Tuesday Tips: 7 Different Types of Presentations

presentation_01.svg.med7 Different Types of Presentations


Today I’m continuing my block of post on…



 As I begin winding down my SCHOOL VISITS blogging block. I thought I would touch on the seven presentations that come to my mind when I try to make up, or revise, one of my presentations.

  1.  Reading
    Read a book or two. It can be all yours or mix it up. Ask them what they liked about each book. This can help you in seeing what’s interesting to them too! Research. 🙂  This presentation works great for the younger ages. Although I have had high school students who love this too. I don’t think we ever grow out of liking to hear a story being told.
  2. Writing Process
    Take the students through your writing process. They will see that you have to do several things just like they do. This helps make the connection of carrying-through for life on what they are learning. This presentation works great for mid-elementary all the way through high school.
  3. Different Genres
    This type of presentation you can bring different books for each genre. You can go into word count and content on how each genre is different and how they can build on each other with information. I like telling them my ya version of a nursery rhyme and seeing if they can guess which one it is.
  4. How to Submit
    For this type of presentation you can go into revisions, researching publishing houses and magazines, show them what different rejections look like and what an acceptance letter looks like too. You can also let them know that the work isn’t done then. We market, promote, send in for awards and reviews, etc. This takes them into the business side of writing.
  5. Writing Workshop
    This type of presentation is where you can show them how characters need setting and conflict, how to pace and move the story along, and how to come to a conclusion. Most of these will have a ‘book’ that the students can keep. Here’s a video:

6.  Illustrating How To Draw
This type of presentation is where you can show students how a character develops.
Check out this video:

7.  Specialty Program
Do you have a book that is geared toward an event or something specific? If so, having a presentation which features this is a great way to get a message across. Maybe is it about the Underground Railroad, or Women’s Rights, or Native American oriented, or Stranger Danger issued. There are tons of topics that schools like to address and a great way to get your foot in the door.


So what do you think? Any of these get your brain buzzing with ideas for a presentation? Let me know what you think.

Do you know of any other presentation ideas?
Have any questions?

Until next time,

Happy Writing!

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www. WHERE Can You Hold a School Visit


www. Where Can You Hold A School Visit

Today I’m continuing my block of posts on…


A few people have asked me where am I able to hold a SCHOOL VISIT at? My answer to this question is literally almost anywhere! In today’s technology, we don’t have to physically be somewhere to be able to see and hear someone.

While I absolutely LOVE going to a school and holding an in person visit, that may not always be an option. Distance and school budgets can be a big factor.

Schools budgets are getting tighter and tighter. While they encourage interaction, they may not be able to afford an author’s honorarium, plus traveling expense.

I have had several schools in-state that want to book me, but because of the travel expense they cannot afford it. There is mileage rate. I charge $0.56/mile, which is Federal Standard Mileage Rate. For places where I have over 2+ hours driving time, I request a hotel for the night before. If there is an extended drive, authors can ask for plane tickets too.

???So What To Do???

Welcome to the internet! 🙂

You can still visit schools by offering online visits. I offer these through Skype or Google+Hangouts. If you do a Google+Hangouts On Air, you can record the event for later use too.

Set up is simple.

If you have a Google email account you are ready to go. Hangouts selection is on a column bar on the right-side of your screen. Add your contact person to one of your circles and you can connect with the via Hangouts.

For Skype, you’ll need to create an account and download the free software. Add your contact person and you are ready.

I always like to do a test run with the school. This helps get any bugs out, wiring difficulties, sound check, and visual components.

There is a website you can sign up with: Skype In the Classroom, where you can post your presentations.
PROS: Great place to get your name out there. You are seen world wide. Your not restricted by regions.
CONS: Your presentations have to be free. I do ask them to send home a few flyers. (One on me, my bio, and one about my books, which also includes my website.) I also send them a flyer so they can announce that I will be ‘visiting’ their school.

It’s a wonderful experience. I have visited New Jersey, Alabama, Texas, and a few other places with this great avenue.

If you choose to do this: For the free ones, may I suggest paring down one or two of your presentations. Maybe do a quick reading and then allow 10 minutes for q&a. Maybe send a form before-hand letting them explore the writing process and then you can go over it and give them 10 minutes for follow-up and/or q&a.

The point being, the only thing to stop you from visiting a school is your own creativity. So that shouldn’t stop any of you. We are writers and illustrators after all. 🙂

Hopefully this gave you some ideas and maybe got you thinking some too.

Let me know what you think about online visits?
What do you think about in person visits?
Do you have any questions about online or in person visits?
Let me know.

Until next time,

Happy Writing!

