My talks were the way that I wanted to go as far as promoting reading in schools as well the ideas written about in my books- our imagination, positive thinking, goal setting, visualisation and affirmation.

Before I had any reviews related to my talks the only way I could convince schools to book me was to phone each school individually,  find out who the relevant person was, be it the Librarian, Life Orientation teacher, Head or Vice-Head. So you can only imagine how long I’d spend on each call or waiting for the relevant person to get back to me. When I finally did speak to ethem I made sure that I got their email address which I added to my data base. How I got their email address was telling them that I had a typed  up  marketing blurb which I’d email through to them related to my books and talks.

Before long I had quite a substantial data base of all the right people to speak to about my talks and instead of calling each one individually, I could now send out group emails- which now included reviews-to everyone at the same time. I know this borders on spamming and one or two people did tell me to take them off my data base, which I did. To date, using my ever increasing data base, I send out reminders about who I am and what my talks are about. Bookings are now made via email without me rarely ever having to pick up the phone.

After sending out one of these marketing blurbs a teacher at a high school asked me If I speak to high school students. Never having it done it before of course I said yes and was booked to speak to a group of Grade 12 learners.

So, from starting out speaking to just 6-9 year olds, I now speak to all age groups throughout their schooling years.

One of the differences between speaking to younger students as opposed to Grade 10-12 learners is that the younger ones are very keen to learn and be entertained. Students nearing the end of their schooling years already have their own ideas and some can tend to look overly bored and even feign sleeping. If the majority of the audience does this then it’s a good indication that the talk needs to be changed. If the response is majorly positive then don’t change a thing.

At one of my talks there were parents present who asked if I had any copies of my books on me to sell. O f course I did but it also gave me an idea. A week or so before my talks  I now send through another blurb to the teacher organising the talk, telling the parents about who I am and the details of my talks, and that signed copies of the books will be available for sale. More often than not the schools forward this blurb onto the parents who have at  times turned up to listen to me speak.

Below are the details and reviews for the high school talks followed by the marketing blurb that goes out to the parents

Grade 8-11’s

Time: 30-45 minutes.


This talk introduces teenagers to the ideas of the importance of taking responsibility for their decisions. I talk about my journey of self-discovery through coming to understand what my values were, which led to a massive decision I had to make which not only led me to becoming a photographer, but also the author of two books. I talk about the importance of finding out who we are-our values- as individuals which will help us make more accurate decisions and a more defined meaning of success. I speak about the importance of having self-belief, trusting one-self and dealing with disappointment. I discuss how the more we become to understand who we, the more in line our goals will be which can lead to living a passionate life. The importance and understanding of goal-setting visualisation and affirmation are also explained. This talk is accompanied by photographs I’ve taken throughout my photographic career.

Grade 12’s

Time: 45-60 minutes.


What does success mean to us?

Unless we can define what success means to each of us it will always be beyond our reach.  Understanding who we are –values– will ultimately lead us to making more informed decisions, set more personal goals, and be more passionate about the lives WE want to lead.

This talk, using my path of self-discovery, is told as a story which led me to becoming not just a commercial/ travel photographer and writer, but also the author of two books. I talk about the importance of finding out who we are as individuals which will help us live more passionately, make more accurate decisions, and a more defined meaning of success to us as individuals.

Time is spent on discussing the one amazing gift that we all have –OUR IMAGINATION- and by trusting and using it and putting goals into place, we can achieve what we set out to. The luxury of CHOICE is spoken about using a comparison to children in South East Asia who can’t read and write; as well as an example of when my publisher went out of business at the 11th hour leaving me devastated but  also able to choose on how to take the next step.

I explain what goals, affirmations and visualisations are and how these tools can help us to achieve our dreams. This talk is accompanied by photographs I’ve taken throughout my photographic career.

Review :

Saheti High

The high school was treated to a most inspiring talk by photographer and author of “The Magic that’s Ours” and “The Power that’s Ours” Gary Hirson last week. Mr. Hirson has previously been well received by the lower grades when he spoke to various groups about the importance of imagination and reading. In his most recent talk he emphasized to our high school children the importance of following your dreams; dreaming BIG; making

responsible decisions; setting goals and dealing with disappointment. His talk was accompanied by fabulous photographs he has taken on his numerous trips overseas.

