I speak at schools (grades 4 to 12), conferences, communities and for corporate events. If you’d like to discuss the possibility of having me as a speaker or panelist, contact me.
I’m a member of the Alberta Young Adult Book Society, and have been vetted as a speaker for them.
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In 2006, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone when it came to public speaking. I was used to talking to dozens of people, I was able to describe a proposal or take an idea on the spot and show how it could manifest in a technical way. Finding an opportunity to be a co-key speaker for a Microsoft speaking tour across Canada, I took it. I spoke to crowds of up to about 1200 people, for three hours on various technology and meta-technological related subjects. From there, I continued to regularly be a speaker for conferences or at Microsoft Architect special events in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.
Since 2014, I have presented multiple workshops, talks and participated in panels at Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo, Saskatoon Comic and Entertainment Expo, Norther BC FanCon, When Worlds Collide, as well as at schools (grades 5-12) and associations (like the Alberta Romance Writers Association).
I’m always happy to participate in panels, ranging from elements of writing through to elements of the business of being an indie author.
I have talks (between 45 minutes and 2 hours in length) as well as a growing set of seminars (4 hours plus).
Talks & Workshops
School Talks (In person & via Skype)
When I speak with students, my aim is to help them unlock their ideas and find ways to express themselves. For those that feel all locked up inside, this gives them tools and ideas for finding their voice. For students who are prolific writers, it helps them understand what are some of the things I take into account as a professional author.
As a dyslexic author, and as a former software architect, I have a number of viewpoints and approaches to share with them that are as valid for writing a science report, as writing a story, or writing a proposal for a $100 Million project.
These talks always aim to be fun, funny, and informative, and to leave the kids inspired. I’ve had a lot of success giving these talks in person as well as via Skype.
Unlock Your Writing Soul
This talk is the heart of what’s mentioned above, and focuses on helping kids find ways for getting their ideas to the page. Being a dyslexic author, I’m highly visual, and I share a number of approaches for moving my stories out of my head that are non-linear and often help students see that an approach they were using is not only valid, but used by authors. This boosts their confidence.
In the longer versions of this talk, I discuss how to have fully fleshed out characters and world building. This talk is available in a 45 minute and double-length 90 minute version.
This talk focuses on the subtle and substantive ways for creating an immersive world for readers, as well as how to avoid the classic pitfalls. This talk is available in a 45 minute version only.
Creating a Twisted Fairy Tale (in-person only)
In my works, I always have elements of fairy tale in them. Working collaboratively with the students, I show how we can do create an all-new tale together in an hour. Often we create the first one together, then they split into groups to create another one themselves (depending on the amount of time available). Available in a 45 minute and a double-length 90 minute version.
I reveal what I went through with my medical issues, how I was finding myself more and more work-centric instead of family-centric, and then had my world turned upside down. As I finally came out of the 15 month long battle, my marriage in tact, I was hit with severe asthma and an inflammatory disease that also affects my breathing five months later. I rebuilt myself up once again, clawing my way back to a sense of normalcy. To have then go on to move across the country, take over a $5+million project that was inflame and turn it around, while launching an successful authoring career and engaging with my wife and three kids, it told me that I was stronger than ever. I never saw myself as “one of those people who can do that type of thing,” but many now claim that I am one. I point out to them, that they are too.
The aim of the talk is to have the audience see that they are stronger than they likely believe, and that they should look at problems and challenges in new and different ways.
The Author’s Final Frontier
After the book is written, then the real work begins. This presentation covers what is brand, addressing social media, and breaks down everything from the mindset needed to table setup in order to have a successful book signing.
In my recent works, I’ve created a Steampunk-Fairy tale world, a post-apocalyptic fantasy world and a gripping version of the future where parts of society have broken down. I share how to bring ‘place’ to life. Worlds are more than politics and geography, they’re language and societal roles, culture and food, etc.