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Thinking Thursday: “WHY” Should Schools Invite Authors and Illustrators

authorvisit2“WHY” Should Schools Invite Authors & Illustrators

Today I’m continuing my block of posts on…


I want to touch on the WHY part for schools to schedule a visit.

WHY take the time out of classroom time?

While Classroom Time is extremely valuable, having a break in the routine can help snap students attention back into focus. Trying something different is a great way to increase your attention. Think about seeing and doing the same thing over and over again. Such as this simple example:


Did you spot the “7”? Stuck out didn’t it. Now you tend to look back at it to make sure it’s there right? Something different, something new. Can get the most out of you. Taking the time to see and/or do something out of the ordinary routine will help stick it into your brain better.

WHY you should encourage students to look into the presenter?

Here are two senarios:

  1. You book an author and tell the students they are coming. Then the presenter shows up. They look out into the crowd and see blank faces staring at them…
    Yes, I have had that scenario played out before my very eyes. They were told I was coming a month ago, but they forgot. Now all they know is they are getting out of class and I’m here for SOMETHING.OR….
  2. You book an author and tell your students they are coming.  The books your purchased are displayed where everyone will see them as they come into your library. You sent home the author bio and book order form flyers, so the parents can ‘meet’ the author too. There are extra author bio flyers available for the students to look at. They look the author up online, read their background, watch the book trailers, and read the books. Then the presenter shows up. They look out into the crowd and see smiling faces and a few students shyly wave and mouth, “Hi!”. They know who the presenter is and have a few questions ready, in case they get called upon.
    Yes, I have had this scenario played out before my very eyes too.

Guess which one the presenter is hoping for? By getting the students involved BEFORE the presenter comes will encourage not only a better session, but research, planning, and expectation.

WHY should you promote and sell the author’s/illustrator’s books?

Quite simply, you are showing support of them and their products. Authors and Illustrators work hard to get where they are and one way they get paid is in royalties from books sold. While we don’t make much, every bit counts.

WHY should you allow your students to meet an author/illustrator?

By allowing a presenter to come to your school it not only adds a new element for the day, but it also introduces them to someone who is knowledgeable in the field. Everyone likes to hear what experts say and do. So here’s your chance to allow someone with first-hand knowledge of the book industry into your school.

We can tell you the struggles of writing, editing, and just how scary it can be to see something you created go out into the world.

WHY will you see the effects of an author/illustrator visit?

I like to think of it as a rock being dropped into a still pond.

You have the immediate reaction of the presenter being there. Then after they have left you will see ripples as your students read more, talk about writing/drawing more, having to work hard for something you want to accomplish.

There are many ripples too.

This will expand to the outer reaches of their learning. Maybe even influence them in some way.

WHY you should incorporate this into your learning curriculum?

Bringing an author or illustrator into your school can be incorporated into the Common Core Curriculum. You can talk about where they are from (Social Studies), What background they have in their learning (Literature), How long it took to get their book published (Math), as well as many other things when you incorporate a book of theirs into the equation.

The learning never stops!  🙂


So what can hold a school back?
I’ll say it…


It costs money to bring presenters in. This is something not all people realize. But think about it…

WHY should you pay for them to come?

You wouldn’t expect a doctor to do their job for free. Or a police officer. Or a cashier. The same should be applied to an author and illustrator. They have spent years honing their craft, submitting to houses, and getting ready for this day. Plus this person is taking time out of their schedule to come. That can include writing time, drawing time, revision time, gas, dry cleaning, time while at the school, you get the picture, right?

BUT… budgets are tight and getting tighter.

Here are a few things to help out:

  • Fund-Raisers
  • Title I Monies
  • Bake Sales
  • Sponsorships from business/organizations
  • Donations
  • Grants

Check out my Fund Raising/Grants page on my website for more ideas and information.


So I hope I made you pause and consider WHY inviting an author or illustrator is important and I hope you will consider encouraging your local schools to invite one or two or three or more this year!


Do you know of any other WHYs as to why you should invite an author or illustrator?
Have a question? Ask in the comment section and I’ll do my best to answer it.

Happy Writing!


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You’re Invited… q&a on SCHOOL VISIT with Tracey M. Cox

Good day everyone.

google+hangoutsI am hosting a Q&A on Google+Hangouts on Air tomorrow night and you are officially invited!

This is the first of many sessions I am planning. Tomorrow nights session will be about SCHOOL VISITS and how to plan for them. I’ll give a brief talk about what I do and then open the floor up to you! Yep, you get to ask questions and I’ll try to be quick and witty and give you an answer.

