John Cleese is my new hero. His genius extends well beyond the confines of Monty Python. I had heard about his lecture on creativity from multiple sources, and finally watched it. In my opinion, he really nails it. Watch the video, and then we’ll discuss its connection to presenting better after the jump!

“Creativity is not a talent, it’s a way of operating.”

Continue reading

Better notes

I don’t like rules. When someone tells me that I should have x-number of slides in my presentation, or suggests that I use department so-and-so’s template, my brow furrows. I also don’t believe in following traditional, formal (outdated) guidelines about how I should present.

For example, I don’t believe it’s necessary to spend countless hours rehearsing a presentation just so you can memorize every word of your talk. In my opinion, printed presenter notes are just fine to have in your hand while presenting. In fact, they’re more than just fine, they’re recommended. In this post, I’m going to tell you why I recommend having printed notes, and I’m also going to give you some tips on a smarter way to print those notes from PowerPoint! Continue reading

Your Lecture is Boring (pt 2)

As we saw in part 1, many students think the standard lecture format is boring, even more so when bulleted PowerPoint slides are read to them aloud (no surprise there!). Faculty were listening, and here is a highlight video of their responses:

Continue reading

Your Lecture is Boring (pt 1)

What happens when you give college students the opportunity to share what they really think about their instructor’s lectures? Well, this may come as no surprise, but you tend to get answers like this, “I feel that the majority of my lectures are boring, and the inspiring lectures are in the minority.” The Chronicle of Higher Education asked students these questions, as part of their Lecture Fail project. Here is a highlight video of the responses they received:

Continue reading

Overcoming Stage Fright (part 1)

scared womanYou have spent time planning, created an engaging presentation, and practiced until your delivery was smooth and natural. You are ready to present… that is, until about 2 minutes before you are “on” in front of a live audience. That’s when your heart starts pounding in your chest, your legs feel heavy, and sweat forms on your brow. You are experiencing stage fright! This fear is common, and in many ways, controllable.

Continue reading

Practice room available!

Natural born presenters do not exist. Great presenters work hard to be great. They work hard to learn and prepare their content, and then they work hard on their delivery in the practice room. Great presenters are made. You can be a great presenter, and we can help.

The Learning Technologies Group, located on the 2nd floor of the Parnassus Library, has the perfect place for you to practice your presentation.

Continue reading