Over the past few years I have given power point presentations on a number of cruise ships owned by Saga and the Fred Olsen lines. My agent here is Peel Talent and I invite you to look me up on their www site <cruiseshipspeakers.net> to find out where I have been and what I like lecturing on.
All my lectures are based on popular history and I enjoy creating lecture series relevant to the voyage. For instance, on my next cruise in March 2018 when the Black Watch is crossing the Indian Ocean on a world tour, I shall be lecturing on 'The Search for Spices', 'The Raj-Good or Bad', 'The Antiques Industry of Bombay' and 'By Liner to India 100 years Ago'. On a cruise round the north west coast of Africa, I lectured on ‘Exploring the Sea Route to India’, ‘The African Spice Trade’ and‘Slavery’.
I give these presentations with my wife, the former BBC TV News Reader Margaret Percy. I read the narration and she does the character parts, all attached to a slick power point assembly of pictures. It seems to work well.
These days an author needs to sell his books at literary festivals and I love the book reading audience. In September 2015 I spoke at the Blenheim Literary Festival about John Freeman; in particular I showed clips of his seminal Face to Face interviews and talked about the art of TV interviewing. I gave this again at the Hay on Wye Literary Festival in December and then in early May at the Chipping Camden Literary festival. Later that month I spoke to the House of Commons Labour Club about "John Freeman - the Missing Leader". I hope there will be other occasions too.
For my latest book 'Up Top', about how we have treated mental illness over the last century, I shall be speaking at the Hay Literary Festival in May 2018 and I hope this will be the first of several invitations.
What can be more enjoyable than watching a good movie and then arguing its strengths and weaknesses before awarding a prize? I love it. I have served on a number of film juries: The Trento Mountain Film Festival in north Italy; The East-West Documentary Film Festival in Prague and theInconvenient Films festival [human rights] in Vilnius, Lithuania. In June 2018 I shall be speaking at the Asolo Film Festival in Italy. I also make it my habit to attend human rights film festivals, like Movies that Matter in The Hague every March, to watch the sort of disturbing but vital films you cannot see otherwise.
TALKS FOR HISTORY SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS
For ten years, I have regularly given illustrated talks to History Societies about my books and, more recently, I have developed a popular film presentation about Human Rights that sixth formers are able to relate to.
Until this year, I was Head of Studies at ESoDoc - European Social Documentary. It's a three-workshop training course every year, held in different European countries, designed to encourage documentary makers to work in human rights and environmental protection.
If you want to find out more, even apply for ESoDoc, then please go to www.esodoc.eu
As a result of ESoDoc I am asked to sit on juries at Documentary film festivals and give separate training courses. I enjoy doing this, particularly when there's interesting travel involved. In recent years I have held 'workshops' in Spain, Poland, Slovenia, Cyprus, Hungary, India and Romania.
Schools in the UK have become interested and often ask me to give sixth forms powerpoint presentations on the video revolution: how the handycam is the new weapon in the fight for human rights. This is a popular screening, and I enjoy doing it. Most recently I visited Repton School in Derbyshire.