When we talk about getting ready for conferences, we don’t talk too much about preparing a presentation or what makes a good presentation (or bad one for that matter). Many of us have been to a conference before or have seen someone present that we might like what they do and want to remember next time for our own presentation.’  What tips/tricks do you have?

Some resources to consider:

  • School media specialist Joyce Valenza frequently writes about PowerPoint. Here is her January 2008 post about how she challenged her students to be creative storytellers and still use PPT. She lists resources at the end of her post as well.
  • Peter Bromberg from the Library Garden posted in February 2008 on resources for giving effective presentations.
  • Aaron Schmidt with the District of Columbia Public Library shares his thoughts here after this year’s Internet Librarian conference on what makes a good presentation.

Also, many people use other programs besides PPT. Linda Braun has used Voice Thread. I’ve seen other presenters use Vuvox, and still others use a program called Textthemob where the audience can text their answers with immediate results to a poll or question the presenter asks.

Many of us are drawn to librarianship because we enjoy reading good stories. We can all practice to be better storytellers as well. Going to a conference to hear good stories as part of presentations is an exciting prospect!

About Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki is a Teen Librarian at ImaginOn with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She is a member of the YALSA blog advisory board.

2 Thoughts on “Getting ready for Midwinter-Giving Presentations

  1. A tip: everyone (but particularly women, whose voices often don’t naturally project) needs to learn how to project naturally in case a sound system fails. This isn’t a problem for small meetings, obviously, but in larger settings like ALA conferences, a good presenter should be able to carry on with or without the technology.

    I really strongly encourage Thinking Outside The Powerpoint. At a regional conference last spring I tweeted “Library conferences: where bad powerpoints go to die.” Sad but true. I really wish more presenters would focus on good storytelling rather than spending a lot of time creating a slideshow that ultimately bores and distracts the audience rather than engaging it.

  2. Hi Kelly,

    Thanks for pointing to my February post. I also did an update in October (inspired by Aaron’s great post) which is available at:

    Good luck to everyone on your conference presentations!

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