Go here:  Q&A – Author Visits… How to prepare.

You can sign up from there and you can also begin to leave me questions on that page too.
The date and time is: Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9 pm, et (6 pm pt).

Do you have a topic you would like to see covered? Let me know!
What do you think about q&a sessions? Would you like to see more of them?

Looking forward to this and I hope to see you there.

Happy Writing!

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8 Things to be SCHOOL VISIT Ready

authorvisit38 Tips to be School Visit Ready!

Today I’m continuing my posts on…


Before you contact a school, as a presenter you need to have several things in order.

Just as in trying to be published, you want to put your best foot forward. I have composed a list of several things I think you need to have to be SCHOOL VISIT ready…

  1. Presentation(s)
    Have several – Just as when you write, you will need presentations to meet the age groups you are speaking to. I have several: a reading level, which works great for the youngest, the writing mechanics, which works really well for the mid range, the business side, which works well with the older range. I also have a writing workshop. You can also develope presentations that will coinside with one particular book or series.Note Cards – Yes. Write down your key points. Keep them handy during your presentation. It helps to have this, even if you have done the presentation a million times.

    Rehearse – Get in front of a mirror and pretend you are talking to the crowd. Notice your facial features and how you move. Time it too. Most people will want to know how long your presentation takes. Take your time and go through all the motions until it feels natural.

    Flash Drive – Back your presentations up on a flash drive. I usually try to send my material a head of time, but sometimes things fail or won’t come up when you need it too. Have your flash drive handy to save the day.

    Have a Back-Up Plan – Even when you plan, things do always go as planned. Computers going down is only one senario. Always have a back up plan.

  2. Forms, Flyers, & Business Cards
    Information is the key. Try to lay everything out for your contacts. I have several flyers that are pdf files.

    • Author Is Coming – This flyer is for them to post on their walls. I have a spot where they can include the date of the visit, as well as a picture of me and my books available.
    • Bio – This flyer should be sent home to the parents. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t like it when I didn’t receive information about the person who was visiting my children’s school.
    • Book Form – This form will be sent home to the parent too. Hopefully, increasing your sales.
    • Agreement / Contract – Yes, you should have one. This puts in words what both parties expect.

    Then I also bring these along:

    • Business Cards – I usually have a few (media specialist, principals, teachers, parents) who will ask if I have one on hand.
    • Mini-Flyer – This is something I added. It tells a story on how and why I became an author and how they can find out more about me (website). I use these to autograph for the children who forgot their money or were not able to purchase a book.
  3. Mic & Speaker
    I request the school to provide one for me, but I have one as a back up. Mics are relatively cheap (under $50). Speakers…. well I’m ‘barrowing’ my oldest son’s electric guitar amp. It works though and he doesn’t mind.
  4. Pens & Cash
    PENS – You need those for signing. And yes, they WILL walk off when you are not looking.Cash – I bring a change bag, because you will usually have someone who forgot the correct change or they may have the wrong amount on the check.
  5. BOOKS!
    Yes, bring extra books. Even when the school does order (which I ask them too, but not all schools will), you will have late orders or the wrong book(s) may have gotten shipped.
  6. Emergency Box
    This is another thing I’ve incorporated, an emergency box. You can your a recipe box or whatever. Some of the things I have inside are:Tissues – teary eyes or runny nose
    Cough drops – dry throat or stubborn cough
    Peppermint – same purpose as the cough drops, but smells better
    Eye drops – dry eyes or allergies.
    Band aids – I’m a clutz and have had to have one at the worse of times
    Eye glass wipes – the better to see you my dearsNote Card of Presentations
    Flash Drive
  7. Carrying-Tub or Bag
    So I will put all my items together, because being organized is hard and I have to do this a head of time.In my carrying-tub I have:

    • mic w/ cord
    • book stands
    • flyers
    • books
    • cash bag

    One day I want to incorporate an easier way to lug all my items. 🙂

    In my bag:

    • Pens
    • Emergency box

    Then I have my speaker too, if and when needed.

    Yes, I have to make more than one trip. Working on that.

  8. Tablet & Projector
    (this is on my want list)
    Tablet – there are so many wonderful tablet out there now that can take the place of your computer. My heart is set on one that have a usb post to hook my flash drive into.Projector – have you seen them lately!?! They are small and compact. By having one of these I’ll be able to showcase my presentation almost anywhere!


Here’s a printable list for your convenience too. 🙂

8 Things to be SCHOOL VISIT Ready


Let me know what you include for your school visits!
Have a question? Ask in the comments and I will answer it as best as I can.

Hope you found this useful. Til next time…

Happy writing!

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