+ How do I book Matt’s presentations?
Your school or institution should fill out the contact form. Please provide your personal name, institution, and the best phone number and time to call you. Please provide the dates that you might want presentations, and which languages you might want me to speak. Because of my travel schedule and lifestyle, I will likely not contact you immediately; if I haven’t responded to you after 10 days, please contact me again.
+ Would Matt come to present to our remote location?
Matt is most likely to present in areas where one of his languages is spoken, and will make an extra effort to reach locations with endangered or recovering languages (like Warlpiri, Navajo, Hawai’ian and Irish). He can more easily present in areas where he has multiple presentation engagements, so it’s a good idea to speak to other schools in your area; if they also book presentations, that can help assure a visit.
+ Can Matt present any topic in any of his eleven languages?
Matt tries to give each presentation with the most correct accuracy, pronunciation and grammar in a given language. So, although he can prepare all Additional Topics mentioned in English, he may only be able to perform a small variety of these in other languages. Please consider booking “General Physics Principles” first in your language of choice, for the best presentation Matt can provide for you.
+ Is Matt fluent in eleven different languages?
No! Matt learns to speak the “news announcer” pronunciation of general conversational world languages first. He works with native speakers of the preferred dialect to prepare the translations and practices with the audio recordings and written scripts to fine-tune presentations. So, although Matt’s pronunciation and vocabulary used in his hour-long presentations will approach native pronunciation, his fluency understanding and speaking varies by language. His Spanish is semi-fluent, his Warlpiri may be limited.
+ Since Matt previously sold toys and boomerangs, can I ask him where to locate these things?
No, unfortunately Matt does not have the time to provide that information on an individual basis. There are several companies you may contact by researching online. One company that did have a good overlap with the type of merchandise carried when Matt had a retail store was Educational Innovations, www.teachersource.com .
+ How did Matt learn to speak other languages?
Matt continued his school Spanish beyond the mandatory two years, and practiced in his native state of Texas. As he travelled, he developed methods for learning many other languages. Matt can give your institution a presentation on “How to learn multiple languages using unconventional methods,” listed under Additional Topics, if you would like to know all his techniques. And remember, outside of the United States, it is quite normal to know three or four languages!
+ How well can Matt speak (at least in English) on the Additional Topics he lists – for example, about boomerangs?
Matt’s knowledge in many areas is at the level of a licensed or certified professional in that field, who may or may not still be practicing. For example, his expertise on the topic of boomerangs: he has a patent on a type of boomerang, has hand-crafted 6,000 boomerangs, has competed in four US National tournaments, and has given dozens of paid presentations on the topic.
+ Can you tell me more about Matt’s experience in these topics: Australia, holography, ballooning, laser light shows, and fireworks displays?
Australia: dual US and Australian citizen, lived three years in Australia
Holography: previous director of installation at the NYC Museum of Holography
Ballooning: Commercial pilot with international flight experience
Laser Light Shows: A.S. in Laser Electro-Optics, previously held NY High-Power Class B license
Fireworks Displays: Previously held Texas Class B license, and international experience
+ Can you tell me more about Matt’s experience in these topics: parade balloons, scuba diving, juggling, unicycling, using foreign languages to get a job, and western Ireland?
Parade Balloons: Twenty years as a pilot at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Scuba diving: Advanced certification; diving in three countries; previous professional research lab diver
Juggling, unicycling: Paid professional performer, and paid professional juggling instructor
Using foreign languages to get jobs: Has worked in three countries and three US states.
Western Ireland: Four trips for 5+ months presenting in Irish language in Gaeltacht areas