Speaking Of…

When people found out that I moved to El Paso, I was immediately asked to speak at some different events. I fielded each, to see if it was something justifying time away from my agenda! (* caveats at the end :-)

So, I’m honored to speak at the following venues this coming year – 

March 1, 2014 – XERISCAPE – A NEW CLASSIC 
Lea County Master Gardeners Water Wise Conference, Hobbs NM

Western Heritage Museum / Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame, Hobbs NM (9/2006 photo…landscape designed while at Dekker-Perich-Sabatini in 2004)


April 19, 2014 – ECOREGION – WHY IT MATTERS [to gardens]
Native Plant Society of New Mexico, Las Cruces Chapter, Las Cruces NM

Picacho Mountain entry streetscape, Dona Ana County NM (9/2009 photo)

There may be one more presentation for my 2014, being asked to speak at a state conference this coming August, but there’s been no follow-up.

I just declined those two; neither were going to comp me some gas, a meal or a conference ticket. Wow…a shame, for so much I do, spend time on, or my expertise, energy, and  generosity.

* Now, it’s caveat time!

Speaking after crafting a thoughtful program and imagery will take a solo practitioner’s time away from generating income to pay bills and live. That’s regardless of honorariums and paid expenses, since those rarely cover even a percentage of pre-showtime work and research. And yes, I’ve run the numbers, plus some intangibles.

Speaking is a time sink, unless one rehashes the same talking points, never customizing their boilerplate talk. [weak] But done well, speaking provides credibility to one’s expertise, though few marketable projects, so far.  It also opens one up to more speaking offers… A few others in my field and in certain markets are an exception, in my 18 years of experience.

Attend some conferences or presentations in my field, and you’ll soon learn each speaker type. I’ve lost count of all my speaking engagements over the years, but for most of them, click – here.

(I plan on offering downloads to many in the future)


5 Replies to “Speaking Of…”

  1. Wish I were close enough to take in your presentations. You are right to prepare freshly: nothing is worse than hearing a speaker who is TOO polished and has lost that vital spark of enthusiasm and passion.
    Happy New Year David!

    Good points; even a universal idea needs personalizing for different people/places! (thanks, may post in PDF soon) Happy New Year too, Jane/MM :-)


  2. Sounds like you’ll be busy, for a while. Who knows…maybe it’ll pay off with a job or two.
    Hope the year brings many good things your way.
    Happy New Year!

    2014 does look busy and hopeful, so thanks for the good wishes! Happy 2014 to you, too. Sorry about the UT bowl loss, not sure about OU vs. Alabama later…a tough 2013 for Big 12 football…


  3. Funny you should post this as my first fuzzy thoughts in bed this morning were: man, I REALLY need to freshen up my tree care presentation/class! I’ve got two this month and I don’t want to be weak :-)

    I agree it’s a time suck and I also may be talking myself out of some biz by giving homeowners the tools they need to be self-reliant, but I also look it as an opportunity to refine and update my thinking from year to year. It also forces me to develop clear language to convey nuance (something, btw, I think you do very well with your blog).

    I agree, as to me trees are the #1 landscape feature, even in the desert…care and selection. Turning the DIY who don’t become paying customers is more effect than paying customers, and who knows? Clarity…thanks, I hope to get back to my HS / college ability to distill much in few words:-)


  4. It’s always a balance with time away. Agree these things rarely generate new business but adds to your cred as if you need that. Still I would enjoy seeing the Xeriscape as New Classic program.

    On the importance of Ecoregion I’m getting there though this year we seem to have been transported north and east significantly.

    You’ll laugh, a person I e-mail who teaches at UTSA but lives mostly in Harlingen calls SA “too temperate, too deciduous” for his tastes. Prairie…between very dry and forest. The program is going to be fun, and I will make a PDF of it…I want that locale to be what it can be, not an Abq, El Paso or Tucson knock-off!


  5. During a drought with total water ban a few years ago my garden was on a tour for the High Museum. Terrible planning date !

    A woman asked me what I was going to do with my garden without watering.

    I told her to look around, ‘isn’t it pretty?”. Yes, she said. Zero watering, I replied.

    Historic garden design & right plant/right spot. Duh.

    Come lecture near me !!

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

    I got the same reaction when I took landscape photos in Aug-Sept *2011* in central and south TX…the worst of their drought, hotter than Tucson, 8-10″ rain all year. I said, “this looks great compared to my area of Abq…3″ of rain so far, also 98F w/ no humidity…this is supposed to be our monsoon season.” Historic gardens…we need to make the old classics new again. Seen http://www.southernbulbs.com/ …a young hort person saw the need for getting out tough heirloom bulb plants to the masses.

    It’s a deal…I must visit ATL and hike with you!


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