August 12th, 2022

How to make a great presentation

What I am about to go through comes from the research of Dr Jared Horvath and I recommend seeking down his book, YouTube channel and sign up for professional development/learning from him.

I am going to keep this simple (read above if you want the evidence):

  • We cannot multitask. We can jump between tasks but not multitask.
  • We cannot read and listen at the same time. Try it, read a piece of text whilst someone reads it to you. Sorry english teachers, you have been wrong all these years.
  • We want deep notes, not shallow. Deep notes are there to make connections.

Considering these, how do you make a good presentation?

Good Slide ??
Good Slide ??
  1. Start with your slides, they should be
    • basic with a plain (white) background
    • have one or just a few words (not a sentence)
    • either no image or a simple one.
    • and yes, this may mean taking 4 dot points an making a slide for each - that's ok your computer can handle it.
  2. If you need a page of information on a slide, DO NOT read it, ask the learners to read it to themselves (no peer reading out loud). Then follow up with questions to check for understanding.
  3. As you progress through your presentation allow time for the learners to gather their thoughts about what has been covered. This may mean summarising key points, providing prompts and encouraging noting/drawing big ideas.

And that is it.

Now go and try it out, I'll give you some homework.

I want you to pick a class and identify what impact you are looking for from making the change. Run a pre test and then a post test implementing the changes. After each test observe the impact.

It could be as simple as observing at how many times students asked what they are supposed to be doing during the lesson.

You can run these tests all the time.

Now to flip the coin, what do you do as the learner?

Remember we cannot multitask

  1. Don't be a speech to text machine.
  2. Remove distractions. AKA the technology of choice.
  3. Fidget widgets are ok because they are not necessarily another task (rabbit hole opened)
  4. Watch and listen to the presenter. Look directly at them
  5. When appropriate, make deep notes and consider connections

Finally, talk to your learners about this, teach them the why and talk about the changes they see in their learning..

Now you know this, you will never see another presentation the same again.