Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Making Presentations Meaningful

This is just a thought that has been rolling around in my head for a long time and I'm glad to finally get it out to everyone!

I realize that I've only presented at 1 conference and have never viewed a live conference before but from the little experience I have I feel like I should throw in my 2 cents worth.

My one and only session went like this:  Molly and I did 4-7 slides about the topic with questions at any time.  Then we had discussion questions put up to get everyone thinking about the new topic we were switching to.  I felt like the best conversations were when Molly and I dispersed into the little clusters of people to engage thinking.  It's surprisingly hard to recall an entire conversation in front of a whole group to reshare our discussion.  We had projected that our small group discussions would take up about 5 minutes out of 40.  They took up nearly 15 minutes.  I'm not bragging or complaining.  I think that's a good thing because they were very engaging conversations.

But the problem I face is this:  When you have small group discussions the other 3/4 of the people who attended weren't included.

The solution I came up with was this:  After everyone gets in and situated and after the introduction we mix it up a little and have everyone move up as close to the front as they can.  It's quite hard to have an engaging conversation sitting 50' away from each other.  The thought had even passed through me that everyone would share their name & district in a round circle discussion.  I know this seems childish but I think it would really help me if I were an audience member.

Like I said before, I've never viewed a live presentation before so I only have the view of a presenter.

Do you think this would engage people more?  Would people be open to this method?