Monday, October 22, 2012

One Way to Make a Presentation

Let's say you're given a room of twenty to sixty adults and told to give a presentation. Here's one way to create your presentation. It's not the only way, and some people will prefer other methods, but it's one that works for me.

Remember that adults are frequently more difficult to teach than schoolchildren. Children are used to being in instructor-led sessions, while adults are long out of practice. Therefore, it's important to use good group management techniques, such as bringing your group back on focus frequently, and avoiding large chunks of lecture.

How to plan:

Purpose: Write the purpose of the meeting at the top of you paper. Include your audience and what the goal is.

Ex: Educate 30 head waiters from different franchises on how to assign shifts using the company's new software.
Audience? restaurant managers for Isohedron Sandwiches
Goal? They'll be able to use the software.

Room resources: If you know your venue, write down what your resources are. If possible, draw the room. Be as detailed as you can, and if you have notable limitations, write those down.

Ex: Six round tables, six chairs at each. One projector connected to a computer, cast on a wall. Do not have drawing tool. Laser pointer. 6 large notepads. 1 spiral-bound notebook per attendee. 1 computer per table, not including instructor computer. 2 pens per person. Markers, colors unknown. Nametags.

Write down time.

Ex. 90 minutes

Essential points of instruction: What is absolutely necessary for you to accomplish your goal? Write these steps down.

All attendees must learn steps to using new software.
All attendees must practice using new software.
All attendees must be shown FAQ on new software.
All attendees must be given resources for trouble-shooting.

Detail points: Make each essential point of instruction its own heading. Fill in bullets on how to teach the point of instruction. Make subheadings if necessary. Remember that group participation increases memory and keeps the group active, so vary lecture with group interaction.

All managers must learn steps.
*Using projector, have slides showing steps, 1-2 steps per slide. Move slowly enough for attendees to take notes.
*Begin with "Adding New Employee" (5 steps). Go through slides on this topic. Go back to first of these slides.
--Ask one manager from each table to follow along on the computer while the others watch.
*Move on to "Removing an Employee" (4 steps).
--Allow different attendee to follow along on second run-through.

All attendees must practice new software.
*Give each attendee the chance to do each set.
--Managers take turns inputting each step. They may use their notes and help each other. Set each manager up with a list of dummy names to use.

All attendees must be shown FAQ.
*Hand out address of FAQ. Hand out print-outs to every attendee.
*Pull up on screen. Give students a few minutes to read through.
*Ask for questions.

Combine activities, break activities up, find ways to give natural breaks, give activities to do when finished early: Adults long out of school can be harder to teach than most school children. Expect talking, speaking over one another, interruptions. To manage your group, keep them moving and don't let them get bored. Clearly define what you will be doing before every change of activity so they know what is expected: listening without questions, save questions until the end, work quietly while someone else practices.

Lecture on "Adding a new employee." Tell everyone to take notes.
Provide each table with a list of dummy servers to add/delete.
Allow one manager to follow along at each table while the others watch.
Explain, "Each of you should now take a turn adding a new employee. Those who are not working on the computer, please read through the FAQ that's been printed out and jot down questions."

When everyone is complete, move on to lecture "Removing an employee."

Add introduction and conclusion: Write the introduction to the lesson. Clearly state the goal to the students. Decide if you will share your agenda or not. Decide if your students will introduce themselves to one another, and how they will do so.

Decide how you will conclude the lesson, and if there will be any homework/follow-up needed.

Make a list of materials needed: List all materials needed. Write down when it's best to hand them out.

Lists of dummy servers (have at table at beginning)
Print-outs of FAQs (Hand out after follow-along)

Read-through and make necessary changes: Does the presentation flow well? Are the lectures too long? Did you include a place to ask questions?

Compile the lesson and write it out for yourself in a manner that is easy for you to follow. Practice.

Presentation example:

Presentation: New Company Software

Setup: Place lists of dummy servers at each table. Include 5 name badges/table and 5 markers/table. Sign computers in to the software.

Introduction: Attendees should sit 5/table. I will stand at front. As they come in, ask them to write their name on a nametag.

State goal: "At the end of this lesson, you will be able to use our new software to assign employees to shifts."

Introductions: Ask each manager to stand and say his/her name and the franchise he/she comes from.

Say: "We'll begin by looking at adding a new employee. Please watch and take notes. You will have an opportunity to practice in a few minutes."
(Write out lecture)
"Now the person sitting in front of the computer will follow along as I do the steps again. Please watch the person at your table with the computer."
"The next person should take the computer and add the next name on the list. You will each have a chance to try. You may help one another if you get stuck, but try to figure it out yourself first. If you still have trouble, raise your hand and I will come by. While others are on the computer, read through the FAQ I'm handing out. Jot down any questions you have."

(repeat for each process)

"Now compare the questions you have from your FAQs. Write any questions from your group on the large pad that you cannot answer as a group." (give 5 min)

Compare and answer questions.

"If you have any additional problems, here's what you should do:"
(Hand out magnets with customer service phone numbers)

Conclude the lesson: "Are there any final questions?"
Thanks for coming today.

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