The Dead Do Speak Event Speaker

Find out what has inspired Gothic horror photographer, Amanda Norman to become an event speaker.

I’m currently studying for an ‘Award in Education and Training‘ and as part of my assessment, I had to create and deliver a 20 minute presentation on any subject.  I chose to base it on my passion for graveyard and cemetery photography and explain why I’m a taphophile.  As soon as I mentioned to the group what my chosen subject would be, they were instantly intrigued.  I had to deliver!

Event Speaker Amanda Norman

The Dead Do Speak Amanda Norman

The Dead Do Speak

I had to deliver my presentation to my fellow students who came from all walks of life.  Not one of them had an interest in graveyards and cemeteries and they had never heard of the word ‘taphophile’. Therefore, I had an enormous challenge from the start to ensure that I introduced this correctly and explain what got me into photography and my inspirations for finding graveyards and cemeteries interesting.

The Dead Do Speak Amanda Norman

The agenda for the teach was straight forward.  I provided a definition of Gothic horror and how great authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker based their tales on actual facts that inspired them, such as the 18th century mass hysteria that vampires existed and how mort-safes and watch towers were used to prevent grave robbers from stealing fresh corpses for the anatomy schools.  The learners were hooked and throughout my presentation, I was treating them to my photography that was specially created for it.

I provided them with a look at cemetery fashion, with the sub heading of The Dead Do Speak and how this had changed throughout the centuries.  I paid particular attention to the use of Memento Mori symbols and how these were used as a reminder that death could be knocking at your door tomorrow. This was a message from the dead to the living to live life for today.  Other symbols were used to depict the status of the deceased and I also provided them with a look at the more common graveyard symbols, for example, the broken column, which means the deceased’s life was cut short.

Anyone studying to become a teacher will know that you have to perform an assessment during your presentation to ensure that the students are taking in the information.  My assessment finished with the ‘Dead Do Speak Quiz’ and I built up the students confidence to have a guess at the profession of the deceased pictured in the image below.  One student guessed correctly, but more importantly, they all could explain what other symbols they could see and their meanings.

The Dead Do Speak Amanda Norman

Dead Do Speak Event Speaker?

I loved every minute of my teaching session and I got so many questions from the learners that I did go slightly over 20 minutes.  I still passed my assessment due to the questions being asked and the enthusiasm of the group.  They didn’t want my teach to end, which is the biggest compliment I can take from the session.  This has inspired me to want to deliver it again and I’m willing become an event speaker at various themed events.  Yes, of course I’ll be nervous, but it’s my passion and I want to share it.  Therefore, if you would like me to attend your event, then please get in touch to discuss.


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