Review: Approaching the Lectern: How to Become a Genealogy Speaker

If you’re passionate about genealogy and have considered applying to speak to societies or at conferences but are unsure how to break in, you’ll want to check out the new book, Approaching the Lectern: How to Become a Genealogy Speaker (Lulu), by Thomas MacEntee.

This 38-page handbook is designed to help genealogists and family historians who want to learn how to effectively speak at genealogy society meetings, conferences and other venues. While the book will appeal to those just trying to break in, it also has plenty of useful tips and advice for professionals already on the genealogy speaking circuit.

MacEntee is an avid genealogist, specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community. He is the creator of the Geneabloggers Web site–a community of over 1200 Bloggers who write about genealogy and family history.

In Approaching the Lectern, MacEntee covers everything from how to build a presentation and work on your speaking skills, to answering a call for papers, keeping your bio and resume up-to-date, and the legal aspects of setting your fee and developing a speaker’s contract. There are even chapters on how to deal with presentation disasters and mishaps, and a chapter on the new realm of “virtual” presentations. There are also several pages of useful links to sites for “Calls for Papers”, templates, slide show/presentation creation, and much more.

I have been a genealogy presenter for more than 10 years and find many useful tips and suggestions in this book that I will implement in my own speaking routine. The book is written in a friendly, easy-to-read format, and includes many excellent examples to illustrate key points.

The book can be downloaded in PDF format ($8.99) or ordered in print form ($12.95). A Kindle version ($5.99) is also available.

In summary, Approaching the Lectern is an excellent resource for any genealogist who wants to start sharing his or her expertise with others at meetings, workshops, or conferences.

Disclosure: I purchased my own copy of this book and have not been compensated in any manner for this review.