The Art of Presentation; an #elearns reflection

At the eLearning Strategies Symposium this weekend aside from many amazing moments of learning and connecting, I was really watching presentation styles.  In a few weeks I’ll be presenting at a local conference. I’m very excited and I feel well prepared content-wise but I know my delivery needs work.

So what did I learn?
Note: not a comprehensive list but focused on my own, self-selected areas of need

Know the time/timing.
With a personal introduction, a bit of background and goals of the session, you could eat up many valuable minutes. Too many if you don’t keep that part peppy.  Folks aren’t there to develop a relationship with me (a potential bonus which can be awesome) but to gather some new information, skill or method to improve their craft. Sharing your life story is to be avoided.

Fast forward or slow-mo
Be in the middle range.  It’s a no-brainer until you sit through a speed-talker session with your head spinning and not a lot of knowledge sinking in.  And with the slow-mo presentation, I start checking email or google searching the topic on my own.  So how to stay in that middle range?  I think it’s about practice and noticing your normal communication pace. Pay attention. Notice the scrunched foreheads and looks of exasperation.

Bird Walks
Keep it under control. Don’t take every meandering path set before you. Read the audience.

Stories=context
Information can lack context. When I’m totally engrossed by a speaker, it’s ALWAYS due to stories that support and contextualize the tool, concept or information being presented. Not a story going nowhere. Stories that remind me about the kids I’m responsible to or the community and staff I lead or the colleagues I work with.

Visuals
Simple, thoughtful, on topic.
Do not read your slides! You’d think this wouldn’t be an issue at professional educator conferences. Ugh.
Visuals can bring focus and humor. They underline talking points and glue them together.

Aside from amazing sessions and people at #elearns conference, I am ready to tweak and refine my upcoming presentation and rock it!

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