Adventures in Presenting – From Wallflower to Evangelist

--Originally published at Learning Opportunities

Flipping my classroom not only changed my class, but it actually changed me. Before flipping I would die if asked to present information to peers or administrators. Now, I am quite outspoken when it comes to innovating classrooms to improve learning. If you stand still long enough I’ll be happy to share.
The first presentation I had to make was with 5 other colleagues who had also flipped their classes in our district to over 150 administrators from around the north Texas region. Even with a minimal portion of the presentation, I was intimidated to the point of panic and perhaps a call to 911. Fun fact, it didn't kill me.
Since that experience I found that I have something to say. Not everyone will want to hear it, but there are some that find it helpful. Now I plan professional development and present to many folks within and outside my district. Summers are full of professional developments on flipped class, 20% project and integrating technology into the classrooms.  So here is a quick list of what I try to incorporate in any presentation.
Story – Tell stories about what you are talking about, why it matters, who it benefits.
Interact – Find out what is important to the people taking the time to listen to you. Respond to their questions and comments. Adjust to their needs. (yep, sounds like a class J )
Time – give time to the attendees to digest the information and make it their own. The best workshops I have given have been long enough to let teachers work with what they have learned.
Yes, the list is short, but so often the time we have to convey information is short. I’m sure there are more things to include but it is always hard to fight the information overload. There is always so much more to tell than time. Choose carefully and give the attendees a taste and something to work with. As an attendee who loves to learn, I appreciate those times when I can do something real with the information presented rather than file it away in the “good idea” file.  

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