Jim has been an invited speaker at conferences, media events and public presentations throughout his career. He has given hundreds of live presentations to audiences ranging from a few dozen to a few thousand.
Jim’s public speaking career began at the same time the archaeology bug bit him – when he was a teenager. After taking every public speaking course he could in High School, a tenure on the debate team, Student Congress, and in extemporaneous public speaking competitions, Jim won the Optimist’s Club’s public speaking award in 1973 for a speech entitled “Listen, World.” The Optimists selected the title – Jim had to write and deliver a speech using that title as the guiding theme. Decades later, Jim cannot remember what he said, only the opening remarks – “Listen, World” with three loud knocks, a dramatic effect recommended by Jim’s father, Bob. It obviously worked. A second prize contest, a historical narration for the Native Sons of the Golden West, secured another prize in 1974.