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AFMS Program Competition

The purpose of the Program Competition is to encourage the production of earth science programs related to the rockhound hobby by the individual members and member clubs of the various Federations through the conduct of visual arts program competitions.  As a result of the annual competitions, the member Regional Federations are provided with duplicate copies of the award winning programs.  These programs are therefore available for use by the individual clubs and societies through their associated Regional Federation.

Download the AFMS Program Competition Rules (includes Application Form) in Adobe Acrobat by clicking below:

prog_comp_2021.pdf (144k)

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You may have attended � and enjoyed 60 � or 90 minute presentations given by enthusiastic speakers. However, if a narrator reads the same information, the majority of the audience will be restless or asleep within a few minutes, because a narrator can rarely project the same enthusiasm as a �live� presentation. A presentation with audio However, a careful rewrite of a �first person� script can make a very effective presentation that will be well received. Consider 40 minutes for maximum length.


The AFMS Scoresheet can be used as a guide to strengthen your presentation. If possible, ask a novice rockhound or a friend not involved with the production to read the script and show the slides � as if to a group. You can be the �judge�. LISTEN WITHOUT COMMENT, but jot notes, using the judging form to evaluate your program. Listen for words or phrases that are difficult to read, abrupt transitions, etc. Look at the slides critically. Are they clear and easy to understand?

Be aware, even professional writers employ editors to comment upon or help revise their material. Sometimes it takes someone else to �see� or �hear� something you haven�t noticed. Be willing to consider comments made by �judges�.

When all is said and done, it�s better to have viewers wanting to know and see more, than to having them fall asleep from �overload�. Include all the important aspects but don�t dwell on too many details � especially if items / specimens are similar.

Narration should be simple and direct rather than flowery. A speaker can give such a presentation �live�, but a narrator will be uncomfortable with such a script and this carries over to the audience.

Vary the length of sentences and the amount of information given for a series of slides to avoid monotony. If at all possible, avoid repetition of phrases � �Here we have ... �, �In this slide ...� and especially, �This is...� should be avoided at all costs!

Audiences appreciate inclusion of a known object with the specimens so they can see their relative the size. (Include a coin, an inch or 6-inch scale, etc.) A typed label is helpful, if it�s easy to read.

Avoid too much narration for any of the first few images. Catch the audience�s attention quickly! If there is more than � a page of narration for any image, find a way to divide it up. Sometimes you can move some info to a later slide - or find another slide or two to �carry � part of the info.

Narrators and audiences may not be as informed as the author. Phonetic (fun ET ic) spelling of words and explanation of terms not in common use are helpful. Place names are often unfamiliar � Sault Ste. Marie, (SOO saint marie) Michigan; Beatrice, (bee AH triss) Nebraska.

Just as it takes time to develop an effective exhibit, it takes time to develop a good program. The effort is worthwhile because �great� programs have a long life in the Federation Libraries! Well-prepared presentations with �timeless� topics will be appreciated for many years. As technology changes, such programs can be transferred to new formats.

Clubs across the country are waiting to see your program, So take the plunge - enter Competition!

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Download a printable version of this article:

Tips to Develop Slide, Video or DVD Programs (9kb)  

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