YOU ARE THE PRESENTATION a few ideas I have about presentations


My name is Todd Conaway and yep, that is me in the image above wearing a red rain suit letting some teachers know what I think about the internet. It was all needed to express what I wanted to say. As a former poet, I knew words alone would not stand a chance. I could not craft the right sentences well enough to sell my message. I needed a bigger boat. So I had to build one.

And I suppose that is what a presentation is. Something you build. You get in it. Hope it floats. And you sail away. Away to an "A." Away to somewhere. Regardless of where you are going, you want to make an impression. You want the audience to believe. They will remember your message better if they laugh. Cry. Sing. Or dance. Emotions are needed for good, deep learning. So get out there and make them emote.

Below are a few ideas I have in video, image, and yes, text. Just scroll along. Easy. This tool is called Spark. You can do this too. Is is different than PowerPoint. It is the same as PowerPoint. Fancier? Maybe? But remember, you are what is important, so get out there and show them who you are. Tell them something personal to make a connection. The more open you are with others, the more likely they will be open to your ideas. It's like sharing. If you don't share, people will be less likely to share with you.


And take your audience on a trip, if you can. I can here, because I am not there with you. In a live presentation, a story can go a long way. We learn best from stories. Stories connect us in ways that a bulleted list of content/facts cannot.


Like a book. Or a stick. Or a picture. Anything someone can actually touch. Bring an awesome visual aid! Or, if you are not in the room, like I am not, show them something real. Pass it around the room. Let people touch something that relates to your presentation. Remember, there are five senses. Try to use them. Extra credit for bringing things that smell.

In the image below, you can see some of the types of visual aids you might want to share. Or not.

I have this awesome old journal that has some great things in it. I once used it as part of a presentation about the value of sharing.

The Rule of thirds

When creating slides for your presentation, use images. And when you use images, use ones that follow the "rule of thirds" explained below. It will not only provide a better picture, but because the focal point of the image is on one side of the image or the other, it gives you some space to add text - not bullet points...

Below are the few slides I have used to do this presentation live. They are not perfect, but you get the idea. Don't read a bunch of stuff from a slide. Give them a magical picture of something important and tell them why it is helpful. If you click on the first image, you can use the arrow on the right to move through them in order.

link to bigger pictures

remember your audience

I don't know how many presenters who have said at the start of their presentation, "...and I'll leave time for questions at the end of the class."


Well, don't be that person. In fact, use your audience to help you tell your story. They are smart. They have something to contribute. They may be shy about it, but they want to say something. Let them.

If you are told to do a "presentation" then expand what you think a presentation is. The directions probably did not include things like, "You can't let any other people talk." Or, "Don't let people ask questions." People like to have conversations, not "be spoken to." Speak with your audience. Let them fill in some blanks or help illustrate points for you. Not only does it take you away from the center of the universe for a few moments, but it lets other smart people help one another. And that is good.


Below are three links to some very good resources by Garr Reynolds and a short video of him sharing his ideas.

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