Better presentations.

I helped to assess year 8 presentations just over a week ago. One class used PowerPoint others created videos to assist them in their class presentations. Some were excellent, some less so. I know that many teachers still ask students to create a PowerPoint document and I wondered how much instruction is given to the students about the best ways to use this tool. The post on the Edubeacon site reminded me of the “Death by powerpoint: and how to fight it” slideshare presentation by Alexei Kapterev. It is still one of the best presentations about making effective/good presentations. Another sub-title could have been “How to not to bore your audience to death”

So I was also interested to read about the TEDCommandments mentioned in the same post. I love the TEDTalks. They are great. The speakers are passionate and knowledgeable about their topics. The talks go for about 2o minutes and I have always been totally engrossed in the talk. (There is a good wiki – Teaching with TED for anyone interested in ideas about how some of these videos might be used in a classroom setting.)

TEDCommandmentsI now find out about one of the reasons that the talks are so good – it might, in some part, be due to the TEDCommandments that are given to the prospective speakers by the TED organisers. I went in search of these and found a post, from this time last year, on Tim Longhurst’s blog that discussed just these commandments. He had written them out and put in a few links to find further information.

I Have a look at all ten here but below are the ones, on first glance, that I think I will translate in a guide for the students. These are: 

  1. Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick. (Do not cut&paste from wikipedia(etc) or copy an earlier presentation on a similar topic and just change the heading.
  2. Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion. Include information that you find interesting and unusual. This will make it more interesting for others too.
  3. Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech. Self-explanatory really.
  4. Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them that Follow Thee.  Don’t go on too long, or over time. Also – If you are working as part of a group, don’t cross over into their topic.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction Camilla, now how do I get some of the teachers to follow suit?

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