Unlock Your Story (aka Pulling it all together)
This is a presentation, usually for adults, where I talk about how to harness that story within you and bring into being, and help people understand the steps they can take to doing exactly what I’ve done, and create a book themselves. This deals with the fears and challenges that almost every adult faces in wanting to get their story out. The aim is to motivate the audience, to help those that are on the cusp of writing to feel enabled to do so.
Writing Characters Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Great characters come from stretching ourselves. This presentation focuses on how to think about characters differently, what biases we naturally have, and ultimately how to discover the great character ideas that are locked inside all of us.
This talk is the evolution of “Things to think about when writing strong women.”
Indie Author Lessons Learned
I share all the lessons learned, the good, bad and ugly, from when I started. In particular, I usually focus on the lessons from year 1. This covers topics from writing process to social media to understanding brand. The aim is to inform the audience of everything that’s really involved, and allow them to determine whether or not being an indie author is for them. It also is about empowering them, making them see that they aren’t any insurmountable challenges blocking getting one’s work out there for people to have access to.
Unlock through the Final Frontier
4 Hour seminar in three parts, starting with how to get your ideas out and stimulate the imagination. The second part focuses on pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone and how to identify where we are being complacent. The last part covers branding, social media, sales and being effective at a book signing.
School Author Talk by Skype
‘That was amazing’ This was the first thing I heard from multiple teachers and students when Adam Dreece’s talk on being an Author ended. The excitement was palpable and the ideas seemed to immediately resonate with the 75 students crammed into our Learning Commons. The message Adam gave about his road to becoming an author helped many students see the author inside of themselves. A few weeks later when one of the classes had their publishing party, they remembered the talk and were making connections all over the place. I would highly recommend Adam to any Librarian, Teacher, Teacher-Librarian or Learning Commons teacher in a heartbeat.
Joseph Jeffrey, teacher, British Columbia, Canada, 2015
School Author Talk in person
“We had the pleasure of welcoming Adam Dreece into our 5 Grade 5/6 classrooms this past week. He provided the students with an engaging approach to writing, using his own personal journeys to convey inspiration and creativity. As a successful author, he targeted a variety of approaches to writing and provided the students with a unique perspective when overcoming challenges such as writers’ block, idea organization and writing beyond one’s comfort level. The students came away with shifted attitudes toward writing, sharing that they felt more excitement and enthusiasm to write and creatively express themselves. On behalf of all the Science Program Grade 5/6 students and teachers, we’d like to sincerely thank Adam for taking the time to share his wonderful insights and knowledge with us.”
Kenny Apperley, teacher, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2016
4 Hour Seminar to the Alberta Romance Writers Association (AWRA)
“I have NEVER been so engaged in a workshop before…”
Tammy Lyn Carbol, attendee, 2016
School Talk in person
“Personally the best author talk I’ve attended for students or adults. As a teacher, I was so exicted to get into my room after the talk to do a writer’s workshop because the talk was so concrete, well laid out, ready to roll and the students were primed to write. Are you a plotter or panters? Brilliant! How he spoke off the cuff about his personal struggles resonated with my students. Amazing!”
Serenity Johnson, Upper Intermediate Teacher, Prince George, BC, 2017
4 Hour Seminar to the Calgary Romance Writers Association (CaRWA)
“The Calgary Association of Romance Writers of America wishes to thank Adam Dreece for sharing The Authors Frontier at our Fall 2016 workshop. A master of speech, his inspirational language shared in a compelling manner, engaged the minds of our attendees. I appreciated his honesty, relevant experiences, and enthusiasm for the Indie field. I would recommend Adam Dreece to writing groups that want a dynamic speaker. I would attend such a speaking engagement to listen to this author’s message again.”
School Talk in person
“Mr. Dreece visited our school to speak to over 400 students in grade 5 and 6. It was an enriching and powerful presentation, which left both staff and students inspired to write! Several students purchased books afterwards and Mr. Dreece coordinated a great deal whereby our school received a percentage of the sales to enhance our ELA department. He also provided his powerpoint presentation to teachers, so they could follow up on key concepts. Thank you so much for visiting Fairview! It was a pleasure!”
Sabrina Lee, teacher, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2016