I had a great time last night showing some “slides” at the Mountain Hardwear store in Portland, Oregon. A year ago, I told a skiing buddy I was giving a slideshow and he responded “Oh gawd – you still do those? I haven’t given one for years.” Truth be told, they take a lot of time and effort to put together, but I like doing them as it is a fun way to meet like-minded skiers in person and many of my adventures were born from seeing other people give slideshows and being inspired by their images and stories.
The Mother of All Slide-Show givers is Fred Becky. If you have never seen one of his shows, it is the viewing equivalent of “War and Peace.” Fred started putting together slideshows when he first started climbing 50+ years ago and just keeps adding to it. I saw one of his shows a few years ago at Snowbird which I think was up to five or six trays of 144 slides and lasted about three hours. It was epic. Before the show I asked him what the show was on, and he just said “The same thing.” As Fred continues on having adventures, he just adds the slides to the end of his show. Only Fred could get away with this.
Over the years, my shows have gone from about 90 minutes to 60, to 45+ and hopefully even less in accordance with the diminishing U.S. national attention span. The shorter the better, which can be hard to do. One of the best slideshows I’ve ever seen had eight images and lasted about 20 minutes, but the guy was such a good story teller that it was enthralling. The key to a good presentation is to love your audience (easy to do with a skiing crowd), edit images to those that tell the best story (which are often not the best images) and, save the best photo for last.