” S.L.
“Thank you for transporting me from my dining room table to familiar and unfamiliar places both on my continent and further south–your video is a testament to a variety of “peak” experiences (and also challenges!)that traveling offers, and I really thank you for sharing it and them with us, Thomas!” J.Z.
“LOVED the video, totally amazing. Been checking out some of your mountaineering pics too, very cool.” S.B.
Here is what attendees of the Seattle presentation had to say (70% rated both speaker and presentation as “Exceeded Expectations”):
“Good stories & photos. Enjoyed it very much, good selection of trip segments.” K.C.
“Good mix of videos and photos; great detail on logistics, inspiring, lively.”
“Yes, very interesting. Lovely, engaging, informative, funny, interesting; loved the movies!”
“Yes, exceeded expectations, very intesting & engaging. Riveting, some volume control on the films; would love more time to see more pictures + hear stories.”
“Yes, it was very informational and made me want to get out touring again. Great movies; obvious that a lot of work went into this; well refined presentation; I liked the stats at the end.” S.A.
“Very informative presentation!!” S.F.
“Yes, very informative; presentation was also very interesting and fun; I loved the videos. Awesome! Thank you.” M.K.
“Yes, great presentation. Thank you for sharing your amazing journey.”
Equipment and Technical Details
Most of my photos have been taken either with my older Olympus Stylus camera (first half year) or my newer Panasonic Lumix camera (second half year). While they may not give you the best optical qualities, they are both shock- and water-proof, lightweight and small to carry, and very easy to operate with one hand (especially important during cycling on a recumbent). As a result, I nearly always had them available for the often unexpected shot at some scenery, person, traffic or other feature. Its better to have lots of photos with good enough picture quality than to have a few very high quality photos but miss a lot of the unexpected moments along the way.
Digital photos were stored in jpeg format on 8-GB SD-cards, which could be plugged into a slot of my Dell Mini Netbook for easy transfer. The Netbook was also an indispensable hub for all Internet related activities via its built-in WiFi access and camera/microphone for Skype.
A few photos were taken with my iPhone, usually just for quick email updates. The lens and image sensor of the iPhone 3 (at the time) did not allow for hi-res pictures to be used on a website or in a large-audience presentation.
The video footage was taken with a Flip HD Mino digital video camera. It’s small form-factor led to similar abilities as with the digital photo cameras. Footage is often blurry when taken without tripod, especially when moving fast (such as cycling or skiing downhill). I experimented with a helmet mount for shots from the bike, but most clips have been taken with the Flip in my hand. In addition, the audio was often compromised by wind noise.
The movies were all composed using iMovie on an iMac. This allowed me to feature photos (typically with Ken Burns effect) and mix original audio with background music tracks.
The presentation slides have been done in Apple Keynote. It’s only a small portion of the presentation, just enough to provide a bit of background and to link together all the other media. I also used Microsoft Excel for a few statistics and Google Earth to plot my route and obtain satellite maps of show some sections.
Initial presentations have been done on a MacBook using Keynote and the remote control clicker, which works great and supports multiple video standards.
Lately I have switched to do all presentations on my iPad 2, which greatly simplifies my travels. It only supports HDMI, but more and more venues accept that as video+audio input for projectors or big-screen TVs. (My only complaint at this time is that there is no iPad equivalent to the Mac remote clicker yet; I can use the iPhone via BlueTooth coupling as iPad remote for the Keynote app, but not for photos or videos.)
For more information on equipment, I have blogged about my electronic gear prior to the start of my journey back in April 2009.