No Mulligans on Presentations at Conferences

Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting at the Iowa 1:1 Conference in Des Moines, IA.  This was not my first time presenting there as I had presented in 2011 about the Flipped Classroom I was implementing.  This time I presented twice, first on Flipped Professional Development and then on using Doctopus in the classroom.  These were two very different topics, one was for application by teachers in the classroom and the other was a big picture idea related to school professional development.  Lets just say I was nervous for the big picture idea one more so than the application one. (Although the fact that Doctopus was not working did put a bit of a hitch in my plans.)

Every time that I do a presentation I am reminded of the many big differences between giving a presentation and a typical class, such as the ability to see your students the next day to fix what you may have done wrong the previous day.  I always find myself reflecting after a presentation trying to figure out how each presentation could have gone better and been more effective for those that attended.  I definitely had ideas after my Flipped PD session about how it could go better next time, such as;

  • Don’t be so nervous – I was very nervous for this presentation as this was the first time I was talking about a big picture idea related to something beyond just the classroom, as it relates to the whole school.  Part of the reason I was nervous, besides the number of people and the type of people in the room, I did not have a lot of data to support what I was discussing.  When I presented on my Flipped Classroom or other uses of technology in my science classroom, I was always able to discuss actual student data and examples where as with my Flipped PD talk I only have my observations and discussions with teachers to discuss.
  • Slow DOWN! – I know I was talking fast at certain points and this caused me to skip the parts I wanted to include various points in the presentation to have smaller discussions to bring back to the large group.  This did not happen as much and caused me to divert from my plan and made it more of what I was talking against, a sit and get experience.
  • Stick to the plan – same as in the last point, I wanted more interactive parts in the presentation and this is something that got away from me.  I promise to do better next time.

My Flipped PD presentation was the first time that I presented at a larger conference, besides the trainings I do with smaller groups, that occurred with a large Twitter presence.  I was very please that I was actually quoted in tweets being sent out from my session, which hopefully means they thought it was such a good point that it should be shared.  Granted, most of those tweets came from people I had already known but it still felt good.

What was even better about these tweets were they focused on those big points that I hold true.  I said them because they were that important to me when I view how we can help teachers get better so our students have a better chance at true learning.  We all need to have a growth mindset and be conscious about how we can improve, not just at the end of the year, but daily.

I can not wait till the next time I get to talk about Flipped PD, because I will use what I learned this time to improve my presentation so it becomes more effective for those that choose to attend.  I also have ideas to get data and feedback soon to help me guide to be better with my version of Flipped PD so I can share that out in the future.




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