Friday, June 27, 2008

The Introverted Presenter’s Secret Weapon

First of all, mega apologies for not getting this up yesterday, but Mary and I spent the last week teaching at the fabulous Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, run by the amazingly organized Marcia Meier, and we didn't finish up until very late last night.

Just for the record, this is a fabulous conference with an amazing energy and the opportunity for lots of in-depth teaching. As workshop leaders, we present five days in a row (either morning or afternoon) and while students are encouraged to try many different teachers and workshops, there usually seems to be a constant core that comes back each day, so as a teacher you really get to build on the previous material, which allows you to go a lot deeper than you get to do at many conferences.

Much to our surprise, Mary and I were, if not the only two, then very close to that, who opted to use Power Point presentations in our teachings. An accident? We think not.

You see, having a Power Point presentation projected up on a screen with the important bullet points (me) or a kaleidoscope of color and visuals (Mary) provides a wonderful place for the students to focus—and it isn’t us! As in introvert who loves to teach, this is my personal idea of heaven. I can stand in front of the classroom and teach to my heart’s content, all the while directing people’s focus to the screen, to the important points I want them to grasp, and then their attention is shifted away from me. It allows me (and my raging self-consciousness) to disappear and let the material take front and center stage.

So if, as an introvert, you find yourself in the position of wanting or needing to give a presentation, you might consider giving Power Point a try. It can be an incredibly helpful tool in an introvert’s bag of tricks!

2 comments:

alex milway said...

Slides/pictures/powerpoint always make presentations better!

And did Mary really talk from 1 PM to 3.30 AM? That's real skill and dedication!

marce merrell said...

You've affirmed my experience. At first I thought that creating powerpoint presentations was more about accessing the visual and audio learner, but reading your post I had an aha! moment. Of course I mostly do it because it keeps the eyes on the screen! Another thing I use in my presentations is drama, but instead of me doing it, I bring up volunteers and set them in a scenario and they are the actors. The audience loves this part of my presentation. Thanks for the introvert tips.