Delivering a presentation to fellow instructors can feel more stressful than presenting to students. After all, who is in a better position to critique us than our fellow instructors?
Be that as it may, there are a few truisms when it comes to presenting to our peers. Everyone wants to experience something engaging, interesting and worthwhile. If they can be entertained at the same time, so much the better.
Here are few ideas to employ in your next presentation.
Know your audience: Keep in mind that adjuncts teach almost 60 percent of the students enrolled in community colleges across the U.S. While many of their needs and interests correspond to full-time faculty, they also have unique challenges not the least of which is feeling disconnected from other faculty members. You can help this segment of your peers to feel included by learning about and addressing their needs.
Try something new: In other words, don’t employ the same ideas that have been done to death. In her July 28, 2013 article for MarvelousTeacherMusings.com, the writer offered a humorous look at how to save time in planning your in-service presentation.
Her list of “Don’ts” included:
- Don’t hand out binders of papers that won’t be read
- Don’t read your PowerPoint slides word-for-word
- Don’t have participants Think-Pair-Share
Be sure to read the comments from fellow instructors.
If you need a topic, ask: Faculty development presentations often feel like deja-vu so make yours different by asking fellow colleagues what they are interested in seeing. Online tools like Survey Monkey and Google Forms can be used to create a survey that can be sent to multiple recipients during your planning phase.
Break up your presentation: Every 10 minutes or so consider having a soft break where you conduct an informal poll, run a video or invite other speakers to the stage. If you’ll have Internet access during your presentation you can create your polls ahead of time and have the audience use their smart phones to participate during the presentation.
Present useful information: Be sure to give your audience something they can use in the classroom to make their lives easier and their teaching richer. After presenting your information have participants discuss how they can implement it in their classrooms. If you go with small groups give them 15 or 20 minutes to come up with a strategy for implementation.
Get personal: build rapport and credibility by sharing relevant personal experiences with your audience. Relate how this experience helped you and what you wish you had done differently.
Engage your audience: make eye contact, make use of the space you have to move around the stage or the room, ask questions and then use the feedback to move your presentation forward.
Be willing to utilize technology: It’s a good idea to keep up on how to use the latest presentation technology. Waiting until the eleventh hour to choose and use a tool only adds to the stress.
Here are a few suggestions for presentation tools that will add interest to your next presentation.
- Prezi: Take PowerPoint up a few notches with a movable flow to your slides.
- EWC Presenter: create free, interactive presentations with Flash animations.
- Vuvox: create multimedia presentations with feeds, links, music, audio, video and photos from Flicker, SmugMug or Picasa.
- VCASMO: an online presentation editor for multimedia slide shows. It lets you easily place videos with subtitle and PowerPoint side by side.
Overwhelmed much? Be sure to look into Cengage Learning Engagement Services. They will help you find and use the digital solution for your teaching and presentation needs.