Nancy Carlson is one of the best author presentations we've had at our school in a couple years. The way she related to and interacted with our students kept them engaged, focused, and learning throughout her entire time with them.
As she talked about the true stories and people behind each of her story book characters, her hand and marker created step-by-step drawings on the paper clipped to the easel. I never knew simple shapes could create such a variety of animals. I learned the same letters and shapes used to make a face, only appear to be the same once the eyes are drawn ~ there was a new character each time.
My appreciation and awe of guest authors remains the same but what changed? I started to speak over a year ago and one thing I learned is, I learn so much from watching others. To watch Nancy Carlson present, I absorbed the knowledge she was sharing while dissecting it in my brain on ways to share my first book Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey after its release on April 3, 2013.
Of course I won't be drawing, (YIKES!) but a captivated, focused, and interested audience are every speaker, author, and presenters dream. But we, the speaker determine the bulk of this involvement. I'm not saying an author can please everyone in the room but the majority, yes, when their presentation style and personality hook their audience from the moment they start.
One teacher said, "Nancy Carlson commanded the room." And she did. Not with military style but with grace, compassion, and a genuine love for what she was doing and who she was presenting to. I pray to be this type of speaker myself. After I'm done sharing about Heidi, all that God has done in my life since her kidnapping, and about my book ~ I pray people leave saying, "I didn't realize God cared so much for me, if she can do this and turn tragedy to triumph, then I can _____(you name it)."
There are links to Nancy Carlson's site on each photograph on today's blog: