Thursday, March 24, 2011

Computers in Libraries, Day 5: Postconference

I signed up for postconference workshop "Engaging, Interesting, & Practical Presentations to Capture Your Audience". Anna Creech, Amy Buckland, Cindi Trainor, and Maurice Coleman (via Wimba) were the presenters. The workshop goals were to discuss and demonstrate "a wide variety of very practical tips and tricks you can use to more effectively connect with audiences and help them engage with you and the information you present. It covers everything from how to increase the efficacy of your slides, images, multimedia and design down to concerns people have about how they look and sound when speaking to a group."

Cindi presented first. She talked about the importance of preparation and brainstorming when putting together a presentation. One of the reminders that got a little laughter was not building a presentation around "how many slides" or "how many bullet points" are needed.

As expected, Cindi highlighted the need for knowing your audience and deciding what your participants should take away from your presentation. It was nice to be told directly the purpose of slides for a presentation: to amplify your point and add value to what you have to say.

Postconference trainers

Amy talked about slide design. One of her great reminders was the fact that you don't need to have a logo on every single slide. I think it's easy to forget this, particularly when you're working with a work template. She also took us through what was possibly the worst presentation ever.

Maurice talked about pre-recorded sessions versus live sessions. He presented a variety of best practices. His great reminders were to remember to look at the presentation from the participant's point of view and and to know your limitations (technology, space, etc.)

Anna was the final presenter. She offered tips for engaging the audience, what to do when your technology fails, and reminded us the presentation is part of the communication process, not the entire process.

They added a twist and asked a couple of participants to participate in a 2 minute battledecks session. I was one of the volunteers. I didn't get through all of my slides, but I definitely was engaging and entertaining. I also had a lot of fun.

I'm glad I participated in this postconference. I picked up some tips that will come in handy in the near future. It was also nice to be reminded that I do many of these things pretty well.

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