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?