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Need a Presentation or Demonstration?

  • macna2012
  • demo-workshop

If your club or group is looking for a public speaker, I'm happy to discuss such arrangements.  Usually it is best to plan a few months in advance to adequately publicize the event and ensure it is well-attended. I've been speaking to clubs for the past five years, and at national conferences like MACNA, MAX, and Reefapalooza.  The talks are designed to be dynamic, keeping everyone interested from seasoned hobbyist to the spouse of a newbie. :)

I'm on the MASNA Speaks approved list of speakers, which offers to pay a portion of the speaking engagement if your club is a member of - yours should be if it isn't already.


  • Sumps 101 - Everything you need to know to make an informed decision - This topic covers everything conceivable to planning and installing a sump, including plumbing, electrical, tank stands, sump layouts, refugiums, lighting, evaporation top off, and what to avoid.
  • Working with Acrylics (for PC only, you have to have a PC laptop on-site for me to use) A few slides, followed with two videos that run a total of 30 minutes with me narrating and answering questions throughout.
  • Pests in the Aquarium - Identifies most of the good guys and the bad guys, and how to remove them.
  • Reef Photography  - How to prepare, what to wear, what angle to shoot at, what to avoid, and even how to improve in post-production
  • In-wall Tank /  Fish Rooms  - Benefits, implemented ideas, and what needs to be considered in advance
  • Measuring PAR - Why every hobbyist should own a PAR meter  - Discover why certain reflectors are better than others, know when bulbs are getting dimmer, learn how to avoid burning corals due to hot spots, and how to actually measure PAR in your tank.
  • Coral Propagation (workshop) - This would require you to have everything there, and I would teach methods that work well.  There are no slides, and people need to see so you'd need a camera trained on the action and projected onto a screen.  We'd need corals, water, frag plugs, glue, putty, etc.  I have tools, but don't know how well they'd be received on the plane.  I could ship them ahead of time so they are there for sure, or your club can gather up what's needed from a provided list.
  • RO/DI systems - What they do, how they work, how to troubleshoot - it's a very hands-on presentation, and with advanced notice, I can ship one to the venue to demonstrate with.  I take the mystery out of how they operate and show you how to make yours more efficient.  Learn how long filters truly last, finally.
  • What to do when an emergency strikes - I've documented what to consider when a tank's seam has burst, and how to preserve all the livestock temporarily while a new tank is acquired.  By knowing in advance what you need on hand, you'll be better prepared when it happens to you, or a fellow hobbyist in your area.
  • Aquascaping - What looks best, what to avoid, bonding rock together, pre-planning for pegging, live rock versus dry rock, plus the value of natural filtration. 50 lbs of dry rock for a quick on-stage demo is also useful for visuals.


What is expected of the club:

The club covers my expenses for the trip, plus the honorarium for the talk (supplied upon email request). 
I'm happy to stay with a club member that has a guest room or at a hotel.  The club pays for the talk, the flight, luggage fees, my parking fees at the airport, fuel to and from the airport, and some cheap meals.  ;)  I have no allergies and am easy to please when it comes to food.  Payment (reimbursement and honorarium) is due prior to returning home.

My topics are presented in Keynote from an iPad 2 using a VGA connection that I own.  The club needs a VGA cable to connect to that component.  It's best if the iPad is within my reach so I can advance the slides, alternately the person in charge of A/V can perform this task during the talk.  Your club needs a projector or a huge flat screen tv.  A microphone is always best to assure everyone can hear clearly. 

Once the club and I agree upon a speaking date, it is up to the club to book the round trip flight from D/FW International to the intended destination, perferrably on American Airlines.  A direct flight is always preferred, as air travel can be both challenging at times, and exhausting.  Connecting flights and layovers should be a last resort.  Someone needs to supply me with the flight intinerary, the name and cell phone number of who will be picking me up and driving me around during my stay.  If I'm staying at a hotel, the club's credit card should be on file for incidentals, as I will not supply my own because invariably I get hammered with charges multiple states away making it difficult to resolve things.

I hope this answers those logistical questions that should always be considered.

My speaker's bio with picture:

Additional reading:

How to Host a Speaker for Club Events

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