As a visual and interpersonal learner I prefer to inquire into something new first by myself to visualize a concept or topic and then second I need the exchange, the chance to talk about it with other people in order to let it settle and consolidate in my mind.
Traditional frontal lessons or presentations have never really worked for me because the auditory approach was not enough for me. That might change as soon as more and more people try to avoid that the audience dies by old style (Powerpoint-) presentations and risk something new.
Even though I know change is good and necessary I always feel like a risk taker, which is good and sometimes cost me a lot at the same time. Coetail (If you need a little bit of a push, go for it!), course 3, which is about Visual Literacy: Effective Communicators and Creators, initiated it again. The offer to jump to week 3 was just right for me again. Next week there will be parent information evenings and yes – we do Powerpoint presentations and nearly made our parents die by Power Point again.
Already last year I was responsible for the presentation and I changed the layout, the structure and honestly I thought it is not too bad. Well, thankfully I had to learn that there are even better and very reasonable ways to present. After getting into the readings and videos like
Presentation Zen Design (video)
the idea which most kept in my mind was:
What is the story?
What is the most important to the audience on that day?
German as well as parents from abroad definitely want to get to know the structure of the German Department and us teacher. But even more important is that we want their child enjoy learning German and feel happy and safe.
I tried to follow the Presentation Zen Design ideas, even planed analog, cut out the unimportant bits, tried to keep it simple, want to surprise the audience (let’s see next Monday and Tuesday) and get them emotionally by choosing imagines which give you a hint and make curious at the same time, so our story will stick to their mind and they take home that we care for each individual child.
Two feedbacks I got already from my colleagues:
“Hopefully I won’t forget what I have to say!” – She won’t because she is a professional and passionate teacher who knows what she is talking about.
“Some pictures would distract me.” – Also interesting feedback from another colleague. We changed some visuals and decided to give the audience some time to look at the picture and to process their own thoughts before they will come back to us presenters and will listen to us.
It is a risk for different reasons but it is worth to risk – like so often in life!