Looking out at your audience, you notice that the engagement rate is dropping. Perhaps you've been talking for a bit too long, or maybe everyone is digesting that big lunch. Whatever the reason, you know you need to change things up to increase alertness. A sticky note graph is a simple way to accomplish this and to gather formative data from your group.
Post the numbers 1-10 on a wall in the room. (I like to do this before the class so that it is ready if I decide to use it. However, you can always quickly do it when the need arises.) Ask everyone to grab a single sticky note and stand up. Pose a question or statement such as "What level of control freak are you?" or "How comfortable are you with this topic?" and ask your participants to place their sticky note in the corresponding spot.
Ask your group what they notice about the graph and facilitate discussion about the results. Not only will you have succeeded in getting their blood flowing and restoring their alertness, you will have gathered some interesting information to help you adjust your teaching.
For more simple ideas to engage your audience, check out Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training.
For the past several weeks I have been very aware of my hands while I am presenting. For portions of the day I hold tools - an iPad in one and a stylus in the other, so that I can interact with and annotate my slides. At other times, my hands are empty and become the tools to support my message.
Zoller and Landry's The Choreography of Presenting explores the best use of gestures and posture, along with many other facets of presenting. For example, when verbally pausing to emphasize a point, these authors suggest that it is best to also freeze your gestures. This leads to congruency rather than mixed messages.
Palms up gestures can convey inclusivity, welcome or confusion. Palms facing down while arms are horizontal can convey expertise, importance and definitiveness. Both gestures have a place in a presentation. The key takeaway is to be intentional with your gestures so that your message is clearly supported.
Pay attention to your hands during your next presentation. Do they match your message?
For more ideas on presenting, check out Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training.
Here’s an excerpt from my recently published article about memory paths:
“Another strategy is to develop a partially completed thinking map for your participants. Include key concepts in center circles, surrounded by a web of empty circles. As you proceed through your content, ask participants to fill in the empty circles with the connections they are making. This strategy combines episodic and semantic memories for a double boost.”
For more simple ideas, check out my newest book "Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training, " also available for iBooks.
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
var switchTo5x=true; >