Michelle Wooton– Psychology Department

Herschel Girls

Thank you very much for sharing your journey with us in such an interactive and illustrative manner. Your points about the importance of getting to know yourself and your values were so relevant, and tied in beautifully with what our girls are taught as part of their Life Orientation curriculum. Your beautiful photographs were an added pleasure and the girls were certainly left with the all important message that even their wildest dreams can become their reality. Thank you for inspiring us all to dream big!

 Monique Nyback– LOF Teacher –Herschel Girls

Parklands College

Gary’s presentation was inspirational and informative. His casual yet sincere style immediately engaged our GET learners and he captivated and challenged them with his relevant message, anecdotes of his journey and beautiful photographs. We will certainly be inviting him back to address the rest of our learners!

Kim SchlomsMadlener– School Counsellor- Parklands College



Marketing Blurb to parents



Motivational Talks to Pupils

Gary Hirson is the author of two children’s books –The Magic that’s Ours and The Power that’s Ours. He is also a professional photographer and a public speaker speaking at schools about the importance of reading, using our imaginations and the benefits of setting goals. Using images as a visual aid from a recent trip to South East Asia enables Gary’s talks to be interactive and fun.  For detailed information about the talks and a list of schools that Gary has spoken at, please see


Diana Stanford, Librarian, Elkanah House, Cape Town

“Wow, Gary, everyone is raving about your talk!! Thank you sincerely for the wonderful inspirational talk you gave the pupils. The feedback we got from them was very positive. On behalf of Tracy, our headmistress, staff and pupils who have all asked me to convey their thanks and appreciation for your time and sound effort to get the pupils to read, which was a great success!  You successfully got them gripped!!

I think you should market books and get paid for it. At break today, the library was filled to capacity!! The staffroom was abuzz after your presentation. THANK YOU sincerely.”


The Magic that’s Ours – is an interactive book introducing children aged 6-9 to the wonders of their imaginations. Through the 9 “Fun Time” activities, throughout the vividly illustrated book, the readers get to use their imaginations related to the story. Cost- R100-00

Reviewed By: 

Michelle Crawford, Clinical Psychologist

The Magic that’s Ours has been especially crafted to allow the child to escape the cage of conditioning created by overdoses of television, computers and the plethora of games spawned by technology. It gives children access to the vast pool of the unconscious in general and their imagination in particular.

“The Fun Time activities suggested in the book prompts the child to explore and journey into the reflective space within themselves. It also sows the seeds for children to tap into their imagination and explore visualization as a means of creating their reality and experiences through thought.

The Power that’s Ours – is the follow on to The Magic that’s Ours. Using the same characters as the first book, The Power that’s Ours introduces children aged 11 upwards to the concepts of goal setting, visualisation and affirmation. These concepts are written about and are introduced to the readers through a story while emphasising the need for fun while the reader goes through the process. The readers get to learn about, set, affirm and visualise- with the aid of a “vision board”- goals. Cost- R80-00

Reviewed By: 

11 year old Amy Falconer- Greenfields Girls Primary.

The Power that’s Ours is entertaining and fun, and a great joy to read. I liked the activities and enjoyed the story thoroughly. My imagination was alive. I would like to read this to my younger sister. I suggest to everybody: “read this book!

Reviewed By: 

Jordan Ian Ross- Elkanah House

You came to my school today and taught us about our imagination and goal setting. A few days earlier I read The power that’s ours and thought this book has so much knowledge a book that teaches children, even underprivileged children how to use your imagination. Goal setting is what I love and you have showed me how to use it. All the things you teach are even helpful to even adults and I have made you my favourite author and
I don’t expect this to be the end. I expect many more books about Jina and Joel and Magic. So all that you have put into those books, IMAGINATION and GOAL SETTING is what gave me the long to talk to you.
Love Jordan R.

As the talks are directly related to his books, signed copies of both these books are available for purchase either on the day of the talk or from the school. Copies are also available at most book-stores, or through his website;

The Magic that’s Ours-  R100,00

The Power that’s Ours- R80,00      

Gary will be speaking at(school)….on (date)…..

Please contact (teachers name)….. for any details including book orders.

Share this: