If you’re looking for a charismatic, entertaining, good-looking speaker for your next keynote, I’m probably not your guy. But if you want to draw a crowd at your fishing club, boat show or sportsman show, that I can do.
Over the years I have given seminars on a range of topics related to fishing. The first one I ever gave was at a Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Assoc. seminar and tackle show. I was the managing editor of the New England edition of The Fisherman magazine at the time. It was in the early 2000s. I was nervous as all hell, but I had my carousel of slides and a clicker to get me through it. The topic was kayak fishing. I wouldn’t say I nailed it, but I only saw a few people leave during my talk.
I no longer use slides. I don’t even know where you can get slide film developed any more. Like most speakers I use Keynote these days and plug my computer into a projector. My talks, however, are not so much about the images projected on the screen as they are about the stories I share. My favorite topic to discuss is fishing in remote locations. Over the last 12 or 15 years I have been very fortunate to fish some of the most treasured waters in the world. I went to Cuba before it was cool. I spent nine days offshore of New Zealand hunting giant swordfish. I’ve fished Costa Rica, Mexico, Florida, Alaska, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and most recently I lived out a lifelong dream, trolling for black marlin off of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
On many of these trips I was not so much the angler, but a photojournalist, riding along, interviewing the captain and crew and taking photos. Learning what the crew does, finding out more about the location. Reporting on everything I could find that would not risk my relationship with these men. At the end of the trip I would gather my notes and photos and either publish a gallery on FishTrack or complete a freelance assignment for a fishing or travel publication.
I have more than 25,000 stock images taken from these fishing trips. I would be more than happy to create a presentation about fishing a particular part of the world, complete with information on who to fish with, what to bring and what you need to know.
My father always said you should learn at least one thing when you go fishing with a new person, even if the one thing you learn is that you never want to go fishing with that person again…
Another talk I have been working on explains how you can use fishing techniques to improve your business. It is called ‘Why Those Who Fish Succeed in Business.’ The seminar takes lessons learned in fishing… matching the hatch, the bait and switch, caring for equipment, putting together a solid team, etc. and puts them to use in the business world. I pull upon my experience running websites and magazines and also interview successful business men and women who love to fish about ways their experience on the water influenced their moves in the board room.
Finally, my favorite talk that I give is a simple book reading, reciting excerpts from my recently published work, Sucked Dry: The Struggle is Reel. These informal readings discuss the back stories and people who influenced some of the fictitious tales found in the book. I talk about how I created the main character, Parker McPhee, and how my own relationship with my father (and step father) was shaped by the time we spent on the water.
If you’re interested in hiring me for a seminar or ‘Chuck Talk,’ please send dates and contact information to Charlie Levine at firstname.lastname@example.org.