Be Prepared???

Usually when I’m going to present I spend lots of time preparing and still feel like I could have spent more time and then it would have been even better. So it is ironic that Friday, when I was asked to present to my staff about more things they could do with their digital cameras and introduce wikis and some math and language activities, I had just come off 2 days that did not lend themselves well to being prepared … and so I wasn’t comfortably prepared. I had a handout with links for the things I would show them, but during recess and lunch I used up the little last minute time I had to prep, switching computers that I would present from (my overused Mac is being fixed) – meaning I would use my classroom HP – I’m not as “at home” with Windows machines so that also put me at a bit of a disadvantage. And yet the presentation was very well received and mostly came off without a hitch.

Most of the staff at my school hadn’t seen our “Inclusion” video yet, so we started off with that. They loved Fd’s Flickr Toys – and the writing ideas I had to go along with them. I made several examples before their eyes and then showed them the examples I was working on when I took my header. And then I quickly introduced them to Wiki’s – only a few had heard of them before, so I explained basically what they are and then used a new Wiki I’ve just started to put together to have them try out Wiki’s and the online math and language software they were asking about. We passed out laptops and had them try things out … and my 45 minutes were up. I had many share with me how they saw using the resources I’d shared in their classrooms right away.

HMMM, maybe I should under-prepare more often.


“Magazine Cover” from software available at:

This provided the brief comedic break during my presentation. Actually my daughters from a trip to Yellowstone National Park 2 years ago.

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4 thoughts on “Be Prepared???

  1. Brian,

    Same thing happened to me on Friday at a conference, except I was not really given a wealth of information on what to present or much time to do it. Like your experience, it worked out pretty well.

    I was presenting some faculty work with an application called Lecture123, so I showed some of the examples through iTunes and just kind of rolled with it. I think why it worked so well was because of the coolness factor of the technology (much like with wikis), and that I was able to present it in a way that invited questioning.

    It’s great when these type of things work out when they aren’t supposed to.


  2. I think there is a lot to consider when deciding how much to prepare for something. I find presentations I give are often much better when I am a little less prepared. Of course a few short notes are good in case of a forgetful moment, but my best presentations are usually the ones I prepare a little less for (assuming I already have a good general knowledge of what I’m talking about).

    Just this past weekend I was presenting to a group of 20 or so 8th graders who were preparing to get confirmed into the Catholic Church. I spoke on strategies to survive high school as a Catholic. I over prepared and I think it narrowed my scope too much and made for a fairly dry, short talk.

    Last week I lead a discusson on classroom management, and though it took me time to do some research, I planned less what I was going to say and it went really well.

    I guess what it comes down to is what you are actually preparing and not how much time you spend.