Sunday, October 18, 2009
Am I a Presentation Snob?
The topic of presentations is on my mind lately because I've sat through a series of them recently.
I've given a few presentations over the years. I'd say I've improved a lot, but I'm definitely not great at it and I've got a long way to go before I'm where I want to be "when I grow up." We all have our insecurities and one of mine is my reaching for vocabulary when I'm trying to say something. I've got it in my head, but my mind is already farther along then my mouth. The word I'm searching for as since jogged along a different path and my brain is not looking back.
The other insecurity is that I always want to engage the participants and I know one of the ways to do that is with good visuals on the slides.
I wish I could create presentations as simple and as powerful as this one. A Teacher's Guide to Web 2.0 at School by Sacha Chua.
The whole stick-figure thing just appeals to me which is probably why I love the CommonCraft videos so much.
My presentations are definitely image-driven. If there are words, there are really just a few. The words come from me, the presenter in the room; which is why I usually don't mind sharing my presentations online. (You can't steal my presentation by stealing my slideshow.) It's just that it takes so long to find just the right image and then to tweak it and all. If I could be as creative as Sacha or the folks at CommonCraft, life in PresentationVille would be so much better. I guess.
This all comes to mind because over the last few weeks, our faculty has sat through a series of workshops. Each one has merit and I don't blame the presenters because as the "One Size Fits All" mandate filters through our district, it has not only hit the classrooms, but has also hit the departments that are presenting workshops. They are handed the slideshows from which to present.
These slideshows have so many words on the slides, that nobody, not even the presenters can read them. Unfortunately, the presenters seem to need to read them as well, because when you don't create them yourself, you don't own them and are therefore uncomfortable with either the content or sequence. It's sort of like following someone else's lesson plans.
And yet, I wonder if the folks who are presenting to us, here in my district, are struggling with these issues at all!
Does this make me a Presentation Snob?