MY A/V REQUIREMENTS
Basically a microphone. I don't like podiums; as a theatre practitioner, I believe podiums "hide" a speaker from his/her audience, thus cutting off communication between him/her and that audience. That is to say, he believes that podiums defeat the purpose of the exercise which is to communicate. And communicate to optimum effect.
As well, a flip-chart (with good felt marker) or a blackboard (with chalk and eraser) can be of help, I find. But if they're not there, then they're not there; I can work without them just as easily.
Third, if at all possible, a grand piano, in good tune, helps me a lot. But it is not, it goes without saying, necessary. If it's there, it's there, if it isn't, it isn't; sponsors should not go to the trouble (and the expense) of renting – or moving – one.
Fourth – and again, not necessary – good lighting helps. Overhead fluorescence (as in high school gymnasia) is the bane of existence, in my opinion. The less harsh and the warmer your speaking environment, the more effectively you communicate your message to your audience, is how I feel on the matter of lights and lighting.
LIST OF TOPICS
For lecture and speech presentations, Mr. Highway specializes in the following topics:
Canada's remarkable contribution, particularly in the last two decades, to world literature. And how it has changed, for the better, the Canadian image abroad. As well, the value of literature and writing to the health and functioning of Canadian society.
The place of Aboriginal literature and writing within the context of Canadian literature and writing as a whole, particularly within the last decade. And what Aboriginal writing has done not just for Aboriginal communities (particularly visa-vis, education) but for Canadian society as a whole.
Canadian drama both Native and non-native:
The explosion of home-grown theatre on the Canadian, and Native-Canadian, scenes. What it has done both for Canadian society and for Aboriginal communities across the country.
The importance of mythology to the functioning, and the health, of societies world-wide. It's place and role in the great scheme of things.
The place, and the role, of Aboriginal mythology within the context of world mythology. In particular, its pivotal importance to the issue of environmental health, preservation, and survival.
The remarkable (and unsung) importance of "musical literacy" in the life, and the work, of anyone and everyone, be they doctor, lawyer, or Indian Chief. The visionary "boost" it can give to any and all careers.
Diversity in the work-place:
The importance – the necessity – of diversity in the work-place. How it enriches and energizes the work-place, in the process, making Canadian society one of the most functional and healthy societies in the world.
Racial diversity (and harmony) as a Canadian reality, a Canadian value:
The benefits to be reaped from such richness. How the future of Canada, as a result of its remarkable racial diversity, has probably the most extraordinary future among countries in the whole world. And how we can continue working towards such a goal.
Native residential schools:
Effectively "memoirs of a successful Native residential school survivor." Or how I learned to stop complaining and celebrate my life.
Tales of my travels and adventures through 55 countries (and counting). World travel – and linguistic diversification thereof, linguistic versatility – as an educational and work tool of remarkable effectiveness, of extraordinary value.
…and other topics, on request.