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Updated Guidelines for Presenters


The Mid-Valley Travel Club solicits proposals, particularly from new speakers, for its three presentation formats. Both independent travelers and participants in escorted tours are equally welcome. Travel professionals may contribute by arrangement with the Program Chairman.

A. Illustrated Talks on Specific Destinations


    o Any destination, familiar or exotic, including the USA, is welcome.
    o The ideal length of a talk is 55 minutes with a range of 50-60 minutes.
    o The library provides a digital projector, but you need to bring your presentation on a laptop computer.
    o We recommend you also bring your presentation on a flash-drive, as a backup, in case of a problem with the file on your hard drive.
    o PowerPoint (part of Microsoft Office) is a versatile presentation program, but time-consuming and not cheap. For Windows, Tom Cattrall, our Technical Director, likes Faststone (free, www.faststone.org). Another option is to upload your photos to Picasa or similar web site, log on to the site using the Library's Wi-Fi network, and run your slide show directly from the remote server.
    o We are not a photography club, so feel free to supplement with images from the Internet (e.g., Google Images), especially for locations where photography is not allowed or difficult.
    o Please include maps; use digital images from Google Maps, rather than photograph large maps yourself.
    o If you don't have digital images, you can use 35 mm. slides (bring a projector) or convert prints into digital images; see the Travel Skills archive, "Preparing & Scanning....." by Tom Cattrall in 2009.
    o PLEASE rehearse your talk with a trusted observer.


o It is critical that you bring the correct VGA adapter cable for your Mac laptop; see the illustrations.

Mini-Display Port to VGA Adapter Cable

    o Older Mac laptops have a different video out port:

    so make sure the Mac end of the cable fits the video out port of your Mac. The projector end of the cable has the same 15-hole plug as the Mini-Display Port to VGA Adapter Cable.
    o iPhoto, part of iLife, (free with most Macs) is easy to use for straight-forward presentations that do not involve text-annotated images. Copy selected images to a new folder and assign titles for each photo that starts with a number (1 through however many slides you have), otherwise the order may be scrambled. Text documents, such as the vital statistics on your destination, cannot be imported directly into iPhoto; first print, then photograph them with a digital camera, then import as a JPG image from the digital camera into iPhoto.
    o Microsoft Office's PowerPoint is available for Macs. For presentations involving images with text annotations, PowerPoint is an excellent application, but requires more work than iPhoto does. However, the results may be worth the extra time investment, if titles, labels, arrows, circles and other annotations are needed. PowerPoint is cross-platform, so that a PowerPoint presentation composed on a PC can be shown on a Mac and vice versa.
    o Uploading your photos to Picasa or similar web site, logging on to the site using the Library's Wi-Fi network, and running your slide show directly from the remote server is an option for Mac users as well as PC users.


    Please e-mail the Program Chairman a summary of 6-7 lines or longer, no later than six weeks prior to your presentation. We use this for posting on our website, e-mail notifications, and the Library's newsletter.

B. Introduction of a "Travel Skills" Topic

    o These informal presentations consist of a 10-15 minute (average 12) introduction of a travel skill to open a 10-15 minute discussion by the audience (total time limited to 25-30 minutes.) You do not have to be a world expert, just be willing to share your experiences. The 50+ previous topics are archived on our website; samples include discount airfares, car rentals, alternative accommodations etc.
    o It is not essential, but is helpful to the audience, if you list your main points on 5-10 text slides. Please transfer these to a flash-drive, for speedy connection to the Destination Speaker's laptop, which will be synchronized already to the digital projector. Please advise the Program Chairman which format you will use, so that we can ensure that program is available on the other speaker's laptop. Note that the freeware program OpenOffice.org is NOT compatible with Microsoft Office.
    o However, please also bring your own laptop, as a backup.
    o Please email your text slides or other brief summary to the Program Chairman after the meeting, for posting on the Club's website, along with any significant contributions from audience members. We believe that these summaries are a useful reference for future travel planning.

C. Tour Operator/Travel Agent Presentations

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