The Evolution of a Demo

Part of every club meeting is the time when you sit patiently and watch someone show you a special aspect of woodturning, the demonstration.  It can be a joy or you can sit in your seat with your head bobbing and you buddies punching you to stay awake. I strive to keep the demonstrations I present from becoming an event where you imagine yourself running for the door.   We have all been there and it can just be a miserable experience. So you must ask yourself as a demonstrator what it is that the audience really wants from your time with them.
My view and this is strictly my view, is that you not only want information but you want enough entertainment to keep you awake.  That is what I try to do but there is much more to the demo than just the time you spend watching the demonstrator at the meeting or event.
The first thing I think of is "how many times have you seen this same information presented to you".  There are phrases and words that get used over and over again to the point of driving us all crazy.  There are topics that have been so repeated that many times you see the subject of the demo and decide to stay home.  Some repetition especially safety is necessary but it can be relayed in an interesting way so as not to be taken for granted or ignored.   I endeavor to keep you informed and entertained during the hour or so that I have your attention.  This is not an easy task.
So how do demos evolve?  First, you must come up with a new topic or at best a new way of presenting an old subject.  There are demo's that we must repeat for the sake of new people coming into the flock of turners who need the information.
My demos come from experimentations as an artist and repeated failures.  Yes, you heard me, failures.  I have an idea and I work to develop it into a finished work.   That requires many hours of practice and experimentation and exploration.  Some ideas just simply do not work and others open doors that lead you into entirely new directions.  It is a process and it takes your time and efforts as a turner to stay the course.  I work every day just as if I were going to an office with a boss.  My boss does, however, allow me to take time off without a pre-approved requisition.  I like to think of myself as a good boss.
So now you have a demo all worked out and it is time to present it to an audience.  You must prepare your tools, your presentation, your samples.  This also takes time,  hours and hours of hard work to make this presentation.  then depending on where you must go there are travel time and expense. Let's not even address the cost of materials and supplies and shop equipment that makes it all possible. 
So when you question the fees a demonstrator charges remember that this is not just an hour or so they spend with you.  It is the bulk of their time, imagination, determination, and ability to present a topic that will not only show you something useful but will let you leave the demonstration sharing the love each demonstrator has for the process of woodturning. 
Remember this is after all, what we do for fun!

*The contact page has Demo information and fees for your convenience.   AAW also will provide information for the fee schedules of other demonstrators in your area.  I believe you will find my fees to be reasonable in comparison.