Thoughts on presenters





I think we sometimes really misunderstand the learning process. We are all guilty of it. We can certainly get stuck in how we feel information should be delivered. There are always ways to improve.

I’ve been to countless presentations, meetings, and conferences. No matter how many presentations I see, I am always amazed when the presenter delivers their message without considering the learning process.


Here are some common problems that I see in presentations: 

  • We do not all learn sequentially. I know education was founded in sequence and order, but the more we have learned about how our brain’s process information, the less we find it neat, liner, or compartmentalized.
  • Technology should not be a distraction. I agree, technology should enhance the learning space, allow you to make connections, check references, share your learning, and research. Simply asking people to turn off devices will not make them more “focused.”
  • People can multi-task. Counter to what some people may think, it is quite possible to balance the responsibility of learning. Presenters may assume that people are off task, or even take it personal, when in actuality, they are going through their own process of learning.
  • Practice what you preach. If you want your participants to create active learning environments in their classrooms, don’t tell them about it an a passive way. This dichotomy of do as I say, not as I do does not bode well…
  • Why not go ahead? If you must review a power point, there is no harm in providing it prior to the workshop or lesson, so that people could actually flip their learning. Then, you, as the presenter, could help with application of the desired outcome as opposed to delivering rote information.
  • What is a learning space? Even though it may take 5 minutes, do you ever have people introduce themselves and why they are in attendance. Maybe they will actually talk to one another during breaks or after the presentations.
  • Sit and get. No matter if it is every 20, 30, 0r 40 minutes (and that is stretching it) provide some break time. You have to get people up and moving.

What do you see when you go to presentations? What else did I miss?


4 thoughts on “Thoughts on presenters

  1. I absolutely hate when presenters hold their handouts, if they are using them, to the end of a presentation or tell you the URL for the presentation will be available at the end for fear that attendees will take the handouts and leave the room.

    1. I am a note taker. I like to imagine how I will use information while I am learning. If you hold the materials to the end, I am not likely to process the information effectively and may not be able to connect with what interested me during the session. I may leave the session simply because you are not meeting me when I am as a learner.

    2. If you are not interesting enough to hold me in a seat to hear you speak, I should get up and leave anyway. Staging a hostage situation on the materials is never a good way to start.

    • Vandy
      Thanks for the comments. You are right on. You have to be in charge of your learning. I love when you said, “Staging a hostage situation on the materials is never a good way to start.”


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