Saturday, June 16, 2012

Some ISTE Advice to All

Opening Keynote Slides
2010 ISTE Keynote Slide

As ISTE 2012 lurks right around the corner, I am reminded of some of the things that makes a great presentation. In 2010, the keynote may have had very important and relevant ideas to share, but very few gave him a chance (myself included) because among other things, his slidedeck was terrible. Admittedly, many of us behaved badly by publicly criticizing him before he was even done. (As an attendee who uses social media, I need to constantly remind myself to refrain from displaying my usual snarky self.) Nonetheless, the ISTE audience is not much different from other audiences who want to be engaged, to learn and to be inspired..

If you are a presenter, please be sure to use a variety of media in your presentation. Incorporate a back channel or shared document, use video (edit it to be under 60 seconds - trust me on this one), and leave time for questions. Know your material and be sure there is at least one big takeaway related to your session description. Also, look at your slide deck and think about revamping the slides. Keep in mind that further information, resources and materials can be included on a website that you clearly post on your slides (in a shortened URL). Your slides don't have to be a duplicate of what you are saying. Bullets are OK but save them for when you are summarizing. The best presentations I've attended are where the presenter uses images with quotes to supplement their points. They also allow for some conversation and the presenter knows his/her audience. Don't feel compelled to give out your slide deck. I stopped doing this awhile ago and I know many others who also don't do this anymore. This is a personal decision that sometimes results in your work being plagiarized. If you include all of the resources you talk about on a website, then I can't imagine why anyone would want your slides, too. Be sure to CITE YOUR SOURCES for everything that you did not create.

Try to create your own media. Make a few of these inspirational "posters" and you'll find yourself starting to really think about your position on topics. Do you think it's too much work or too difficult to create these images? Maybe you don't know how to use a tool that allows you to mark up photos and documents like Skitch (my all time favorite). Consider using those that others have posted for you to use. Check out some Flickr groups.

Teachers as Leaders
Posted to group Flickr pool by user Willrich
Every now and then I'm reminded of this Flickr group which was organized in 2008 by my friend, Dean Shareski. Dean is a level-headed, really smart guy who really makes you think. Dean not only created this space for people to share their ideas, but he's inspired many people to create and think. There are over 950 member and over 1700 items such as the one above. The group is public and free to join and the posted images are free to use.

Even if you are a seasoned conference attendee or social network guru, consider attending some sessions where you will not only learn and be inspired but you will also pick up some dynamic speaking strategies. Go see Dean's session at ISTE and try to also make time for Rushton Hurley and Hall Davidson. There are many others so you really need to make time going through the conference planner BEFORE the conference.

If you can't attend in person, be sure to participate remotely. ISTE has this figured out and is providing ways for you to attend virtually here. Be sure to also follow the ISTE Twitter hashtags #iste2012, #iste12, #iste, and #edchat.

I am not offering advice because I am such a dynamic speaker (I assure you I am not), but I have attended many, many sessions and walked away frustrated. The best presentations I've attended include audience participation, but not too much. We are there to hear YOU. If Adora Svitak, at age 14, can give a compelling presentation, so can you. If I want to have a lengthy group discussion, I'll go to the Bloggers' CAFE or other networking lounge. (Speaking of the Bloggers' CAFE, I encourage you to visit and you just may find it to be the best part of your ISTE experience.) Having said that, just don't expect much, as you won't find "Dog and Pony Acts," you'll simply find people having conversations. Jump in! If the folks there wanted to exclude others, they would be in a private area having that conversation.

One last item - try to attend some of the evening festivities where social networking and real life come together for a great time.

See you there!


Chris Betcher said...

Hey Lee, thanks for the timely reminder. Some good advice for presenters.... I'm not presenting my own workshop this year, although I am fortunate enough to be sharing a panel discussion with several people, including Hall Davidson. Looking forward to that!

I hope we get to catch up in person this year at ISTE. After so many games of Draw Something, it would be nice to say hi in person!

See you there...


Dennis Grice said...

Great thoughts Lee (as always). Lack of pre-conference registrations for the Phantastic Photo workshop I was doing with Ken Shelton & Burt Lo has freed me from the burden of presenting this year, so I look forward to being inspired by some of the presenters you mentioned. Chris, I plan to be in the audience for your panel discussion too!
The bloggers cafe is a great place for learning and sharing, and a wonderful opportunity to match real faces with virtual friends. I've always found the crowd friendly and receptive. Look for me there, and also look for me flapping my wings and sharing a few things in the Social Butterfly lounge.
I would also encourage first time attendees to check out the poster sessions - especially the ones where students are showing off their own work. This is where you find your "proof of concept". Talking with a student who is passionate about sharing what they've learned can be more inspiring than a world renowned keynote speaker.

Charlene Chausis said...

Thanks for the reminders and links, Lee.

Wow DENnis. I can't imagine a workshop featuring you, Ken Shelton AND Burt Lo NOT being "sold out" ...
Enjoy ISTE. I'll be a virtual attendee this year!


Tammy Lind said...

Thanks so much for the attending ISTE for the first time in addition to running a workshop and doing a poster session. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with trying to plan for those and to plan for what I would like to attend at the conference. I really appreciate your thoughts!

Lisa Parisi said...

You made some good points, Lee. Can also offer two? For Newbies, like Tammy, the Newbie Lounge will be near the Blogger's Cafe this year. Thanks to Beth Still, it's a great place to get your feet wet. Also, we should remember that we are an audience and, if we are not happy with a presentation, the best thing to do is just leave. Don't be snarky. Especially to me. LOL