Powerful classroom presentations go beyond just knowing PowerPoint or Google Slides and other technology tools. Technology tools are important resources for teachers, students, and parents but how one uses technology in the classroom, however, is another story.
In recent years, the technology at our disposal has obviously exploded. Smartphones, tablets, laptops and other online-capable devices allow students to access and engage 24/7. They are visually and socially engaged so attention itself has become a valuable commodity. It is now up to teachers to use technology to produce powerful and engaging presentations that can cut through and deliver a powerful message.
Successful presentations rely on grabbing and holding attention, be it in business or in teaching. It is a mix of storytelling and technology. A teacher that is skilled in presentations can inspire students, and teach more effectively while passing that skill on to their students.
Think outside the tech presentation box
Teachers need to learn to think outside the average presentation box. Common Core State Standards in the area of English Language, English Language Speaking and Listening encourage the use of formal presentations that include student displays of digital literacy. To do that, a teacher must also grasp digital literacy.
As a teacher one needs to understand how to create presentations leveraging the power and ease of today’s tools but, a teacher can’t rely solely on the technology. A teacher can have the most beautifully-designed presentation, but will still fail to communicate the goal or inspire students if they don’t learn to engage the audience and make them care with their words and visual cues.
Beyond the slides: verbal and non-verbal communication
To maximize the impact of a presentation, a good teacher will learn to work the room, much like a presenter at a business conference. Some key elements of a successful presenter include body language, incorporating stories, smart preparation and speaking clearly while projecting the voice.
As a presenter, one doesn’t just read what is on the slides. The information on the slides should be minimal but visually impactful to support what is being said. Even quick, simple visuals should aid comprehension and support the main points in a compelling way.
A good presenter has a personality and it comes out in the slides as well as the presentation in the classroom. He or she can walk the room with authority and show passion and enthusiasm for the topic. They use pauses for the impact of a point and provide time for questions when appropriate.
Creativity means learning to think differently
Today’s teacher must understand that presenting is a form of communicating and that the success of teacher and student is largely based on pre-planning a presentation.
One way to learn how to be a better presenter is through one of our online professional development course for teachers. Our courses are designed to help teachers learn about current software and online presentation tools. Teachers can revisit some old favorites and learn how to use new tools to prepare engaging and meaningful classroom presentations.
These courses address the student-centered classrooms of today. They enable educators to engage students in creative and collaborative project-based assignments, which include the use of currently available presentation tools.
Through such a course, teachers can also learn to:
- Create presentation pre-planning documents
- Build project-specific student rubrics to aid in project development
- Learn how to engage an audience
- Understand how to evaluate presentations using a course rubric
- Create a variety of presentation projects relevant to CCSS or non-CCSS curriculum
- Share presentations with fellow course participants