Presentations New and Old

I remember going to my high school when I was younger and watching my high school teacher lecture. I would almost fall asleep every time. No matter what I tried to do I could barely comprehend and soak up the material that the teacher was lecturing on. I ended up having to go home and waste hours reading the textbook rather than learning at school. I felt like I was learning at home rather than at school.

I would never want my students to feel this way.  I want to engage them in my lectures, not bore them to tears. After reading the article Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds, my mind was blown wide open by what he was implying was a good presentation.

I was taught that a good presentation had the 1-7-7 rule. One main idea, seven lines of text and 7 words per line. It is crazy that Garr said to throw that rule to the wind. I was also taught that pictures had to be small and should not draw attention from the text. Gar says in this article that pictures should not be used all the time because people learn from pictures more than they learn from text. I didn’t know this.

The items that he listed that I did not know about was that you could change items to 3-D from 2-D. I didn’t know how to do tat so I always used 2-D. Garr say that I should be using 2-D so I guess I am on the right track. Another thing was that there is six aptitudes that should come to mind when designing a presentation. These aptitudes are Design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning. By thinking of all these items when designing a presentation, the  teacher will be able to engage anyone in the lecture.

When I have my own classroom I will be sure to incorporate all these concepts in my presentation so that no child gets bored during my class or doesn’t retain as much as I can guide them to retain. For example, if I am presenting animals to my elementary classroom I Want to use photos to help them memorize animals, and so my slides will be filled with pictures of animals rather than words and words of what I will be saying anyway. By incorporating this into my presentation, my students will soak up so much more data in their minds than if I would have just wrote it down. I want students to learn and engage in conversation during my presentation, instead of trying to jot down all the words and bullet points that I have on the screen.

This is important for all teachers to understand because we need to stop the boring and unengaging presentations that educators have been giving for so many years. We need to engage our students again. Have them soak up more information from us rather than not soaking very much than having to go home and learn themselves like I had to. I want my students to have more free time to go out into the world and learn rather than relearning what they should have learned in class. Elementary kids are so fragile and unique, they are the best sponges a teacher could ask for. I need to take advantage of it and have them soak up as much as they can through my presentations.

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One thought on “Presentations New and Old

  1. I think you’ve put your finger on the main idea that Reynolds is trying to convey- use the presentation software as a way to connect emotionally with your audience, rather than a platform for dumping information. As you note, elementary kids are “fragile and unique.” How will you inform your very special “sponges?”

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