Sunday, October 4, 2009

Making a More Powerful Presentation

Two years ago when I started teaching at ISB I used Power Point for the first time to help me get through Back to School Night. (It's not my favorite part of teaching.) In all honesty I did not even create the Power Point. It was given to me by a fellow teacher and I modified to to fit my presentation. I used the format for two years and I was happy with it. Now as I look at it again it has many characteristics of an ineffective presentation. I had lots of words and during the presentation I spent most of the time reading what was on the screen. If I printed out the slides it gave all the information that I covered during my speaking. I did do a couple of things right there were pictures of the kids (although most of them were probably too small) and the color scheme seemed to work.

This year (before the current COETAIL course started) I decided to change my presentation and use only titles and pictures for my presentation. The visual definitely showed what my students do instead of telling what they do. I also changed the program that I used. I used Smart Notebook this year rather than Power Point. I am more familiar with Notebook and it was easier to get the look that I wanted. So this years visual presentation was better than that of the previous years but it still wasn't exactly right. Now after watching the videos and reading the assignments for the COETAIL program there are even more improvements that I can make. I would like to highlight more of the processes that my students go through during the day as we follow a Workshop Model. I think that showing parents the Workshop Model by using images of their children would help many parents understand how their child is being educated.

So I guess now that the presentation is cleaner I need to change the message and content to make it more effective. I can't believe that I'm going to say this but I think I'm actually looking forward to designing and delivering my presentation for Back to School Night next year.

1 comment:

  1. What a difference! It is so amazing how much more poweful just a few words and images can be! I love that even though you have a great looking presentation already, you are still working to improve it. The parents in your class are so lucky to have you teach their children!

    I'm always kind of amazed how once you get down to the basics of a presentation (just the pictures and the content) you realize how much more (or less) really needs to be included. I think we get wrapped up in the formatting and following the PowerPoint "framework" and we don't even realize what the message is that we're trying so hard to get across. Just by simplifying your slides you're now able to focus on exactly what's important.

    Well done!