Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Speaking at colleges

It’s another freezing February morning here in New England. I’m back from the First Year Experience conference in Orlando. I’d like to thank everyone who stopped by for your enthusiasm and interest. As some of you found out, we actually ran out of copies, first at the booth and then at the lunch!

If your school is considering my book for a common reading program or for use in psychology, education, or other curriculum, I encourage you to contact Mike Gentile at Random House Academic Marketing to see what they can offer you. My publisher has a number of programs to help schools use the book, including special pricing, teaching guides, and support materials.

He’s at mgentile@randomhouse.com

A number of conference attendees asked if I was available to speak at their schools. My speaking engagements are booked by Sally Itterly at The Lavin Agency. She is filling spots for summer and fall 2009, and 2010. She’s at sitterly@thelavinagency.com

These are some of the things I can do at your school:

I speak to large assemblies. Sometimes people ask how a guy with Asperger’s can speak to big groups. They say, don’t you get nervous? I don’t know about other Aspergians, but I am essentially oblivious to crowd size. And I know the audience is there voluntarily, so they’re probably kindly disposed toward me. And finally, I know I’m bigger than 99% of college students if it comes to that.

Even though I do large groups, what I really like are smaller sessions. I really enjoy talking with students and faculty in smaller groups. For example, I speak with students in psychology or education, and I’ve done sessions with Asperger students. I’m prepared to speak on the impact of neurological differences and Asperger’s in most any department of the school.

I also do sessions with faculty and staff. Often I combine several of those sessions into one full day or even a two-day event. For example, I can speak to a freshman assembly and then follow up with several smaller group sessions.

I try and entertain audiences, while still managing to deliver some important messages. I want teachers to know that kids with neurological differences often have hidden gifts that they may not be aware of. I want students on the spectrum to know that life gets better for us as we get older and learn to adapt and fit in. Finally, I want all students to walk away with a better understanding of the great diversity in the human population.

3 comments:

jess said...

john, every single time i've seen you speak you've done each and every one of things.

it amazes me that no matter how many times i come to hear you (and no matter the venue), i learn something new (and am thoroughly entertained!) each and every time.

i envy your skill with a crowd. you leave people laughing, thinking, changed.

Stephan Alexander Scharnberg said...

Hi John,
I just came across your blogs a few hours ago. I blog myself. I wanted to say: what a great book you have in "look me in the eye". My 16 year old Aspergian son (lives in New Brunswick) visits us every summer. Last July, he, my wife, and I read aloud from your book to each other every morning after breakfast. It was a great experience together, reading, thinking, and discussing your book.
Thank you for sharing some of you with the world. I feel it helps my son somewhat, knowing he is not alone as an Aspergian. Again, thank you.

Kim Stagliano said...

IF you haven't heard John speak, BOOK HIM for your group. He's inspiring, engaging, funny, informative and you will leave thinking very hard.