I don’t really use powerpoint all that much. Teaching 6 and 7 year olds in a concept driven, inquiry classroom does not really allow me to stand at the front of the class as the children are
- lying on the floor
- squabbling with each other
- annoying anyone in their vicinity
- all of the above
So I reflected a little further back to my time at University and at Secondary school. And yes death by powerpoint… yep that rings a few bells.
How many of us have sat in a meeting or lecture theatre and had an excruciating time listening to someone read from the slides? It really does feel like death doesn’t it? Especially when you have no idea when it is going to end. Where is the light at the end of the tunnel?
Don’t get me wrong. Presenting is hard. It is not an easy skill. Many people try and many people fail. I am one of those people. I have been in the tunnel! But hopefully I am beginning to see the light at the end.
My long journey to (Presentation) Zen started in the summer of 2014. I was lucky enough to attend a technology course with Jeff Utecht at The Learning Institute, at America School London. The 2 days (which was the key reason for me signing up for COETAIL – thanks Jeff!) featured many areas of technology and education including Presentation Zen.
Over the course of the 2 days one of our tasks that Jeff gave us was to create a presentation, in a small group, about a particular topic. Our group picked the flipped classroom idea. We were asked to present in a Pecha Kucka style Here is the end product.
Now the presentation is not perfect but it is an improvement on something like this. So what can I do with this Flipped Classroom presentation after this weeks readings?
The Kawasaki Method always follow a “top-10” format — essentially ten slides and ten major ideas. His visuals, then, will consist of ten slides each with one key message spelled out. The 10-20-30 rule mean presentations
- Contain no more than 10 slides;
- Last no more than 20 minutes; and
- Use a font size of no less than 30 point
Below is an updated version of the flipped classroom presentation with the Kawasaki Method.
Huge text is the key feature to the Takahashi Method. No images are used in the presentation. Words are usually 10 characters or less for visual impact. Below is the flipped classroom presentation using this method.
The Lessig Method
The Lessig Method contains only a brief quote, a short sentence, or a photo with a caption is included in a presenters slide. Each slide lasts a few seconds.
PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images.
The Godin Method
Godin, focuses mostly on the element of presentation slide design – particularly, how to select accompanying visuals to enhance messages appropriately. Godin promotes the use of bold fonts, contrasting colours, and striking images.
The Monta Method
When using the Monta Method presenters are encouraged to use questions and answers on all their visuals. When the question is posed to the audience, the answer is kept covered or hidden, only to be revealed once attendees have tried to “guess”.
There are many different paths to designing presentations and many paths to deliver a presentation. I suppose all of these different methods mean three things.
- Communication is key
- Present in different ways
- There are no rules
If there are no rules I am going to think of a new method. The Bevans Method. I’ll let you know when I’ve created it!
The Planning Process
Choosing your method is one thing. The light to spark the real interest in your presentation are six aptitudes.
- Design your presentation away from a computer. It allows for more creativity and away from distractions.
- Story –7 basic story plots in the world. Use one of them to aid your presentation.
- Symphony –in the “conceptual age” synthesis and the ability to take seemingly unrelated pieces and form and articulate the big picture
- Empathy– It’s about putting yourself in the position of others. Steve Jobs was fantastic at this.
- Play – there has to be some fun element to presentations
- Meaning –making a presentation is an opportunity to make a small difference in the world
How can I apply this thinking to the classroom?
Children have three things in abundance freedom, naturalness, and spontaneity. What is missing too often from presentations is that human-to-human connection that exists where naturalness is allowed to breathe.
I have dowloaded the app Haiku Deck on to the class iPads, I want the children to use this for the end of unit project when the children design and build their own structure.
When creating a presentation (about blogging) for parents earlier in the year I used some of the principles from these methods.
But then this presentation shared with the rest of Early Years explaining what Grade 1 have been up to. This could do with a little work.
I think it’s a ongoing process… So I will end my thoughts with the great Frank Sinatra
I am beginning to see the light. How about you?