In the first blog post for Course 3 I briefly spoke about working with middle school students who were creating TedTalks and the opportunity I had to teach them about the CARP acronym. For this week’s task, I decided to take that presentation and utilize the resources provided to create version 2.0. But before I dug into the reading, I decided to ask some middle schoolers from last year who had been through my session what they thought of the presentation, or any improvements that should be made. The most frequent things that I heard, in terms of constructive feedback, were to include more visuals and fewer words. Remember, these were students who had now built their own TedTalks, watched a number of them, presented to parents, and watched their peers present to parents. So needless to say, I was taking their advice to heart!
Both blog posts from Presentation Zen also impacted my thinking. The first article, 10 Tips for Improving Presentations, really got me thinking about good storytelling when making a presentation. The suggestions to demonstrate some type of conflict in your story and to make your audience feel are important factors. As I thought about teaching students to create powerful TedTalks, these are elements that can make a big difference as they try to pull in their audience. The second resource, What is Good Presentation Design, also provided me with a new perspective. The section on visual makeovers and the before and after pictures, gave me some great ideas for my own presentation to the students.
From attending past conferences, especially Learning 2, conferences, I had some ideas as to better my presentation. At Learning 2 there is a structure where each day starts off with Mini TedTalks. The presenters have 5 minutes to share a message and the visuals that accompany these talks are powerful and poignant. I highly recommend watching some of them here, and paying attention to their visuals while listening to great storytellers.
You can see some of the before and after shots here:
Here are the full links to my presentations:
My biggest takeaway from this presentation is that visuals have a big impact. I have always made a point to have eye catching visuals that relate to the message or theme of the presentation, but I would just throw them on a slide, without really thinking through the impact I was hoping to achieve. This week’s learning has really caused me to think about the size of the image, the placement, the color, and the adjustments that I make to that image (transparency, shadow, etc). These design elements can have a huge impact on what you are saying, and how that information is taken in by the audience, and what they remember once they leave your presentation. This week has been a huge area of growth for me, and I am excited to see what changes others made.